Depending on your daily schedule and your living arrangements, working out at home can sometimes prove to be a better option than heading to the gym. While gyms are great for providing up-to-date equipment and a social environment, they also come with their fair share of distractions and negatives. As an alternative, many people have chosen to create their own gym environment at home, whether it is a yoga, body weight or equipment focused setting.
Does It Make Sense To Workout At Home?
For some of us, working out at home is preferred, for others, they would never even dream of it. Will you be as motivated to workout when you know your couch is only a few steps away? Are you going to be able to have a full hour of undisrupted time from family? Do you like other people around you for inspiration or do you like your independence and personal space? These are just some of the factors that you may want to consider when committing yourself to investing and creating a home gym and working out at home as opposed to working out at the public gym. If you are able to stay focused and committed, working out at home has plenty of benefits, but if not, then your equipment just becomes a place to hang clothes and collect dust.
Is The Home Workout As Effective As In The Fitness Studio?
Lazy is a trait that knows no boundaries. Face it, you can workout at home or in a private studio or at the park and if your mind and body isn’t into it, then the environment doesn’t really matter. However, effort is contagious and for most of us, seeing others grind out a workout often works as a motivational tool to give the kick-start or extra boost needed in order to complete our workout. One of the best ways to see if you prefer the community gym environment is to give it a test run. Most gyms now offer a seven-day trail membership, which will give you plenty of time to test all the equipment and see if the atmosphere is right for you. Whether you are at the gym or exercising at home, your workout is only going to be as effective as you make it. While you may not have access to unlimited pieces of equipment at home, being creative to find alternatives is half the enjoyment of working out.
Benefits Of Working Out At Home:
There are countless reasons for you to justify creating your own home gym. Finances, convenience, self-esteem and equipment preferences / setup are all justifiable reasons to want to create your own home gym.
- Finances: No monthly gym fees, cost of gas, keeping up with the latest gym fashions
- Convenience: Save time commuting or being distracted with conversation, can workout whenever time is available
- Self-Esteem: Don’t have to worry about being compared or comparing yourself to the hot girl or Mr. Olympia. If your makeup isn’t done (and rightfully so it shouldn’t be while at the gym) or if you aren’t ripped with a six-pack, nobody is going to judge you.
- Equipment: You never have to worry about cleaning up after other people and you never have to wait for equipment or a cardio machine to be available.
For those that prefer to work out in the comfort of their own home, the ability to workout whenever you want and with the equipment that you want is a huge benefit. As our days become filled with commitments and demands, the ability for some to find time to get to the gym has become increasingly challenging. While it may cost a fair amount of money up front in order to purchase all your preferred equipment, over the long run, you will more than likely save money on not having to pay membership fees.
15 Best Home Gym Equipment Pieces To Invest In:
The great thing about having a home gym is that it is as simple or as vast as you want to make it. As mentioned throughout our website, there are countless bodyweight workouts that provide various levels of challenge for you, meaning you do not have to break the bank to create your own workout “studio”. One of the downsides to having a home gym (depending on your budget) is the ability to upgrade equipment or add new pieces, however there are countless exercises that you can do with the following fifteen basic pieces that will provide you a full body workout.
Whether you choose to wall mount or attach to your doorway, there are a number of options for pull-up bars that can easily be set up in your home. Don’t think that pull-up bars are just for pull-ups as there are a number of other exercises that will also target your core.
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For those who have trouble with trouble keeping form with wrist, arm and shoulder alignment during push-ups, adding these bars to your home gym are a must. As a method of getting better and more range of motion, push-up bars help increase the depth of the exercise and therefore work your muscle groups harder.
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There are a number of alternative pieces of equipment or furniture that you can use for dips in your home gym, however for the best results, a dip bar is a great addition for those who want to work chest, shoulders, arms, back and core all at the same time. Used for more than just dips, it is important to make sure your equipment can provide the proper height and weight adjustments for stability and safety.
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If you are going to invest in dumbbells or barbells, you should also look at investing in a quality bench. Not only will the bench provide a great support system for weighted work, but depending on the material, you could also use it as a step up or box jump.
Another small piece(s) of equipment that can provide a number of benefits to your home gym, parallettes are a great tool for both beginning and experienced body weight workouts. From L-sits to handstands, dips to pushups, parallettes assist with increasing strength and coordination through full body exercises. Small enough to tuck into a gym bag or put on a shelf, a quality pair of parallettes are a worthwhile purchase for any home gym.
As with the bench for barbell and dumbbell work, a squat rack is a key component for those who are looking to do heavy weighted exercises, such as squats, using a barbell. Assuming that you are working out by yourself while at home, a squat rack will provide you the safety and support of a “spotter” while working with heavy weights. Depending on the setup of your squat rack, it can also act as the same “spotter” for barbell bench press.
Power Towers are a great addition to home gyms of any size. As with other gym apparatus there price range varies on this piece of equipment, as does the stability and craftsmanship. There are a huge variety of full body workouts that can be done using a power tower,
Gymnastic Rings or Sling Trainer
Whether you choose a set of rings or a sling trainer (ex: TRX), suspension training has become increasingly popular as you can target a full body workout. Providing closed chain exercises, which increase the amount of muscle activation, the use of rings or sling trainer for progression on body weight exercises is a great option for your home gym. While it is tough to increase the “resistance”, altering the angle of your body will increase the challenge of each exercise.
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There are a number of different exercise balls that you could and should include in your home gym. The first are medicine balls, which come in various sizes, weights and material. Used for strength training, rehabilitation and stretching throughout multiple planes of movement, you can use medicine balls for stationary or reactive moments. The other most commonly used type are referred to as stability balls which are made of rubber and filled with air. As with the medicine ball, stability balls assist with strength, rehab and stretching, balance, stability and posture correction especially in the core and lower back area.
Dumbbells + Barbell + Weights
There are a number of exercises that you can do with dumbbells that could save you money and room on purchasing barbells/weights. Curls, rows, squats, presses etc can all be done with dumbbells. The ability to also change the positioning of the dumbbells or do single arm work is an added benefit. A barbell/weight combo is a more stable option, however remember that you are already lifting 45lbs with the bar alone. If you are purchasing dumbbells, look to invest in 4-6 sets of various weights. For barbell plates, 10, 25 and 45 pound plates are the most common.
One of the most portable and inexpensive exercise tool, resistance bands, loop bands or pull-up bands, are great for not only strength focused workouts but also assist with pre and post workout stretching. With the variety of resistance levels and sizes available, throwing a number of different bands into your gym bag or backpack allow you to grab a quick full body workout anywhere you go.
Indoor Cycling Bikes / Cardio Machines
Easily one of the pieces of equipment that gets cast aside the first, an indoor bike or cardio machine such as a treadmill, elliptical or row machine are a great replacement for those cold, wet, dark days that you can’t or don’t want to go outside for a cardio workout. Great method for a warm-up, cool down or active recovery.
If you have a barbell and plates, you can make a modified Abs Wheel, which will provide you with a challenging core exercise. However adding the real thing will allow for better ease of motion. While it is a very simple piece of equipment, basically a wheel with two handles sticking out the side, it is extremely important to have proper form as the strain it can place on a weak lower back can cause long term discomfort and injury.
There are many kettle bell exercises that you can adapt dumbbells to in order to save on space and money. However there are some movements that flow better or are more challenging with kettle bells. Because of the bottom heavy weight, unlike the balanced distribution of dumbbells, kettle bell workouts require you to focus on coordination and stabilization. Make sure that you purchase pairs and also invest in ones with big handles for quality grip.
There are a number of variations to exercise mats that you might want to consider for your home gym. The first would the black rubber flooring that you find in community gyms. Not only will these save your regular flooring, but they are also a lot easier to clean up and provide noise reduction from jumping or dropping weights. One of the most important aspects of the rubber flooring is that the cushioning and shock absorption is easier on your feet and knees. The other form of exercise mats are the ones that you may find in a yoga or Pilates class. These mats will provide you with some padding during floor work (planks, sit-ups, pushups etc) as well as balance during yoga or Pilates related exercise.
In a perfect world, having the ability to access both a home gym and a public gym is the most ideal solution for your workout needs. Being able to grab a quick workout at home when you are short on time, not only keeps you on track physically, but also from a mental and commitment standpoint. There are other times in which you want to experience new equipment or become engrossed in the social environment that a public gym provides.
Are you looking for the perfect bodyweight training equipment to start out? We at Pullup & Dip offer you various high-quality bodyweight training equipment. Go check it out now!