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Credit crunch home gym

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In This Series

If you don’t have the funds or the space to invest in one of the set-ups in our home gym special, don’t worry. Sure, it would be nice to have a big room full of shiny new workout gear, but if that’s not an option, you can still exercise at home on a budget and get the body you want. 
The essential kit you need to burn fat and build muscle is a set of dumb-bells, a gym ball and a pull-up bar. These versatile bits of equipment let you target every single part of your body and – unlike some of the fancy pricier options – they won’t do any of the hard work for you. ‘Machines, and to a lesser extent barbells, let you get away with being weak on one side,’ says MF’s muscle expert Jason Anderson. ‘Dumb-bells mimic human movement, which helps give you better muscle symmetry. A gym ball is a good replacement for a bench because the instability increases muscle activation.’
Finally, no gym would be complete without a pull-up bar. ‘Classic exercises such as pull-ups are a true reflection of your strength,’ says Anderson. ‘You’re not in contact with the ground, so there’s a greater potential range of motion, which activates more muscles and aids muscle growth.’

All these products are available at Argos (opens in new tab). Reebok 75cm gym ball £12.99, V-Fit pull-up bar £7.99, York 20kg dumb-bell set £27.99, Total: £48.97

You can use your budget ensemble for almost any exercise, but if it’s a whole-body blast you’re after, click on the images on left for Jason Anderson's eight-move workout. And go to our exercise (opens in new tab) section for loads of other great routines.

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