Today I want to talk to you about the awesomeness that is Home Gyms.
While I like to visit my local CrossFit gym on a regular basis, I totally get that going to an actual gym isn’t always for everyone. Working out from home has a lot of advantages. You don’t have to deal with membership costs, working out in a crowded space, not having certain machines available, uncleaned equipment, driving to and from the gym…it could even be that you just don’t have the time to get to the gym during the day due to work, children, and just, you know, LIFE!
Or maybe, you already have that gym membership but there are just some days when you’d rather not leave the house.
That’s what is so great about having your own home gym; aside from saving yourself some money, having one means that you really won’t be able to come up with too many excuses to skip your workout. And when it’s your own gym, you can do whatever you want, at any time of the day, all from the comfort of your own home!
By creating a home gym, you are creating a safe and open space for yourself.
So in this post, I’m going to share some essential equipment for your home gym, as well as bonus items that help take it up a notch.
7 Essential Pieces of Equipment, Their Benefits, & What To Buy:
- Mat: There are a few things to think about when choosing an exercise mat. You want to make sure it doesn’t tear, shred, or slide easily. A good exercise mat may be expensive at first, but the pricier ones usually come with a lifetime warranty, and are well worth the money because they’ll last forever, and can take the beating you give it during high intensity workouts, dropping weights on them, using them as padding for kettlebells, etc. Kharma Khare mats fit the bill. No break in period required, no slipping, and can handle the wear and tear of any workout.
Dumbbells: Whether it’s free weights or adjustable dumbbells, these are a basic and must have pieces of equipment. They can provide you guys with huge range of exercises, be incorporated into other exercises (like squats!), and grow with you as you advance in your fitness levels. Find the adjustable dumbbells here and find a great brand of free weights here
Resistance/Power Bands: These bands are awesome and challenge your muscles in ways that dumbbells can’t. They improve your balance, reduce joint pain, activate certain muscle fibers, improve speed of movement and make your body more elastic. They are lightweight and awesome for portability and travel. There a few different type of bands. Check out the loop bands here. You can find a complete set of stackable resistance bands here.
Jump Rope: Jumping rope is a GREAT calorie burner! Just 10 minutes of skipping rope is about equivalent to running an 8-minute-mile. It’s great for cardio and conditioning, and is a super effective piece of equipment to include in your gym, and just like the resistance bands, it’s portable and great for travel.
Kettlebells: If you want to get really serious about your fitness, and have a great home gym set up, you need some kettlebells. What’s so great about using a kettlebell is that it involves the whole body, making a workout just as good as if you had been on a machine. If you had to pick one piece of home equipment to use to stay in shape for the rest of your life, make it a kettlebell. Kettlebells help improve your muscle tone, body composition, and overall strength. They can even help to strengthen your tendons and ligaments, which overtime will make your joints tougher and less-susceptible to injury. Kettlebells are not exactly cheap, but they are indestructible, and will last you forever. Start with a medium size and when you can, get a heavy one for lower body workouts.
Stability/Swiss Ball: These things are great for adding some fun and challenge to your moves! Exercising with these can help you to gain good overall muscle tone for your entire body and improve your core stability, posture, and muscle balance. The stability ball can even help with rehabilitating back, hip, and knee injuries.
Foam Roller: Most people skip foam rolling or the cool down part of a workout, and yet, this is just as important as the workout itself. A foam roller is used to inhibit overactive muscles by working on your mobility and benefits your body by avoiding the cross linking of your fascia. Fascia is a fibrous layer of connective tissue which surrounds all of the muscles in your body. And without keeping things mobile and loose, this tissue can begin to bind to your muscles and nerves, causing your normal movements to become tiresome and even causes you some pain. Foam rolling increases blood flow and can even act as a form of self-massage. This piece of equipment is great for those who particularly tight muscles or suffer from severe trigger points, and is an essential component of a balanced workout.
6 Non-Essential But Pretty Awesome Additions For Your Home Gym
You can get so much done with the equipment mentioned above. It really is all you need to get in a great home workout. But, if you’re looking to take things up a notch, are more advanced in your fitness, are serious about getting in the best shape of your life, and/or are looking for a challenge, then the equipment below are great additions to take your home gym from good to GREAT!
Pull Up Bar: Pull-ups help to work your entire upper body, especially the muscles in your back, and even your abs and biceps. According to Dr. Mercola, “Your back muscles are also involved, and pullups are an excellent tool for strengthening and elongating those muscles. If you do pullups regularly, you may find that your posture begins to improve. As a multi-joint, dynamic and compound movement, pullups work many muscles all at once.” While you may be only just working up to doing pull-ups, having one of these bars will eventually be one of best piece of fitness equipment you could ever own! If you have the space, here is a pull up stand you can use, but if you have limited space, a doorway pull up bar will be for you.
Barbell: According to Mark Rippetoe from Starting Strength, “barbell training is the best way to train for strength. Bar none. Nothing else even comes close to the effectiveness of barbell squats, presses, deadlifts, and the Olympic lifts for the development of strength, power, and muscular size. The reason barbells are so very valuable is that they are the most ergonomically-friendly load-handling tool in existence – they allow very heavy weights to be gripped in the hands and moved directly over the center of the foot. Their extremely adjustable nature allows small increases in stress to be applied to the whole body over the full range of motion of all your major leverage systems; these small increases accumulate into amazing gains in size and strength for many uninterrupted years of progress”. ‘Nuff said!
Foam Plyo Box: Perfect for people who have bad knees, having a box set up in your home gym is ideal when it comes to doing exercises like box jumps, step-ups, and even squats. For beginners, you may find yourself struggling to maintain proper posture and key breathing guidelines. Using a box can assist with eliminating these issues and even improve your balance; no worrying about falling or tipping over! Using a foam plyo box over traditional wooden boxes helps protect your shins and joints by jumping onto a soft, impact-absorbing surface.
Agility Ladder: These ladders look so simple and easy, but do two rounds on them and you will be left breathless! Fairly inexpensive, this ladder helps you to focus on and improve your general quickness, foot speed, eye-hand coordination, and overall body awareness. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that agility training is as effective or more effective than traditional military physical training at enhancing physical fitness. According to Will Elson, personal training manager at New York Health and Racquet Club in New York City, “In addition, agility training had the added benefit of improving cognitive performance as well, including memory and vigilance. It's a great exercise to force someone to focus, to learn a movement pattern and be able to execute it without looking down… The body is learning something new."
Suspension Trainers: These are ropes and webbing which allow you to work against your body weight. They can improve your balance and flexibility, all while building muscle throughout your body. If you include these in your home gym, consider looking into TRX. TRX is considered to be an amazing cardio workout, a resistance and muscle flexibility workout, and helps to improve your balance as well! Suspension training allows you to deliberately change your center of gravity, which challenges your muscles in new and different ways, and provides greater performance and functionality than large exercise machines costing thousands of dollars.
Dollar Workout Club: If you want to work out at home, but you don’t know what to do or when, then being part of an online workout service can provide you the guidance and support you need. I co-founded Dollar Workout Club to help take the guess work out of what exercises you should be doing, help you get in shape, from the comfort of your home, hotel, or wherever you may be, with a supportive and caring community. As a hassle-free member of Dollar Workout Club you get: workouts, recipes, and motivation videos that go wherever you go. New videos and content each and every week, access to an extensive library of recipe videos with instruction, monthly live webinars and Q&A sessions, exclusive articles, videos and nutritional information, no monthly gym membership fees or expensive commitment required.
My 6 Month Transformation Program has everything you need to transform your life from your very own home! Check it out here
Alright guys, I hope this information helps when it comes to putting together your own home gym.
And if you’re putting together your gym now, let me know! Always love to hear from you guys!