Simple home gym kit to make your core sessions work harder

Here's a list of kit no home gym should be without 

If you're a cyclist who maintains a regular strength training regime at the gym, then you're probably missing your routine as fitness establishments stay closed during the coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that it's very possible to get a good workout at home, with limited equipment.

And if you're a rider who doesn't maintain a regular strength training regime? Well now is as good a time as any to start.

>>> How to build a core strength programme tailored to cycling

It's a good idea to follow a set routine - and if strength training is new to you, build up slowly as doing too much too soon could result in muscle fatigue and a drop off in riding performance - both indoor or outdoor.

We've produced a handy guide to devising a home core session here. Whilst the pictures were taken in a gym, nearly every exercise listed can be completed at home, with just a few pieces of basic equipment. If you'd like sessions to follow along with at home there are several apps offering this service, including cycling specific workouts within The Sufferfest's extensive training plans.

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.


Buy now: PTP core sliders at Sports Direct for £16.99

If you're seeking the DOMS you miss from the gym, these will bring the memories flooding back.

Sliders can make almost any body weight movement a whole lot harder. You place them underneath your hands and feet and use them to 'slide' along the ground.

Cyclists, for example, could use them during a hamstring bridge - place one under each foot and then slide your feet away from you, and then back. The same concept can be applied to squats, lunges, mountain climbers and more.

*NB - be careful not to step on one accidentally - the results can be quite painful.

Buy now: PTP core sliders at Sports Direct for £16.99

Resistance bands

Buy now: LETS Bands Powerband Set at Wiggle for £36.50

Resistance bands aren't only for the exercises you told the physiotherapist you would do that time you had knee pain one summer (though you should probably keep up with those, too).

Mini resistance bands can add a little extra power to squats, when placed just above the knee. They can also be used in the clam position, which can help to strengthen your glutes.

It's not all about the lower body, you can hook the long band around your feet, and use this to complete a 'row' exercise which will strengthen the mid-back muscles which can become weakened through extended sitting and are particularly helpful in supporting you both on long climbs and in an aero position.

Buy now: LETS Bands Powerband Set at Wiggle for £36.50

Gym ball

Buy now: Ultimate Performance Gym Ball at Wiggle for £19.99

A gym ball, granted, takes up quite a lot of space - but there's just so much that you can do with these inflatable goodies.

Gym balls take away stability, which can make exercises like hamstring bridges, sit ups and planks much harder.

For more inspiration, and to upgrade your gym ball moves, check out the 'stability ball Jack knife' or 'stability ball roll out'.

Buy now: Ultimate Performance Gym Ball at Wiggle for £19.99

Suspension trainer set

Buy now: Suspension set at Decathlon for £14.99

Suspension training allows you to turn mundane drills you've seen and done a thousand times into challenging exercises which can reap serious rewards. We've got a detailed article discussing the benefits, and how to get started here. 

The great thing about training with a suspension set up is that nearly every move is progressive, so you can make it as easy or as hard as you like. They're also great for adding in stretches, too.

Professional set ups take up a lot of space and aren't cheap - but systems like the Decathlon kit here can be clamped into the door frame for easy at home use.

Buy now: Suspension set at Decathlon for £14.99

Adjustable dumbell kit

Buy now: Weight training dumbell kit at Decathlon for £39.99, or a barbell kit for £149.99

If you simply don't feel like you're working hard enough without weights, then you can buy those too.

A set of adjustable dumbells will allow you to tailor the weight to the exercise you're completing, or you can go all out and get a barbell kit.

There's loads of ways that you can make lighter weights work harder for you, too. For example - swap front or back squats for overhead squats and you'll find a small weight might go a long way.

Buy now: Weight training dumbell kit at Decathlon for £39.99

Foam roller

Buy now: Ultimate Performance Foam Roller at Wiggle for £17.99

It's not all about logging the hard training hours. Keeping your body supple and mobile is important - especially if you're now alternating between the bike, home office and sofa.

Finish each session off with 10 minutes on the foam roller, this will help ease tight muscles and keep injury at bay - we've got a suggested routine for cyclists here.

Buy now: Ultimate Performance Foam Roller at Wiggle for £17.99

Of course, there's plenty more home gym equipment you could invest in to create your perfect workout area, but we believe the kit above will provide you with a well rounded set-up that will keep you strong and entertained during the coming weeks and months.

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