The idea of setting up a home gym may be a good one, but it can also be intimidating or needlessly expensive, often buying expensive cable machines that are cumbersome and restricted in their versatility. However, with a few smart, and generally inexpensive, purchases, such as yoga mats and hand injury recovery tool, you will have a gym at home that is both versatile and effective.
We‘ve broken down what we think you need for a home gym into two categories; those items we deem essential, and others that are nice to have and very useful, but might be expensive or require a lot of space.
- Yoga Mat: Mats come in a wide variety of sizes, thicknesses, and grip so depending on your physique and your training routine, you might have to test a few if possible. Prices are on a wide spectrum. Pureful Yoga can help you clean your mat, and keep it looking new.
- Foam Roller: Your fitness regime should include stretching and recovery. A foam roller is going to help open up your joints, soften up muscle fibres and promote blood flow while working some heat into the body. Best of all, they are very inexpensive.
- Resistance Bands: They can be bought individually or as a set of varying resistance strengths. Great for stretching, mobility work, gymnastics, and strength training; resistance bands are a great substitute for weights.
- Medicine Ball: The easiest foray into ballistic weights training. Normally rubber or padded, from 1kg in weight and up, the uses of a medicine ball are only limited by your imagination. See if these are total gym fit, use them and see if they are,.
- Skipping Rope: Want to do some cardio, but it’s too cold to go outside? A skipping rope is all you need. Various skipping exercises can also benefit other facets of training, like forearm and ankle strength to name just two.
- Kettlebells: Total body conditioning? Check. Improved balance, core strength, and stability? Check. A wide range of uses and exercises for both strength and cardio training? Check. One or two kettlebells opens athletes up to almost endless training possibilities, and weights start from 4kg and only get heavier.
Equipment that is nice to have
- Rowing Machine: If you must buy a machine, let it be a rower. Great for cardio, zero-impact on joints, and it will improve your mobility. Most are light enough to easily move out of the way when not in use.
- Bike Trainer: If you already have a bike, then a biker trainer is a no-brainer for when the weather is too cold or wet. Bike trainers can be purchased relatively cheaply and are incredibly easy to install a bike on. The premium options can be connected to a phone or tablet and, with various apps and services, cycling courses can be virtually ridden (you can even “ride” with other cyclists online).
- Barbell (and plates): For the more serious home gym athlete, a barbell is really going to help achieve any strength-related goals. Be warned, though; barbells are expensive (plates even more so), and require periodic maintenance.
- Pull-up Bar: Not simply for pull-ups, a bar can be used for hanging rings from, resistance bands, suspension bands, and offers a range of gymnastics training ideas.
So, there we have it; adding even just one or two of the above items is going to help set you up to train more frequently, and on the way to a fitter, healthier, and ultimately happier you, without breaking the bank.