The CDC reports that less than a quarter of Americans get the physical exercise they need. Is a lack of fitness equipment holding you back from getting in shape?
When you have the best home gym for your needs, working out becomes infinitely easier. Sure, you’ll still have to sweat. But having a combination of the right equipment lets you easily target the right muscle groups, while switching up your workouts to keep things interesting.
We’re here to help you get the exercise equipment that will help you reach your fitness goals. Read on before you start building your home gym!
The classic treadmill is still an essential for a reason. While running and walking outside might be more appealing sometimes, your treadmill gives you the option to get cardio in no matter what the weather’s like. Plus, you can watch T.V. while you do it!
To get the most out of your treadmill, find out that with lots of speed and incline levels so you can customize your workout. If you want a high-tech option, you can even find a treadmill that has virtual workouts programmed in.
An elliptical offers another valuable way to get cardio workouts in. While you might start with either a treadmill or an elliptical, having both in your exercise equipment collection is even better.
With an elliptical, you’re not just running: you also have the option to cross-train in all kinds of cool ways. It’s also easier on your joints than running on a treadmill is.
Use the handles to properly activate your upper body while you run, and try setting it to an incline or running “backward” to switch things up. A high-quality elliptical will level up the quality of your cardio workouts.
One more piece of equipment that’s crucial for your cardio is a stationary bike.
On a stationary bike, you have an incredible number of workouts you can do. Just think of the popular “spin” classes, which are conducted entirely on stationary bikes!
Like ellipticals, stationary bikes help save your joints from impact during cardio. But they also allow you to work out different body parts, and change things up easily to target new muscle groups. For example, simply raising your glutes off the bike seat while you pedal lets you target a whole new area.
When you want to target your lower body in particular, a stair climber is key. However, these machines also keep your upper body moving to give you an all-over cardio boost.
Stair climbers burn calories faster than running, and they help you focus on the muscles of the legs and glutes. Although your joints take a little more wear and tear on a stair climber than on an elliptical or bike, it’s still gentler than a treadmill.
A simple box is one of the most inexpensive yet versatile items a gym can have.
They allow you to do box jumps, calf raises, and more. They’re also great tools for your squats and other exercises.
If you want to do weight training, you’ll definitely want to have one of these adjustable benches in your gym. They also offer a great place for some bodyweight exercises.
Look for a bench with an adjustable backrest, so you can set it to an inclined position for certain workouts. You’ll also want a stable, durable bench since it’s sure to get a lot of use.
Barbells and Plates
You don’t need the biggest and most elaborate barbell set around to get the benefits. However, you will want to invest at least in a simple barbell at an appropriate weight, and plates to adjust as you go.
And, of course, don’t forget the storage rack for your barbell and plates.
Can’t do a pull-up yet? No problem! A pull-up bar is easy to install, but lets you do lots of different exercises inspired by gymnastics, as well as ordinary pull-ups.
Many pull-up bars are designed to be installed in a doorway, but you can also find ones that mount to the wall.
No gym is complete without a classic set of dumbbells. They open up the opportunity for an infinite number of workouts, targeting muscles all over the body.
It’s also incredibly easy to add intensity simply by reaching for slightly heavier dumbbells over time. That’s why you’ll want a set that ranges in weight from low to high. Also, don’t forget that some exercises actually work better with less weight but more reps.
Kettlebells might seem to follow the same concept as dumbbells. However, they activate the muscles in a different way, so it’s a good idea to have both. Get a set that includes several weights and sizes.
To keep your core activated, and work the upper and lower body, a “medicine ball” or exercise ball works beautifully.
Some are very heavy, but lighter ones actually work nicely with exercises that involve throwing and catching, giving you more options.
You can also get a set of medicine balls in a variety of sizes and weights to get the most from your workouts.
Sometimes, the best things come in small packages.
With a set of resistance bands, you can target just about any muscle group, and add resistance even if you don’t have access to a specific machine. This makes resistance bands a great tool for home gyms, especially smaller gyms that don’t have a ton of equipment.
They come in a range of strengths from light to heavy. You can also double up on bands to get even more resistance if you need it.
Ready to Build Your Fitness Equipment Collection?
With the right fitness equipment, working out can feel almost easy.
Work smarter, not harder: good equipment helps you get more out of your workouts in less time. And with high-quality exercise tools that you love, your workouts can even start to seem fun.
Looking for ideas on how to build a home gym you’ll love? Don’t miss this guide!