Home Gym Essentials
Having a home gym can provide the impetus you need to work harder toward your fitness goals, if for no other reason than it makes working out more convenient. Perhaps you prefer to sweat and “get your fitness on” in a private environment where prying eyes are limited to just your immediate family. Maybe you are constantly coming up with excuses not to make the drive to the gym, or you just appreciate the freedom of working out at odd hours when your gym is closed. Whatever your motivation, setting up a home gym is not that difficult. Keep reading to learn the essentials you need to make the most of your home gym setup.
Now the biggest drawback of course is cost. How do you create a gym with all the tools you need to stay fit without breaking the bank? Here are some relatively low-cost solutions for you to consider.
Dumbbells are among the most versatile pieces of equipment for the home gym, and since they’re also affordable, you can likely add three or more sets in a variety of weights to your home gym lineup. A set of dumbbells puts the equipment you need at your fingertips for an array of exercises, based on the area where you’re looking to add strength. Some people find hex-shaped fixed dumbbells to be the most comfortable during their workouts, while others prefer the adjustable variety. Choose the ones that you’re most confident using, and you are sure to soon find yourself using them more.
For building resilience, perhaps no equipment beats kettlebells. Kettlebells challenge your muscles and help build overall core strength while enhancing your grip. Kettlebells are a bit more challenging than dumbbells, since their centers-of-gravity shift during use, which builds coordination. Use them during cardio for even more intensity.
Gain strength with a resistance band. The constant tension provided by a resistance band during your lifting exercises provides a real workout for your muscles, and it is easy to use the band to increase your workout’s intensity as you progress toward your goals. With bands available offering anywhere from 15 to 120 pounds of resistance, finding your sweet spot or working towards higher resistance levels is easy. Interestingly, resistance bands are one of the best pieces of equipment to get to your slow twitch muscle fibers.
Barbells and Weight Plates
Barbells and weight plates may be old school – but they’re still around for a reason: they work. Barbells and other free weights remain the very best option when it comes to bulking up while simultaneously adding strength and enhancing coordination and stabilization. Go for a sturdy barbell that feels comfortable in hand, and then invest in a number of weight plates from 2.5 up to 45 pounds.
Build quickness and power with a plyo box. Choose (or even build your own) box that you can use for stepping and jumping exercises and that doubles as a bench for seated movements, including curls, extensions and presses. Plyo boxes can even become a do-it-yourself project. Most are nothing more than a box built of plywood and screws.
Pull-Up Bar or Power Tower
Round out your home gym with a pull-up bar system that you install easily between the frame of a door. Use this simple contraption for building and toning muscles in the back, forearms and biceps via classic pull-ups and chin-ups. A power tower, which is a freestanding pull-up bar, also gives you a place to add exercises such as hanging leg raises and abdominal routines.
These are a few essentials to get your home gym started. Build a more personalized inventory of equipment as your fitness level increases and your workout goals evolve.