When people talk about getting fit, it’ll probably conjure up images of the gym, which involves lots of time, money and energy. But it needn’t. Because with a few simple pieces of equipment, you can create a gym at home, and one that will provide you with all of the benefits that a commercial gym would.
We lead hectic lives, and this provides us with a lot of excuses as to why we can’t jump in the car and drive ourselves to the gym. But if the gym’s in your spare room or garage, these excuses aren’t going to be viable and when you can jump straight into your workout without spending 30 minutes traveling, exercising just got a whole lot easier!
But what equipment should you put in your gym and for what types of exercise? Here’s a list of the must-have equipment you need in your home gym:
The purchase of dumbbells can be justified almost immediately because there are a whole host of things you can do to exercise with these. If you can get ones with a rubber coating that are a hexagonal shape, you’ll probably find that these are the most comfortable to work with and they’ll last the longest. Try to get a few different weights (3 to 5) so you can change up your exercises, adding more weight as and when you require. Staying at the same weight throughout your exercise plan won’t help to strengthen your muscle beyond a certain point.
Even though a lot of the movements you perform with kettlebells can be done with dumbbells, there are a few other particular movements that you can perform with a kettlebell, so it may be a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for more challenges.
You might not have used one of these since you were a child but jump ropes are a great way to get in shape as an adult. Don’t be surprised if you find that skipping’s not as natural to you as it was when you were a child but your skills with the rope should soon start to come flooding back to you. Working with one of these is great for a cardio workout and it also helps to work on your coordination, too. If you’re beginning, a more durable rope will be great but if you want to do more skills, a lightweight rope is better.
To add to your cardio workout, a running machine is a great idea. Not only does it mean you can run in privacy but it’s also something you can do whilst you’re watching TV or listening to music, which will help you to while away those hours of exercise. Or, if running’s not for you, why not try a rowing machine? These are great for a full body workout and put less strain on your joints and back (check out these rowing machines, for example).
To help with your core strength movements as well as your plyometric exercises, opt for buying a medicine ball for your home gym. Whether you’re doing abdominal exercises with it or you’re carrying it or throwing it, a medicine ball provides you with some great options. Softer medicine balls are recommended if you’re going to be catching or throwing it.
For building your quickness and explosive power, boxes are great. You can use them to do bench dips, squatting and other exercises that don’t involve jumping. And you can build this on your own, or purchase a simple irrigation box from your local hardware store.
As you can see, creating a gym in your own home need not cost you a fortune. With a few simple pieces of equipment, you can create great fitness routines that will benefit your entire body. And you don’t need to purchase all of these things at once, as you can just add to your gym as and when you want to, building up your strength as you go. Another great idea is to check out your local paper for people who are selling their second-hand fitness equipment, especially when students at the local university are moving back home and selling their stuff off.
And one final thing you won’t want to forget is a stereo. Music is a must whilst you’re working out and can really help to motivate you and push you forward when your energy levels start to drop!