There are plenty of options for home fitness equipment that you can use outside. While most of the traditional machines like treadmills and cross-trainers are static, there is a mix of smaller machines and innovative ideas to take to your back garden this summer. If you can’t bring outdoors to your gym – go for some outdoor fitness equipment instead!
Who knows, after trying out some of these, you might want to add them permanently to your fitness regime.
This page covers things you can do to keep fit in your back garden. Running, cycling and boot camp activities also count as outdoor fitness – though these are covered in depth elsewhere. If you do choose to get fit outside, I recommend investing in a decent rubber mat. This will save you a lot of effort cleaning up, and will make your workout more comfortable too.
Unlike most fitness equipment, steppers are easy to move around. These are ideal if you have a patio, and will burn calories very quickly. There is a big added advantage – a stepper will tone up your thighs and bum quickly too!
The best selling home stepper in this category is the Fit4Home mini-stepper. This is in the budget price range, has solid feedback from 100’s of buyers,. You can also find a version (called the ‘Swing Stepper’) which comes with elasticated armbands to give your upper body a workout. Another popular variation adds some sideways twists to include yet more muscle groups.
Check out this dedicated product page at amazon.co.uk to see the picture gallery and latest enthusiastic feedback.
Trampolines come in all shapes and sizes. This page is more for people wanting a workout, so if you are after one of the bigger family trampolines instead, I’ll direct you to this article, which covers these types in depth.
Smaller trampolines can give you a vigorous cardio workout and are one of the more enjoyable types of exercise too.
You’ll want to avoid the flimsy ‘no-name’ models, and step up just one level to the more robust types. A great example is the Maximus Pro 40 Inch Folding Rebounder Trampoline, this has a foam surround, solid design and is capable of handling vigorous use from people up to 150kgs (that is more than 23 stone).
Check out this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page for more info.
Some people associate these with the school playground, though once you try a couple of ‘double unders’ you will quickly see that this is an intensive way of getting in shape. Used by boxers, athletes and even celebrities to keep fit, skipping ropes are perfect for using in your garden.
A basic rope with plastic or wooden handles is very cheap. I recommend you spend just a few more pounds, and get one with a jump counter. This will help you keep track, and might just lead you to trying to beat that previous personal best.
Check out this listing page at amazon.co.uk, for the best-selling skipping rope option.
A novel item this time, and one which will appeal to readers that like to mix strength training into their routine. Gym setups are not capable of surviving the British summers outside, leaving a gap in your possibilities for outdoor strength training.
The Porta-Gym is specially designed to get around this. You can literally take it down and put it up in 5 minutes’ flat. To get around issues with carting weight stacks around, this gym is designed to work with your body weight.
An innovative idea. I will be watching this concept closely to see if it gets popular. You can check out the Porta-Gym for yourself on this amazon.co.uk product page.
Update: A newer option is the portable gym from Oyo. You might have seen this on TV adverts. This is a box, which gives you options for working out all the major muscle groups. You can check out my detailed review of the Oyo Portable Gym here.
If you have yet to try yoga, then you might not realise just how complete an activity this – for physical fitness as well as mentally. A mat is a very cost-effective way of taking your fitness activity outside.
You are not limited to yoga, that same mat can be used for Pilates, crunches, planks and various MMA training activities too.
I have compared many of the best selling yoga mats on this page – check it out now!
Heavy balls are a regular component of CrossFit type training, and really can give you an intensive workout. Taking a 10kg+ ball outside can give you the chance of doing more with it than you could indoors. If you have convenient wall (no windows close) then you’ll get the chance to throw this a little higher than normal. Please make sure you know how to work out with one, as these balls can be more intensive than many first-timers suspect.
The best sellers in this category at amazon.co.uk come from the ever popular Fitbeast look great and are designed not to bounce – ideal for building explosive strength! Check out this page at amazon for more.
You’ll need to be a bit more serious about your outdoor fitness for this next item – a perman
ent frame for body weight exercises. These come in different heights, allowing for parallel bar workouts, pull ups and other body weight exercises.
You’ll want to ensure stability here, so this is not the type of equipment to cut corners with. There are several options, if I had the space, this is the one I’d choose for myself:
I’ll include the half balls like the Bosu Balance trainer in this entry, though for most people the large inflatable swiss balls will be ideal.
If you have a lawn, then the body weight exercises you can do on a swiss ball can work out well. If you have no space for one of these giant balls inside your house, then you can even leave them outside.
All of the main brand names in fitness accessories have these balls, the size, colour and finish is up to you. Check out this listing page for the best sellers in the category – at a great price.
What can be better than an intensive session of kettlebell swings on the lawn on a sunny day? If you want to add some tone to your upper body this summer without ‘pumping iron’ in your local gym, then free weights could be just the ticket.
Another quick note (though it applies to all forms of fitness equipment), you need to learn to use kettlebells correctly before you swing – it is easy to get pulls and strains with these.
You can get a full set of vinyl coated kettlebells from the popular Fitness Mad at a bargain price. Check out the dedicated amazon.co.uk product page here.
I saved a fun one until last, though after a solid 15 minutes of twisting a hula hoop (or hoola hoop if you prefer), I’m sure you’ll also appreciate that this can be a good cardio workout. Most people think of the standard waist spin. If you get into this ‘sport’ you’ll quickly find that there is a lot more to it than that.
A big advantage here is that hoola hoops are very cheap. I’m not personally convinced that this is the answer to getting trim on its own. Alongside some of the other types of equipment listed here, it could well add an extra dimension to your workout.
Check out the range of weighted hula hoops (including some interesting examples!) available on this amazon.co.uk listing page.
There are plenty of options, with equipment to suit just about everyone – regardless of where they are in their fitness journey. I am sure that a couple of favourites jumped out for you… now, why not scan back through the list, with your other-half in mind? You never know, you might just inspire them to join you getting fit outdoors!
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