With 2021 in full swing and the global pandemic still at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s difficult to say when things will go back to normal. Gyms remain closed or restricted for the foreseeable future, so creating a home gym may be the best option to keep your fitness levels up. While some pieces of equipment are more affordable than others, the following five-piece basic setup is recommended if you’ve got the budget.
Small, large, thick, and thin, resistance bands are the first piece of necessary, affordable equipment for a home gym. Bands are awesome for activating isolated muscles and can also be used as a supplement during other exercises. Have you ever tried a barbell squat with a band around your knees? Your legs will be on fire!
They’re small in terms of storage and light for easy transportation, meaning you can even maintain your fitness on vacation. Whatever you buy for your home gym, resistance bands should be first on the list.
Your home gym needs some sort of weight element, whether that’s dumbbells, kettlebells, or a bar. Make sure you stock up with a range of weights in order to progress your strength training and add variety, rather than just maintaining your fitness levels. Go for a mix of light, medium, and heavy. Personally, I use 10lbs as my light weight for more isolated upper body exercises, 20lbs as my moderate weight, and 35lbs as my heavier weight. Appropriate weights for individuals will vary depending on body size and general fitness levels. So, if you’re new to this, start small and work your way up to the heavier dumbbells.
The squat rack is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can get for a home gym — and they’re not just for your legs. They typically allow for setup adjustment, meaning you can squat, deadlift, and bench press depending on the bar’s placement. There are also extensions available for racks, which can introduce pull ups and dips into your rack workout.
While lots of exercises can be done lying on the ground, having a basic bench in your home gym allows you to perform exercises that would otherwise be inhibited by the floor. A bench provides a greater range of motion for your joints, meaning a better workout for the muscles. Bench presses, single arm rows, leg raises and more all benefit from being elevated off the floor. Take a dumbbell press for example: on the ground, the floor gets in the way and limits the range of movement. On the bench however, your elbows reach below your body, working the muscles much further.
Total Resistance Exercises System, also known as a TRX, is a specialized form of suspension training. Although not all that common, it’s an extremely versatile piece of kit that uses body weight to strengthen muscles. It’s great for improving mobility and muscle tone, and will really bring your home gym together.
Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow. She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.
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