Home, Sweat Home

If your memory of home fitness is the Soloflex, get ready for some surprises

City dwellers often have little space, or time, to work out, but gone are the days of buying (largely) unused gym memberships. You’ll have no excuse as to why you’re not in your best shape after looking at these fitness innovations for the home.

Now even desk jockeys can now get their heart pumping at home. If you happen to be a workaholic as well as a workout-aholic, what you need is the Hammacher Schlemmer Treadmill Desk. The u-shaped desk spans any treadmill to provide a workstation for office tasks while you walk. Don’t worry, it’s spacious enough to accommodate all you need — computer, telephone, and it even comes with a paper stand, four-level file trays and cup holders. A multi-tasker’s fantasy!

Who says home gyms are all about compromises? It’s time to say goodbye to the ugly fitness equipment cluttering your home and ruining your chic interior. The new Tumidei XFit gym crams an entire gym into a stylish cabinet measuring approximately one square metre (90 x 60 x 160 cm to be exact). The groovy gym-in-a-box comes with a drill rest, a treadmill with top speeds of 16 kph and a 10 percent tilt, an exercise bench and two 2-kilogram chrome dumbbells. The best part is you get a pop-out 19-inch LCD TV and DVD player to distract you from body aches, though it will set you back a cool HK$49,000.

An alternative is the Home Fitness unit, a multi-functional set of objects for stretching your body. Designer Lucie Koldova said the fitness set is just “intended for the interior as contemporary furniture.” It essentially contains a funky cupboard-like black box that serves as a monkey bar. What’s more, even a simple dining table from the set allows for handy push-ups, and as Koldova said: “In objects pretending to be furniture, inherently you are constantly revealing hidden meanings.”

Still looking for something more exciting? Learn a few martial arts moves with an at-home fight club. Health Mark’s dual pad Kickboxing Station has up to four adjustable foam kicking and punching pads for different positions and heights — so that everyone in the family can enjoy the fun. Great for those who can’t live on treadmill and fitness bike alone.

For those who dream of conquering Mt Everest but are hampered by a fear of heights comes a substitute for the comfort of your home. The US manufactured MtEverClimb is an endless rope climbing machine that allows you to climb as long as you wish. With adjustable speed, power and direction that simulates authentic rope climbing, you can always create your own adventurous workout. It’s a safe and fun way to increase strength, stamina and get a whole-body workout, though it comes with a hefty price tag — almost US$8,000 to start.

Last but not least, the new Praxtour Indoor Racing Bike is sure to change your perception of boring fitness bikes. It’s a bike-racing simulator equipped with a 22-inch touch screen that displays the rider’s route with scenery. It follows closely a real racing bike in terms of size and riding position, and the Dutch company is expanding its library to include a number of routes on the Alps, including Mont Ventoux and the formidable Alpe d’Huez. The bike runs HK$46,800, but the great thing is you’ll get to compete in the Tour de France — even without being part of the peleton. Happy gyming!