Creating a Home Gym Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
September 13, 2021
A workout is one of the best things you can do to support your body and mind. What’s the best exercise? One that you will actually do. Not something your friend loves and that has been working for them, but something that aligns with your purpose and your goals. Too often, we think of exercises as a slog. But what if it could be a source of joy rather than another chore?
Enter the home gym. It’s not for everyone. While some love the trek into an amenities-filled facility, others find it hard to actually get there. Whether because of time, cost, or simply not feeling comfortable, for some people having their own home workout oasis is just what they need to make a fitness routine a reality.
Bonus: Having your own workout space can save you both time and money. By being able to workout at home, you can be more flexible and you don’t have to spend time traveling. While there are some upfront costs, investing in your own equipment can save you cash on pricey membership fees over time. You can also customize your equipment based on the kinds of activities you like to do, and the amount of space you have.
Interested? Keep reading for some equipment ideas, based on your fitness needs and goals.
Regardless of your workout inclination, there are a few things no home athlete should go without. In fact, with just these two things, you’ve got yourself a completed home gym.
Exercise mat: A quality mat can serve multiple purposes, including as a home base for online yoga or aerobics classes, push-ups, crunches, and more. It also doubles as a dedicated place to stretch after every workout.
Cross-training sneakers: A good pair of cross-trainers is built to protect your feet and stabilize you during complex movements.
For the space saver.
Small spaces can still be home to a great workout. Along with your mat and sneakers, try adding these items to your setup to cover all your bases. They can all be stored easily in a closet.
Resistance bands – It’s hard to find a more versatile tool than a set of resistance bands. A single set of bands will provide a variety of weight resistance options and offer you the ability to work out any part of your body incredibly efficiently. They are lighter than a single dumbbell, take up less room, and are much easier on your joints. When you are done with your strength training, use the bands for some dynamic stretching as well.
Ab wheel – This seemingly innocent device will test your muscles from your shoulders down to your hip flexors. As you roll out on the wheel into an extended plank position, you are working your shoulders and back. When you roll in, you are really putting your core muscles to the test.
Jump rope – Jumping rope is one of the most efficient forms of cardiovascular exercise you can do in a minimal space. The average person can burn up to 10 calories per minute of jumping rope. According to one study, jumping rope for 10 minutes equals the cardiovascular improvement of 30 minutes of jogging.
For the weight lifter.
You don’t need a full set of heavy weights to build muscle. Try these at-home tools.
Kettlebells – They’ve been around since the 18th century, but kettlebells have become all the rage as the go-to for people who want to combine a strength and cardio workout. Because the weight isn’t evenly distributed like a dumbbell, it also forces you to use more of your core stabilizing muscles to swing the weight, which will also help you improve your balance and coordination.
Bosu ball – A Bosu ball looks like half of an exercise ball, with the other half being completely flat. Put the round side on the floor and grip the flat side, and basic exercises such as planks and push-ups become much more challenging. It’s a perfect way to recruit your stabilizer muscles to work during each exercise.
Adjustable Dumbbells – If you really miss those weights at the gym, a good set of adjustable dumbbells will give you an affordable variety of weight options that will allow you to isolate specific muscles when you are training.
For the competitor.
Get an edge on the competition with these cross-training tools. Whether your event is the marathon or the cycling race, adding these tools to your home gym can make you a more well-rounded athlete.
Air bike – If you don’t own a bike and are looking for one piece of cardio equipment, this is it. An air bike uses a fan as the front wheel to create resistance. The faster you pedal, the harder it gets. Use the swivel arms as well to get in a full body cardio workout in minutes.
TRX suspension trainer – A suspension trainer uses your bodyweight and gravity to challenge your strength, balance, stability and coordination. It can offer a very joint-friendly total body workout that’s endlessly interesting because of all the moves you can do with it.
Punching bag – There may not be a more fun way to get your cardio in and alleviate stress than the traditional boxing heavy bag. These days, you don’t have to hang anything from the ceilings or walls. You can get a stand that’s easy to assemble that will hold both the heavy and speed bags for a full strength and cardio workout.
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