Design trends: home gyms

Home fitness equipment should either be easy to hide or look so good that you want to keep it in plain sight.
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1. A rowing machine from WaterRower
If you must have bulky fitness kit, at least this rowing machine from WaterRower looks good and can be stored on end when not in use. It’s hand-crafted in the US from sustainable hardwood, with a design that uses water to reproduce the resistance of rowing a boat. From £699; cherry wood, £999; American black walnut, £1,099. Visit
2. Zumba Fitness Rush for Xbox Kinect
Stage a free Zumba class in your home any time. The Kinect camera (£129.99, or £249.99 complete with Xbox 360 games console) senses your movement as you copy the instructor. You choose the length and intensity of workout, pick favourite songs, and learn 24 dance styles as you get fit. Fun for all the family; £29. Visit
3. Get into shape with Philippe Starck
Fitness equipment becomes sculpture with Philippe Starck’s new Home/Gym/Office range for Italy’s Alias Design. It includes a barbell (pictured, from £110), barbell rack (£259), folding leather gym mat (£714) and jump rope (from £76): all gorgeous — and pricey — enough to leave them on show to visitors. From Poltrona Frau (020 7014 5980). Visit
4. Technogym Kinesis Personal Vision
With its mirror finish, touch controls and hidden weight stacks, this resistance trainer looks more like art than gym kit. It lets you make natural movements with as much or as little resistance as you want, so you can do anything from making Pilates tougher to improving your golf swing. Expensive at £8,980 but lovely. Visit
5. The fitbit one
This tiny gizmo clips to your clothes and clocks your every move. The Fitbit One is much more than a pedometer — its altimeter measures stairs climbed, and all the data is uploaded so you can track your activity. Worn on a wristband it can even track your sleep cycle and wake you silently in the morning without disturbing your partner. Priced £79.99. Visit
6. In tune with aria
The wifi-linked Fitbit Aria scales set measures your weight, BMI and body fat ratio and then messages all your friends to tell them the good news. It also uploads the details to where you can keep track of your progress and win badges when you reach your goals. Your personal site is, of course, password-protected and you decide how many friends, if any, are kept in the loop. £99.99. Visit
7. Ciclotte exercise bike
Quite the most stunning exercise bike ever, the Ciclotte is beautifully designed and remarkably engineered. You could happily have it on show in your living space. Plus there’s an optional iPhone/iPad handlebar stand, so you can catch up with emails during your morning workout. Available from Harrods, priced £8,800. Visit
8. Sony Walkman W273
This isn’t just a pair of sports headphones. It’s a pair of waterproof sports headphones with a built-in 4GB MP3 music player. Wear them while exercising at home, out running, in the gym, even in the swimming pool. The battery lasts eight hours and takes just a few minutes to charge. A bargain at £49. Visit
9. Coffee table bench
High-end gyms and for the home. Highlights include some very stylish exercise bars and this coffee table, called the Bankaa, which is made using walnut and easily transforms into an exercise bench. Price on application. Visit
10. Designer space
Architects can come up with novel ways to tidy away your home fitness gear — from hiding it in custom-built cupboards to designing a retractable floor to cover a sub-basement swimming pool. When Hugo Tugman, founder of Architect Your Home, was building a side return extension on his narrow Victorian terrace house, he came up with a great idea for tucking away his rowing machine. “It’s basically a very small basement, formed in concrete and tanked out, just deep enough for the machine to sit under the trap doors. I row shoulder-high to the floor, then I shut the doors and forget about it.” Four-hour initial consultation £599, plus VAT. Visit
11. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells
These clever, space-saving dumbbells let you select the weight you want to lift at the turn of a dial, from 2kg to 24kg. So you and your partner can each exercise with different weights, without a full set of 15 pairs of dumbbells cluttering up your home; £299. Visit
12. John Lewis TR3 Plus
A treadmill lets you walk, power-walk, jog or run, whatever the weather. And the gel cushioning in this model softens the impact on your joints. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, is Polar compatible and has a speaker to play your choice of music. Most importantly of all for a home treadmill, it folds up when not in use. Complete with five-year guarantee; £849. Visit
13. Elite Qubo Wireless
This small “turbo trainer” attaches to the back wheel of your road bike or mountain bike and turns it into a top-quality indoor bike. Use its LCD display or connect wirelessly to iPhone or iPad to track training and even upload routes from Google Maps – letting you simulate your favourite training rides, whatever the weather; £399. Visit

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