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I and my wife would like to purchase one or multiple pieces of training equipment / machines, so we can do all our fitness from home. The general requirements in this context are:

  1. Nothing that puts any strain on the knees
  2. The combined compilation of devices need to handle both cardio and strength training needs.
  3. Space is not an issue.

Now I already asked for advice a friend who already has some experience and he suggested to take:

  1. Indoor cycling bike (specifically an assault bike) (and he advised explicitly against an upright bike due to the fact that it apparently puts more strain on the joints)
  2. A cage with an integrated bench and weights (apparently there is only so much you can do with your own weight)

We were also at a sports equipment shop to get some additional advice where we were advised as products to take:

  1. Weightlifting bench with weights combined with some kind of ability to do pullups (thus probably a cage or a vertical ladder).
  2. Elliptical (in comparison of a treadmill your legs are each on a platform thus there should not be an impact for the knees)
  3. Water rowing machine (my wife especially liked this one)
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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Alec
    Sep 5, 2022 at 8:24
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    I took the liberty of removing the call for opinion answers from the question. On this site, we require answers to be based in science, and not be someone's opinion. I also caution against discussing brands and specific hardware. Recommending categories of equipment is fine (which the question asks for), but recommending a brand or model is not ok here. This is mostly a warning to potential answerers, and is not targeted at you, Noir :)
    – Alec
    Sep 5, 2022 at 8:29
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    @Alec thank you, much appreciated, I got the feeling we were going more and more off topic. Indeed just the category of the equipment would be required.
    – Noir
    Sep 5, 2022 at 9:58
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    Indeed. An by all means, go to the general chat for the Fitness site, if you just want to bounce some ideas off people. The chat room doesn't have the same strict rules applied to it.
    – Alec
    Sep 5, 2022 at 10:32

1 Answer 1

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Have you considered something like a few kettlebells?

1. Nothing that puts any strain on the knees

Kettlebell swings involve minimal knee bend, and work to strengthen the glutes (which tend to be understrength in those with non-injury based knee pain).

2. The combined compilation of devices need to handle both cardio and strength training needs

Kettlebells are great for both strength and cardio. From things like Brett Jones's Iron Cardio to minimalist programs like Simple and Sinister to kettlebell sport and any of the training programs for it.

For cardio based goals, you can do things like Strong Endurance based protocols such as 3 swings every 30 seconds for 30 minutes (an example of one session in a program) or kettlebell sport 5 minute half snatch sets up to something insane like kettlebell sport 30 minute half marathon or 60 minute marathon events. If you combine any of those with something simple like regular zone 2 training, which can be had by going for a fast walk a lot of the time (admittedly that does move away from being home based, but might still be a workable option), that should cover the majority of your cardio bases.

Any of the above will get you stronger, but there are more strength based programs as well, such as Geoff Neupert's double kettlebell programs or honestly most of the StrongFirst programs they publish on their articles page.

About the only thing that you'll struggle to get with a kettlebell only program is vertical pulling, e.g. pull ups, so something like a power rack / power tower / free standing pull up bar / door frame pull up bar / etc, might be an idea as well

3. Space is not an issue

Great! Kettlebells don't take up much room (I've training in a 2m x 2m space for several weeks before), but having more space just means more options.

The main thing most people struggle with is consistency. You can get great results for both cardio and strength with a jump rope and bodyweight exercises, but most people will look for more entertaining options and seek novelty in their training than actually sticking to the same thing for long enough to reap the benefits from it. I made outstanding progress in both my cardiovascular and strength training by following Pavel's Simple and Sinister program with just a 24kg kettlebell for over a year during the pandemic and various lockdowns in the UK.

You don't need lots of expensive equipment to get outstanding results, just consistency and a semi-decent program.

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