Need some FITNESS motivation on this Monday morning? How about my favorite Home Gym Essentials?
Here are some of my very my favorites and why.
Creating your own home gym doesn’t have to be expensive. You only need a few key items in order to get in a good workout in the comfort of your own home. You only really need dumbbells, but there are a few other things you can invest in that will help you create a total body routine at home.
Dumbbells. This is the number one thing to invest in for your home gym. You can find inexpensive dumbbells at any Sporting Goods store or places like Target. If you want to invest a bit more, you can also buy adjustable dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells allow you to adjust the weight up to a certain level. So you can vary your weights from five pounds to 50 pounds without having a bunch of dumbbells around! If you’re just starting, stick with a pair of light weights and a pair of heavier weights.
Kettlebell. A heavy dumbbell can be used for a myriad of things – and you only need one! You can use a heavy kettlebell to do squats, kettlebell swings, farmer’s walks, rows, presses and more. By just having one kettlebell you’d be set with your home gym. Find a weight that you feel will be challenging, mainly for squats, rows and presses.
Jump rope. You can get in good cardiovascular exercise outside, but for days where the weather isn’t right, a jump rope will come in handy. You can just straight jump rope for a certain amount of time, or you can create HIIT (high intensity interval) circuits where you incorporate bursts of cardio into your lifting. For example, 10 squats, 10 dumbbell presses, 10 dumbbell rows, 60 seconds jump rope, repeat.
Pull up bar. Push ups and pull ups are the best body weight exercises you can do. It’s okay if you can’t do a full pull up yet, but utilizing a pull up bar will help get you there. Start by hanging in a bent arm position and holding as long as you can. That will help build up forearm, bicep and back strength. You’ll need the next item to keep improving…
Pull up bands. If you can’t yet do an unassisted pull up, these bands will help you tremendously. You loop them through your pull up bar, and they provide assistance. As you get stronger, you’ll need a thinner and thinner band. Doing assisted pull ups this way, as opposed to using a machine, also helps your core get stronger, since you’re using a lot of core strength to keep your body from swaying back and forth as you pull up.
Bench. You don’t need all sorts of incline benches, mainly just one: a flat bench. You can use a flat bench for many things besides chest presses. You can use it for step-ups, dumbbell rows, hip thrusters and more. A flat bench will give you more space to do many other exercises that you may not be able to do on the floor.
Foam roller. If you’re working out consistently, you need to also be consistent with your recovery. A foam roller allows you to work out any kinks in your muscles and make sure they’re primed for your next workout. You should also foam roll as a warm-up; it helps to mobilize your muscles and joints and get them a little looser before you exercise.
Yoga mat. This is optional, but if you plan on spending a lot of time on the floor doing core exercises, stretching and foam rolling, you may want a yoga mat. It’ll help you to not slide around on your floor, or get your carpet really sweaty!
I’m just now thinking of a 9th item that I love so I just had to mention it too. A Stability Ball is a great tool to use to brace yourself against for great sit ups and it’s AWESOME for stretching on as well!
Building a home gym gives you the ability to work out at home whenever you need to. Even if you have a gym membership, there are some days you just don’t want to drive to the gym. Having these items ready to go will allow you to create a great, total body routine that will be just as good in quality as a gym workout. What is your favorite gym tool to use at home? If you don’t already have any then what would be the first thing you’d like to have?