People tend to let themselves go a bit when they start university. It's completely understandable: you're up till later, eat less mindfully (or healthily) and exercise less frequently now that no one is telling you what to do. Nevertheless, we recommend paying at least a little attention to your health, and this essential uni home gym equipment can help you do that.
Although we wouldn't recommend following a strict diet or working out all the time while at uni – unless you're trying to become a pro athlete – but doing some exercising can help alleviate the negative effects of sitting around in class all day plus drinking excessively).
One thing to note is that bodyweight exercises are great to keep you fit when you haven't got a lot of home gym equipment at hand. Push-ups, sit-ups and the likes can help you build muscle and even lose weight when coupled with a healthy diet. Here is a callisthenics home workout to get you started.
Bodyweight workouts are all fun and games, but it'll be difficult to add resistance to your exercises using only your bodyweight after a while. That's where home gym equipment comes into play. And no, you don't need a multi-gym or a barbell to be able to progress, although having those wouldn't hurt either.
What essential home gym equipment do you need at uni? These 👇
Essential uni home gym equipment
1. Adjustable dumbbells
The best dumbbell is the most essential piece of home gym equipment. As JAXJOX dumbbell expert Lionel Balland explains, "You can train all the major muscle groups of your body using a wide variety of exercises without massive home gym equipment taking up all valuable floor space in your home."
We would recommend getting an adjustable dumbbell set of the ones available on the market today. The York Fitness 20 KG Cast Iron Dumbbell Set is probably the perfect dumbbell for uni students to get big arms. Or to get fit. Whatever your health goal might be.
If you're not into bodybuilding and yearn for functional muscle instead, get a kettlebell instead of a dumbbell. The best kettlebells are also the adjustable variety, such as the excellent Bowflex SelectTech 840, which allows you to progress without having to buy multiple kettlebells.
For workout inspiration, check out this kettlebell workout for beginners or what we think is the best kettlebell workout. Want to try something harder? Try the 10,000-swing kettlebell workout: you only need one kettlebell and a whole lot of determination to finish this 4-week challenge.
3. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are the most underrated types of home gym equipment. The best resistance bands take up very little space and provide a lot of flexibility for your workouts (pun intended). Not to mention, resistance bands are dirt cheap, especially when compared to kettlebells and dumbbells.
We recommend getting a handle for your resistance bands to make it easier to work out with them. Case in point, the TRX Bandit, is cheap and makes resistance band exercises much easier to perform.
4. Suspension trainer
Suspension trainers are a step up from resistance bands. TRX is well-known for being the manufacturer of the best suspension trainers, such as the excellent TRX HOME2.
You can anchor the suspension trainer to the door and workout silently yet effectively using little floor space. Better still, suspension trainers can help you build 'pull' muscles such as your biceps. Sweet!
5. Ab roller
You've probably seen ab rollers before, and in case you didn't know what they were for, this small yet effective home gym equipment can help you roll your way to slender midriff faster than just trying to lose weight by eating leaf salad and drinking water.
The best ab rollers are more than just a wheel attached to a handle: for example, the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is a meaty six pack machine for beginners and pros alike.
+1 Protein powder
Technically not home gym equipment, protein powder is almost as essential for muscle building and weight loss as dumbbells and kettlebells. Granted, you can (and should) diversify your sources of protein and shouldn't only use powder to cover your protein needs, even if it's the best protein powder.
Replacing chocolate bars with protein bars can also help keep the sugar levels low, all the while not depriving yourself of sweet treats. How much protein you need depends on your activity levels; more info on this topic can be found here (opens in new tab).