It’s nearly summer, it’s getting warmer, the days are getting longer and our clothes are getting smaller…
When it comes to summer workouts, no one wants to be stuck in a basement gym with 50 other sweaty dudes, sharing the same machines and missing out on the sunshiney fresh air that only hangs around for a hot London minute.
So, here at TOPMAN, we decided to change it up. We’ve halted our gym memberships and taken things a little more local.
Enter The Home Gym. Of the two editors working across TOPMAN one of us (hint: it’s me) is into the slow, mellow, and considered pace of a yoga workout. The other is all about the burn. Jumping and burpees and balance. As such, our home gyms look a little different to one another but we’ve both stocked up from the same place: MiraFit.
When looking for new gear, I wanted a really decent mat that would support my weight and be easy on my wrists. The Mandala yoga mat is 6mm thick and made from eco-friendly cork, has a solid foam backing and is entirely non-slip. I cycle to and from work so I often walk in the door a little stiff and the mat is the best place to work out aches and pains even if you’re not committing to a full hour of vinyasa.
To keep with the cork theme (because, to be honest, it’s the best looking) I also use a cork yoga wheel and block. The wheel looks like a piece of art and if, like me, you don’t have a tonne of room in your house, it can be seen without being seen if you know what I mean.
I use the wheel to practice, er, wheel pose and also to release any muscles in my back (upper and lower) that get tight from a day at the desk or even a big night out on the tiles.
The block is key if you have tight hips (most men do) and it makes it easier to sit in a simple cross-legged position so you don’t feel like your knees are up around your ears. Make sure your sit bones are square on it and gently lower your knees to the ground to a place they feel comfortable and eventually you won’t need to use it. If you don’t want to use the wheel, you can also use the block to sit under your upper on lower back to release those muscles.
The block has three ‘settings’ low, medium, and high. High should only be used if you’re advanced as there isn’t much surface area to work with.
And finally…the thing to remember with yoga is that there’s no right, no wrong, no good and no bad. Don’t start on the more advanced poses if you’re new to it. You’ll just end up hurting yourself. Don’t be a hero.