Exercise isn’t just a fun way to pass the time when we’re feeling bored, it is a crucial fundamental of healthy living. When we think of exercise, commercial gyms instantly spring to mind, and for good reason. Gyms are fantastic places to work out at, but they aren’t for everybody. As awesome as commercial gyms are, they do still have their drawbacks and disadvantages. This is one reason why home gym equipment sales have recently sky-rocketed. Commercial gyms can get very crowded at busy times, which is not ideal if you’re in a rush, or generally don’t like crowds of people. As well as that, many commercial gyms charge an extortionate amount of money for memberships. When you also factor in the travel time, and travel costs, you can understand why more and more people are choosing to purchase home gym equipment and build gyms in their own homes. If you’re looking to create a home gym, you need to know what to put into it. Here’s a look at 6 essential pieces of home gym equipment to consider.
One of the most important things you need to purchase for your home gym is an adjustable bench. Adjustable benches are fantastic pieces of home gym equipment and they will make a welcome addition to any home gym workout space, no matter how big or small it may be. Adjustable benches come in all shapes and sizes and can vary hugely when it comes to the cost. Don’t try to cut corners here when it comes to pricing, as you generally get what you pay for when it comes to adjustable benches. If you purchase a budget adjustable bench, it will likely be flimsy and poor-quality, which could not only affect your workouts, it could put you at risk. A good quality adjustable bench should be sturdy and durable and should allow you to set it to a number of different positions. Look for a bench that lets you set it to a flat angle, an inclined angle, and an upright angle at the very least. Adjusting the angle of the bench means that, with the help of free weights, you can perform numerous exercises that target different muscle groups on your body.
Dumbbells are synonymous with gyms, and whether you’re looking to build muscle or simply just tone up and burn calories, dumbbells should also be added to your home gym. Dumbbells are fantastic for performing compound exercises and isolation exercises, so you can work multiple parts of your anatomy with them. Dumbbells are great for use in home gyms because they’re relatively small and can be stored neatly out of the way when not in use. Ideally, it would be recommended to purchase a complete set of dumbbells, perhaps ranging in weight from 2.5kg to 25kg, though storing them would be tricky without a dumbbell rack so perhaps look into getting one of those too. If an entire set is not possible, two or three pairs would also work. Simply owning a few sets of dumbbells and an adjustable bench would allow you to perform a complete full-body workout, though if you do have room, there is still more that you could benefit from.
Weight and resistance training is all well and good, but for anybody looking to get fit and drop a few pounds, a treadmill is another essential piece of home gym equipment to consider. Treadmills are fantastic for those of you looking to work on your cardiovascular health and fitness. Again, treadmills vary hugely in terms of price and quality, though we do recommend that you stay clear of the budget models, for the same reasons as we highlighted earlier when talking about adjustable benches. Treadmills generally can be used manually, as well as coming with a number of pre-set training programs to help make your workouts that little bit more fun and testing. Users can manually adjust the speeds, which again, can vary depending on which model you go with. Typically, most have max speeds of anything from 14 km/h up to 20km/h. Users can also adjust the incline of the treadmill, allowing them to run on a steep incline to simulate the effects of running uphill. This adds resistance to the exercise and makes it harder, meaning that you burn off more calories, plus it also helps to tone the leg muscles in the process. If your home gym is lacking space, you can purchase a number of good quality treadmills that neatly fold away after use, helping you to save space.
In an ideal world, you’d be able to build a home gym in an enormous garage or out-building, where you could stock it full of individual machines and pieces of equipment, just like you’d find in a commercial gym. For many of us, however, space is limited when it comes to building a home gym, so we need to make do with what we have. This is where purchasing a multi-station machine is so beneficial. Multi-station machines make very welcome additions to home gyms because of the fact that they allow users to perform a wide range of different exercises using just the one machine. Multi-station machines vary in terms of which exercises they allow users to perform, but generally, you’ll find it allows you to perform exercises that work muscle groups such as: Back, legs, biceps, chest, triceps, and shoulders. Exercises such as Lat-pulldowns, chest presses, bicep curls, leg curls, pec deck, and more, are all very common on multi-station machines. Basically, these machines function as an all-in-one solution to all of your training needs as they allow you to perform multiple exercises and work for multiple muscle groups without taking up very much space at all.
When it comes to functional compound exercises, squats are considered to be one of the best exercises going. Performed typically using a barbell (more on that next) squats are compound exercises that work your quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and even your core. To perform squats safely however, you need to utilize a squat rack. Squat racks are there to be used when you train alone and don’t have a spotter. They allow you to train slightly heavier than usual because if the weight is too heavy, you simply drop the barbell and the safety bars will catch the weight and prevent it from crushing you, and from wrecking your lovely floor. Squat racks are great because they also allow you to perform other exercises safely, such as barbell bench presses and military barbell presses. With bench presses, for example, you’d simply load the bar onto the rack, place your adjustable bench inside the rack, and you’d be good to go. Again, if you got into trouble, rather than having the bar crush your chest and pin you to the bench, it would instead be caught via the safety bars, allowing you to get up and walk away from the squat rack injury-free.
Barbell and Olympic Weight Set
Finally, the last essential piece of home gym equipment which we will be looking at today is a barbell and Olympic weight set. Barbells are great for performing a series of compound and isolation exercises, and again, when used in conjunction with a squat rack and adjustable bench, they allow you to safely work for many different muscle groups on your body by performing different exercises. Olympic weight plates vary in terms of weight, and having a set means that you can easily adjust the weight required accordingly. This is beneficial not only for performing different exercises but also for increasing the resistance as you get stronger. Rather than sticking with the same weight for every exercise, you can add or reduce weight as you see fit, simply by adding or removing a plate from either side of the bar.
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