Building a home gym comes with a number of fantastic benefits. Gym memberships can be expensive, and in the long run home gyms can save you a lot of money. Just getting to the gym can be a pain. It’s much easier to motivate yourself to work out when you don’t have to leave the house, and it’s less time-consuming as well. Finally, one of the biggest advantages is that you don’t have to share your home gym with the general public. That means your favorite machines are always open, you only listen to the music you like, and strangers aren’t sweating all over your equipment. Sounds pretty nice, right? If you have the space and the money for the upfront cost, a home gym is a great option to stay in shape. We know everyone’s fitness goals are different, but there are a few gym staples that will help anyone build a great home gym. Here are a few of the best starter choices for gym equipment that will have you working out in the comfort of your own home in no time: Cardio Equipment A good cardio workout is the best way to work up a sweat and burn calories. While there are a number of ways to get your heart rate up – including low-cost or no-cost exercises like burpees, jumping jacks or jump rope – for a long cardio workout you’re probably going to need a decent machine. Here are a few great options:
- Treadmills: for the walkers, joggers, and runners, nothing beats a treadmill. Treadmills let you run to your heart’s content without having to suffer through extreme weather or temperatures. And to switch it up, many modern treadmills have different programming pre-sets to adjust your workout – for instance, interval training or various inclines. As for price, treadmills can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands – so know what you’re looking for and research your options before you buy.
- Rowing Machines: Rowing machines let you sit down, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy workout. Rowing burns calories fast, has great cardiovascular benefits, and works almost all the muscles in your body. Rowers are generally much cheaper than your average treadmill as well.
- Exercise Bikes: Just like treadmills, exercise bikes give you the benefit of the exercise without having to experience the weather. Most are programmable or come with pre-set workouts with different difficulty and training levels. Exercise bikes are fairly inexpensive, but do your research on quality – you don’t want something that breaks down quickly.
- Dumbbells: For a beginner’s home gym, the best way to start with lifting is a set of dumbbells of varying weight. They’re inexpensive, don’t take up much space, and can be used in dozens of ways to build muscle. Or, consider adjustable dumbbells which you can easily set to the weight needed for your set of lifts.
- Barbell and Weight Set: All you need to perform many of the exercises that gym machines provide is a barbell, a set of weight plates to put on that barbell, and a weightlifting bench. If you’re starting out, there’s no need to be intimidated – you can put on any weight you desire, and so barbells lifting can be challenging or relatively easy.
- Medicine balls: Medicine balls can be used in a number of great workouts that target all body parts, especially your core. If you want a strong core, a medicine ball gives you many great exercise options.
- Resistance bands: Resistance bands look like giant rubber bands, and come in many different sizes and resistance levels. You can use them to target your arms, legs, and even make common exercises more challenging.
- Foam rollers: For recovery after a hard workout, foam rollers are essential. They work out tough spots in tight muscles and speed up the recovery process. And yes, this process hurts sometimes – the same way a massage does. That’s because it’s breaking up tension in tight, sore muscles. Check out our blog on some of the best foam rolling exercises to learn more.
- Entertainment: Do you know what can make a long workout unnecessarily difficult? Thinking too hard about the workout while you’re doing it. Music, television, and even audiobooks can help you concentrate on something other than the hard work while your body takes over.