If you are looking to get stronger at home, look no further than Alex Crockford. He's like a more advanced and frequently more under-dressed Joe Wicks. He's a very successful fitness model and the man behind the #CROCKFIT app, with a solid track record of helping folk get in killer shape. He reckons, not unreasonably, that a home workout can be just as effective as something you might get in a gym.
“I often set my clients home work to do when they are embarking on a new fitness programme, so the fact you can’t get into a gym shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals or setting some new ones,” Alex says.
Here, we detail Alex’s top five choices when it comes to the best home gym equipment and how to squeeze the most out of each one. Get yourself over to the App Store or Google Play and download the CROCKFIT app now, to take advantage of Alex’s free workout routines.
- Want big shoulders? Try this Alex Crockford workout – he's a big lad
- The best full body workout – simple but effective
- Metabolism study suggests you need to rethink weight loss – sorry about that
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
“A kettlebell is a must have! They’re universal, great for building strength, muscle and flexibility. But here’s the thing, they can be used to work pretty much all of the body, which most people don’t know, assuming they are just for swinging,” Alex explains.
Yup, this versatile piece of equipment can be curled, grabbed, lunged-with and pressed until every single muscle in your body is screaming out to stop. Alex says his essential kettlebell exercises include: goblet squats, lunges, presses and pulls just to start with the basics. All of these, he claims result in a strength and muscle gain, as well as a serious calories burn, too.
Top tip: start off with a light kettlebell if you are an absolute beginner here, but look to purchase another, heavier ‘bell for when you start to make progress. This will help with the gradual weight-loading that is essential to building new muscle.
Something like the JaxJox KettlebellConnect does for the kettlebell what the Bowflex SelectTech do for dumbbells, in so much as they feature a neat spread of weights in one handy, if slightly cumbersome unit, making progressions that bit quicker and easier.
- Here's our review of the JaxJox KettlebellConnect
- Now some of the best kettlebells you can buy
- The best kettlebell workout for beginners is right here
“I advise all my clients to have a set of dumbbells at home, simply because you accomplish the compound exercises, such as squats, presses and pulls, plus they’re a phenomenal tool to isolate areas of your body to help build strength and muscle, like bicep curls, tricep extensions and lateral raises,” Alex explains
What’s more, we have plenty of dumbbell workouts from fitness experts that should see you turn that excess isolation flab into rock hard muscle in no time. Check out the links below.
- Simply the best dumbbells for home workouts
- A super easy dumbbell full body workout to hit all of the key muscle groups
- Yup, you can shred fat with dumbbells too. Here's how...
3. A suspension trainer (you might know them as TRX)
"A suspension trainer is a piece of equipment that’s so light and small that you can easily keep it at home or on the go - just make sure you have somewhere secure to attach it to. It takes standard bodyweight training to another level, helping you make exercises more intense and adding a balancing element. For example a lunge with one foot strapped into it,” Alex explains.
According to our man in the know, the major benefit of a suspension trainer is the added instability it provides. If you are doing a chest press, for example, it gets more muscles firing in your upper body just to keep things stable, offering much more of a workout than you would in a normal push-up on the floor.
As always, we’ve got you covered with a great selection of TRX-style training workouts.
4. Resistance Bands (long loop and short loop)
“This is one of this year’s most popular home workout essentials, but before you go rushing out to grab yours, be aware that there are two types of bands to use in workouts, and here’s why…” Alex says.
We have a great guide to the best resistance bands, if we say so ourselves, plus the best resistance band workout, for you to put those elastic wonders to good use.
You: as in, bodyweight exercises
“Slightly cheesy, I know, but bodyweight exercises are some of the most effective," Alex explains. "All you need is a clear workout space, an exercise routine and a towel. The variety of training and types of workouts you can achieve by using just your body is limitless. So let’s get started!”
• Follow Alex and get home workout tips and fitness tricks galore
YouTube: Alex Crockford