The biggest benefit of a home gym is convenience. Most gyms are not open 24 hours. When you have a home gym, you can squeeze in a workout any time of the day. Even if you’re the mother of three, with a home gym, you can find time to fit in a workout without worrying about finding childcare first.
You can also workout in any clothes you choose. For some people, going to the gym can be a stressful event. Wearing the right workout clothes and looking presentable can be a chore. At home what you wear isn’t an issue.
So, the next time you’re trying to find an excuse not to go to the gym, consider creating one at home. It will be harder to come up with reasons not to use it and you may just look forward to your next workout.
If you have the space, a home gym can be a worthwhile investment. We are all busy people and most of us are pretty adept at finding reasons not to go to the gym. If we only have to go into the next room, exercising gets a lot easier! Once you decide to build a gym, you have to decide what sort of equipment to buy.
You don’t have to buy every piece of equipment mentioned. Choose the ones that you’ll use on a regular basis. You can always add more in the future. Working out on your own isn’t for everybody. Some people would buy this equipment and never use it, because they actually find better motivation in group classes. However, if you are self-motivated, it’s a great investment that will last for years.
Using free weights can incorporate strength and conditioning training while also working on flexibility and core stabilization.
To get started on a great home gym, you should invest in the following items:
- Dumbbells – The exercises you can do with dumbbells are seemingly endless, so they justify their purchase immediately. Get 3-5 sets in a range of weights.
- Pull Up Bar – Pull up bars aren’t just for pull ups! There are a number of basic gymnastic exercises you can practice if you have a pull up bar installed at home. If you can’t yet do pull ups, you’ll want to buy some resistance bands for assistance.
- Jump Rope – Jump ropes aren’t really equipment, but they are a must for your gym. If you haven’t jumped rope since you were a kid, you’re in for a surprise! It’s harder than it looks and it’s fantastic cardio. Jumping rope also improves your coordination. If you are a beginner, just get a durable rope and don’t worry about details. If you have some jumping skill, look for either a wire lightweight rope to work on speed and timing or a weighted rope to work on strength.
- Treadmill – There are a multitude of treadmills on the market, priced from $499 to $4,000. You are likely to find that a treadmill’s cost directly reflects its quality. There are machines that fold up to be stored under a bed or in a closet. Visit a fitness store, try them out, and pick the one you like best.
- Medicine Ball – A medicine ball is an essential purchase. Whether you are throwing it, carrying it, or doing abdominal exercises with it, a medicinal ball provides you with many options. Look for a soft ball so that it is forgiving when you do exercises involving throwing and catching it. If you are not sure about weight, err on the lighter side as many medicine ball exercises emphasize speed and power.
- Exercise Bike – Exercise bikes work your legs, heart and lungs without putting impact or stress on your joints. They have always been very popular pieces of cardiovascular equipment because the exercise motion is very familiar to most people. You can set your own pace, and even read while exercising.
- Barbell – Your home gym would not be complete without a barbell. Barbells, like other free weights, are much better than the machines at the gym because of the stabilization and coordination aspects they bring to your workouts. Look for a sturdy, not too cheap and not too expensive bar. If you have small hands, pay attention to the diameter of the bar.
- Weight Plates – You need some weight to put on your barbell. Buy a variety of weights from two and a half to forty-five pounds.
- Exercise Mat – Whether you’re going to do pushups, sit ups, yoga or any move on the floor, you want a little bit of cushion between you and the floor.
- Exercise Bench – Many exercises can be performed without it, but a flat bench can ensure you’re doing them right. For chest presses, military presses, step ups and more, this is a great piece of equipment for your gym.
- Punching Bag – Punching bags and speed bags are the perfect tools for staying in shape. They engage the entire body in all-around exercise, improve mental focus, and provide an emotional catharsis; it is no coincidence that action movie characters let off steam at the punching bag when in a state of upheaval. Ask a professional for help choosing the bag that’s right for your workout.
- Resistance Training System – If you’re on a bigger budget and looking to do it all in one space, consider looking at an apparatus or resistance training system that allows you to do just about every exercise. Find one that also allows you to work outside of the apparatus with your bench and dumbbells when desired.