Necessary Equipment for Starting a Home Gym
You already commute to work, so why should you have to commute to your gym? That's a lot of work for not a lot of reward. Traffic, limited hours, high membership fees, and crowds all add up to a lot of headache just to lose some pounds and inches. But it doesn't have to be that way at all if you build a home gym. Aside from convenience, a home gym allows you to control your costs. It can be as grand or as minimal as you like. If you don't like the layout, you can change it. Try bringing up suggestions to your local gym staff and see how fast they're implemented, if they're even implemented at all.
Stuck on what to buy to make your home gym dreams come true? When it comes to necessary equipment for getting a home gym off the ground, we came up with seven staples that will keep you in shape all year long, with no monthly membership fees required.
1 - Jump Rope
A jump rope may take you back to the good old days of childhood, but today's exercise ropes are way more flexible than the schoolyard variety. You have your pick of what jump rope to invest in, from the classic jump rope all the way up to sleek speed ropes that are designed for fast double-unders. If you're interested in HIIT-style workouts, you'll definitely want to add a jump rope or two to your list. Pick one rope for general cardio work and another when you really want the challenge of adding speed to the mix.
2 - Dumbbells
Dumbbells let you do just about everything you want in a workout: presses, weighted squats, dips, and plenty of one-handed workout moves as well. If you're going to pick up a set of dumbbells, make sure that you don't go overboard. As your strength increases, you can add more weight. Burnout while lifting is very real, so it pays to be careful and increase your weights slowly.
3 - Kettlebells
Since dumbbells are on the list, it may sound like adding kettlebells just isn't important. However, anyone that's actually done work with kettlebells will tell you one thing: the unique bell shape requires different handling compared to its standard dumbbell counterpart. You can mix and match dumbbells and kettlebells through your workout, but one-handed operation is much more fluid with the kettlebells. Like any other weight, you don't need many to get started. A good 20kg kettlebell lets you really get a challenge and it's flexible enough to use for explosive workout moves as well.
4 - Resistance Bands
Like the jump rope, resistance bands give you freedom to workout in a very compact form. You can take resistance bands all over your gym, or even bring them to the backyard for a change of pace. Resistance bands are often sold as a set of various sizes. You can attach the bands to any fixed surface and get plenty of time under tension, which is half the battle in terms of workout success.
5 - Bench
A good bench lets you do all sorts of workouts with ease, and it's much more comfortable than trying to do everything on the floor. An adjustable bench gives you the ability for decline bench presses, incline bench presses, and other press-work that keeps your upper body primed for adventure. Make sure that the bench has some cushion to it, because your workouts will have you in the seat for an extended amount of time. Cleaning your bench after every use will help keep it functional for a long time, making it a fantastic addition to your home gym plans.
6 - Barbells
Since you're already picking up an adjustable bench, you potentially have the storage space for barbells. There are so many different barbells on the market, from the standard bar you see at the gym, all the way up to barbells made for Olympic weightlifting moves. Unless you see yourself training for breaking your clean and jerk personal record, you can probably just stick to the standard bar. While we're on the subject of buying barbells, make sure that you don't go overboard on your plates. It can feel tempting to pick up every single weight, but you want to tie it to your current activity level, with just a little room for growth. You can always buy more plates after you've given yourself time to consistently work out.
7 - Pull-Up Bar
Upper body strength is just as important as tending to the lower body. A good pull up bar can attach to a doorway, or you can purchase a standalone unit that won't take up that much space in your home gym. Even if you don't see yourself doing any pull-ups currently, you can train to improve in less time than expected. Adding long resistance bands can help your body get the pull-up motion memorized in less time. Choose a bar that will be able to hold your weight with ease. Every bar should have a general weight limit posted. There are plenty of pull-up bar failures on YouTube to demonstrate that a cheap bar isn't necessarily a good bar to start with. Invest today to avoid the pain of falling tomorrow. The excitement of a home gym shouldn't keep you from looking carefully at the instructions and setting up your bar properly.
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