If we say the words 'home gym', the image that comes to mind will probably be one of a room in a luxurious mansion filled with super-sophisticated machines… or at very least, a treadmill in a garage.
In reality, though, you can knock together a decent, functional fitness centre in your living room for less than €100. And while choosing the equipment is the easy part – knowing what to do with it is decidedly trickier, and we'll cover that off in good time – these six items should help you get started.
1. Power bands
If I'm heading away for a few days and want to keep up some level of fitness while I'm away, these are the only things I need to bring. The range of things you can do with them is stunning, from strength work (standing on the band for bicep curls) to mobility and flexibility (pull-aparts and assisted stretches) – and they're fantastically compact as well.
If you only buy one thing, make it a set of these yokes.
2. A speed rope
It's no secret that skipping is incredible cardio work, and that's why the cheap and simple but brilliant speed rope should be part of any home gym setup. You can also use it for stretches, rope jumps and pretending to be a cowboy.
3. A kettlebell
It's tempting to invest in a whole set of these things – but even just starting with one will give you a whole range of options, from swings to weighted squats, weighted lunges and (if you feel like really punishing yourself) weighted wall sits.
4. Foam roller
Staying injury free should be a major objective of any fitness programme – not only will foam rolling serve that purpose, but it will also leave you feeling loose, flexible and generally brilliant.
It's not always particularly comfortable, but stick it in front of the telly and roll out those hamstrings while you're watching The Walking Dead; you won't notice a thing.
5. Hockey ball
For when you're trying to get a bit more deep, with a bit more precision. Excellent for glutes, shoulders and rolling out the soles of your feet.
6. A mat
If you're going for a lean-but-effective home gym setup, you're going to be using your own bodyweight a lot. So investing in one of these will not only provide a focus to your workstation while you exercise, but it will also save you from getting bits of carpet all over your clothes and in your mouth.
Trust me, it happens.
7. A bench
This is about as hi-tech as we're going to get here, people – and even at that, we're looking at the low end of the market. A simple bench is great for dips, glute bridges, assisted push-ups, and (if it has a foot bar at the end) sit-ups and ab work.
Oh, and if you're having a party you can use it as a bit of extra seating.