The 15 most effective pieces of equipment to add to your at-home gym
With gyms closed all over the world, many of us are stuck working out at our own homes. It may be frustrating to not have all the equipment and machines that you are used to. However, there is a solution.
Getting your own equipment for your at-home gym.
This break from the gym has given you a chance to start adding to your at-home workout equipment collection.
Having some form of an at-home gym can be very beneficial to keep your fitness goals going when there is no access to public gyms.
There are a few things to consider when you're buying equipment for your personal collection.
You should think about the functionality of each piece and how it applies to you. Every piece of equipment listed has it's own function and are great options to buy, but they may not all be great for you.
If you're strictly into lifting and getting stronger, than ankle weights probably aren't on the top of your list. On the other hand, if you do a lot of cardio movements, such as step-ups or jumping jacks, ankle weights could be that added resistance that takes your workout to the next level.
As with all purchases you make, you should conduct your own research to find which products suit your needs the best. We are here to help guide you in the right direction and show you equipment that could improve your workouts at-home.
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One of the most effective and inexpensive pieces of equipment you should add to your at-home gym is resistance bands. Resistance bands have multiple functions and are very easy to use.
You can use them to add an extra challenge to exercises such as squats, or they can be used as a great activation tool in your warm-ups. They're great at targeting the gluteus medius, which is an essential stabilizing muscle that is used to help keep you balanced during many leg exercises.
They're very light and can be packed into a small space which makes them a great item for travelling as well. If you're stuck in a hotel room or don't have access to a gym nearby, resistance bands can be a great way to fit in a workout wherever you are.
When it comes to watches, there is a slew of options to choose from, and the one you buy should be based on your needs. My personal favourite for running specifically is the Garmin Forerunner 235.
It tracks your distance, time, pace, calories burned, heart rate, and heart rate zones, among many other things. An added bonus is the waterproof capabilities.
It has many different functions and a large display screen that is easy to read while you're doing an activity.
It's important to pick a watch that will give you the most benefit, so here are other fitness watches that may be perfect for you.
The TRX system has so many possibilities. It is a bit more on the expensive side, but if you are able to spend the extra money on this piece of equipment, it will be well worth your money.
The suspension training system allows you to work on every single muscle group. The straps can be adjusted to different heights for various movements.
It isn't just for strength, you can also use the TRX for stretching and flexibility.
If you have any questions on exercises you can do, the TRX website has instructional videos and 30-minute workout videos that you follow along to.
In terms of functionality, the TRX suspension system is one of the most diverse pieces of equipment out there.
For all you yoga enthusiasts out there a yoga mat is essential for your at-home gym.
Easily rollable, they don't take up much room and have no setup, except of course unrolling it.
A good yoga mat will make your stretching or core workouts a lot more comfortable, which may give you a bit more motivation to do it.
Doorway Pull Up Bar
A great addition to your home can be a doorway pull up bar. They are compatible with most doorways and are an amazing alternative when you can't make it to a gym. Even if you have access to a gym, an at-home pull-up bar can give you an extra reminder to do a workout just by walking through a doorway.
Despite any skepticism that you may have, doorway pull up bars are very safe and sturdy (if you get a good one).
With a pull-up bar, you can maintain your upper body strength and even add more with no extra weight needed. You can use multiple hand positions on the bar to target different muscle groups.
I'm sure you use them at the gym, so why not have them at home. Dumbbells are one of the best purchases you can make for your home gym.
They don't take up a lot of space and they can be used for just about every exercise imaginable. If you're looking to have a bit of the gym life at home, then dumbbells are the way to go.
Not only are they super versatile but they will last you for a very long time. If you get a solid pair of dumbbells you may never need to replace them.
A cardio monster, jump rope is something you should start to include in your workout routine.
It works your heart, lungs, and leg muscles, plus it improves your muscle coordination which can help with the more traditional strength exercises. Based on calories burned, it is one of the most efficient exercises you could possibly do.
You don't need a lot of space to do this workout or to store a jump rope. You can fold it up and put it in a box or hang it up somewhere.
Stability Exercise Ball
Perfect for working your core, an exercise ball makes for a great member of your at-home equipment collection.
If you're really looking to hammer your core a stability ball is a great choice. The round shape means you have to work extra hard to prevent yourself from making unnecessary movements.
You can also use it to engage other muscles in a way they're not used to. An incline pushup onto an exercise ball requires a lot more stabilization from the chest and arms than a regular pushup. Use these kinds of variations to add a challenge to your at-home workouts.
Similar to an exercise ball, a bosu ball is another great way to work on stability and engage the core.
With the Bosu ball, you can do a lot of different movements that require the muscles to fire in a way that they are not used to.
Try doing a squat on a Bosu ball. You will really have to focus on keeping the legs stable and this will really work those stabilizing muscles that are often ignored during exercise on flat surfaces.
They don't take up a lot of space and you don't need any extra weight to make the workout challenging, which makes a Bosu ball perfect for your at-home gym.
A foam roller is easily one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment that you should 100% have in your home. You can get one at a very good price and it will last you a lifetime.
10-minutes a day of rolling out will relieve your muscles from aches and pains after working out. By breaking down the muscle and improving blood flow to the targeted area, rolling out will help you recover quicker.
It will also increase your flexibility and range of motion, which has a direct effect on your exercise performance. An increased range of motion makes it easier to do your workouts and build muscle.
A cheaper option is the AmazonBasics foam roller
Medicine balls come in different weights so you can pick the one that best suits your ability.
They can be used for multiple ab exercises such as Russian twists, or toe touch crunches, but also as an added weight in squats or lunges.
A bonus with the medicine ball is they can be used in partner workouts. Chest passes or trunk passes are great upper body exercises that you can share with a buddy.
Try adding a medicine ball into your workouts for a simple way to increase the intensity.
Another piece of equipment that engages your core, core sliders, will test your strength in multiple exercises.
Core sliders can be used on multiple different surfaces to increase the intensity but keeping it low impact. So if you're somewhere who has sore joints, then these could be for you. However, even if you don't have joint pain they will have the same effect.
Adding them to multiple exercises will create an instability factor that activates your muscles and boosts up the intensity. You can add them to exercises, such as mountain climbers, side plunges, or plank jacks, among many others.
Step Up Blocks
If you don't like traditional cardio then getting a step up block (or platform), could be an awesome alternative.
It gives you plenty of cardiovascular benefits by increasing both your heart and breathing rates. Plus it also works your leg muscles as you move up and down.
It can also be great for someone who suffers from arthritis or joint pain. Compared to running it is very low impact and can help get you in shape without all the pounding on the ground that running has.
You can perform countless variations of exercises, including jumps or skater hops, so it's definitely something you should consider adding to your list.
An ab roller is a great option for targeting all the abdominal muscles, as well as muscles in the back that control each movement.
A small device that carries a lot of power, an ab roller will really strengthen your entire core. It provides an extra challenge that is different than your regular ab exercises
Your core is so critical to other functional movements, so being able to improve its strength will have a carry over to the rest of your workout. For this reason, an ab roller would be a nice addition to your workouts.
Ankle weights can help you build extra strength and coordination in specific movements.
They are a really good tool that can be used as added resistance in basic movements such as jumping junks or plank jacks. They can also be used to increase the strength of stability muscles such as the gluteus medius, to improve balance.
You may want to try doing a set of exercises without them, then try another set with them on. Another option is to do a set of exercises with them on and then do one with them off. You will feel a noticeable difference after taking them off.
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