Kelly Hoppen reveals her home gym – and her workout secrets

by fitness journalist

Think Kelly Hoppen, and two things will probably spring to mind: her signature contemporary aesthetic, and her extraordinary physique. This is a woman who, at the age of 61, can post a workout selfie to make most of us weep. And the way she uses her own home exercise space is, she believes, crucial to how she looks and feels.

Having a personal gym is nothing new for Hoppen’s clientele – “I’ve designed thousands, all of them different,” she says – but what has changed, in light of the pandemic, is what people want from their workout, and where they want to do it.

“You can have a very simplified gym to make it work at home now,” she says. “You can really be quite minimal with it.” And, she adds, you don’t have to hide it away: “The interesting factor is that our whole mindset has changed. It’s like with televisions: 40 years ago we were all hiding them, but now, technology is embraced. I think we’re looking at gym equipment in the same way.”

Her own gym (pictured top) at her home is a case in point: rather than being a separate space, it forms part of a sitting room, and is furnished with a chic lounge chair (the Etcetera by Jan Ekselius), a sculptural screen, and a series of artworks hung in formation on the walls. “I think it’s accepted today, that you can have your gym equipment on show,” she says. “Before, people might have thought it looked as though you can’t have a gym, so you’ve got your stuff in a corner, but now I think it’s actually quite cool to do it this way. This is an eclectic space, so it works here.” 

The laidback-luxe look of Hoppen’s gym is directly related to the way she now works out. “Over the last five years, I’ve stopped running, because I found that it wasn’t really doing much for me,” she says. “I do fast walking, weights, mobility exercises and a lot more bandwork, and I’m actually smaller than I was before. I’ve found what exercise works for me, and it means you don’t really need much in the way of equipment.” 

The key piece of kit she has here is a Technogym bench, which incorporates elastic bands, dumbbells, weighted knuckles and a training mat, facilitating over 200 different exercises. “The beauty of it is the arm pulls, which allow a combination of pilates and weights,” says Hoppen. “You can stretch and mobilise your body, so you’re lengthening the muscle as well as building it, which really appealed to me.” 

But for the most part, her list of home-gym essentials is relatively brief: an exercise ball, bands, a mat, a couple of hand weights and mirrors for checking your posture; no basement supergym necessarily required.

“If anything positive could come out of this pandemic, I think people have looked at wellbeing and realised that they don’t have to go to a conventional gym,” says Hoppen. “Your own body weight, and bands and weights, can give you just as much strength, plus it’s good for your bone density and your mental health. You don’t really need a lot of space to do it.” 

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This content was originally published here.

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