The home gym is an option many people take on because they love fitness but don’t want or can’t afford monthly gym fees. With some gyms charging up to fifty bucks per month if not more, who can blame them? But, if you are going with the home route you need to make sure what you have will get the job done!
Every home gym is built differently. Most have the basics of a barbell and dumbbell set. In some cases you might have a flat bench or incline bench and maybe a bench press station. Really gung-ho people even have universal stations or other machines. But for this article we will focus on the average person.
Most of us have limited space to work with and a small budget. So with that in mind we are looking at great items we can add relatively cheaply that do not take up too much room. But we added a couple of higher priced ‘wish list’ items as well.
Great Home Gym Adds
- Resistance Bands – These are becoming more popular for constant tension and are great for isolation exercises. It will never be the same as using a barbell but it is great for trips and still helps work your muscles. A great starting point is a 50 to 75 pound resistance band.
- Kettlebell – If you are into athletics at all and train more for functional muscle than a pure bodybuilding standpoint then you need a kettlebell. They are great for providing a challenging strength workout that includes a cardio and explosive aspect to it. The 16 kg bell is a great starting point (35 pounds) with the 24kg bell (53 pounds) being the next one to buy. You should go lighter to start so you can master moves comfortably before jumping up in weight.
- Suspension Straps- These toys are bit more expensive but highly portable. If you are working at home these can provide great options for training your core and doing exercises like reverse rows. You just need a doorframe, branch, or other high anchor point and you are ready to rock.
- Swiss Ball – These are becoming very commonplace in most gyms and should take up space in your home gym. They are a cheap addition starting at $25-$30 and help get you the best abdominal and core workout possible. They are also great for balance and coordination exercises.
- Medicine Ball – Smaller and heavier than a Swiss ball, these make nice additions to a gym. In a sense they can be used like smaller kettlebells ad incorporated into core exercises as well as rotator cuff and other joint exercises.
- Nestled Dumbbells – If you have the money then this is the best addition for a home gym because of the space they save. You can by a great brand like PowerBlock that goes up to 90 pounds and yet takes up a small corner of space. Honestly if I had the money it would be a set of these to go with a barbell set.
- Treadmill – If you are going to buy a piece of cardio equipment then go with the treadmill. You can walk or run as well as adjust the incline to provide a varied routine. High intensity interval training is the best way to burn calories and fat; running burns the most calories. Obviously combining the two is a no-brainer. As the weather gets cold you need to keep active so why not do it at home.
- Plyo Box – The plyo box is a great piece of exercise equipment. It can be used for both explosive training for sports and cardio. A 3 in 1 plyo gives you multiple options for your training and is a very versatile piece of equipment.