Sometimes I wonder what people assume working out from home is like. Do they think they need a huge room deemed the “workout room” with a bunch of expensive equipment? Or do they think having a home gym is a treadmill collecting dust in the basement? Either way, a home gym isn’t even necessary. You would workout in your living room and call it a day, and this is what I imagine most people do. I mean, I definitely dream of the day that my basement or garage is like a super awesome home gym with a full set of dumbbells and a squat rack…but I will keep dreaming. For now, I am going to share the few pieces of equipment I deem necessary for working out at home. Now, you don’t NEED anything. You can definitely get a good workout in with just your bodyweight, but after awhile, that isn’t going to be enough! So here is the best home gym equipment!
It doesn’t have to be pretty, and it doesn’t have to be extensive…it just has to get the job done! These are the few MUST HAVES for home gym equipment, in my opinion. All are very inexpensive, and can definitely be modified even more!
The most basic piece of exercise equipment! Dumbbells can obviously be used for everything, and are meant to be an added form of resistance. I always recommend two sets – a lighter pair for upper body and dynamic movements and a heavier pair for lower body movements! This is going to ensure you are getting the best workout, and not just pushing yourself on select exercises where the weights are actually the right resistance!
They are usually priced the same everywhere, and the standard is $1 per lb. So yes, buying 2 20lb dumbbells is going to cost you $40, but they are going to be worth every penny! I am sure you can also find them at any second hand store as well, for a little cheaper! I just suggest buying them in store and not ordering them, because paying to ship 40lbs isn’t going to be fun!
Bands are great, because they can be used for everything as well! They make different colors that are going to be different resistances, and can then be used for upper or lower body! Bands are also great because they not only resist the movement when the band is being stretched, but also when it is returning back to its regular size. You see, when you use dumbbells you can have resistance in the concentric (like when standing up from a squat) but they don’t add much resistance on the way down. With bands, you are going to get the resistance on the way down because you have to stabilize and control it, and then resistance on the way up as the band stretches! It really is a win-win!
I recommend getting a big loop band, as you can then wrap it around things to anchor it! Totally inexpensive and you can usually buy them in a pack with multiple sizes! These are the bands I use when doing the Endorphitness Accelerator and Collective workouts, too!
Yes, this is necessary. There are so many things you can do by just having a stool, bench or even a chair! Think step ups, tricep dips, pushups – you can even hook your band to it and do shoulder presses and leg curls! It adds a different dynamic to things, and you likely already have one in your house!
You don’t need anything fancy here. Just a simple step stool or even a dining room chair! You do want to be careful that it isn’t too high. If you are performing step ups – when your foot is on the chair, your knee should be the same heigh as your hip. It can be lower, but you definitely don’t want it to be higher, because you will not be able to have a proper muscle contraction in the glutes! So if yours is too high, find an alternative!
What is the first rule when it comes to working out for results? PROGRESSION! You have to make sure you are progressing yourself to harder versions or you are never going to see results! Heres how you do that..
• Increase your intensity – this can be increasing your weights so that you are putting a heavier load/stimulus on the muscle to make it work harder. If that is not an option, you can also increase sets and reps of an exercise. So instead of doing 4 sets of 10 reps, maybe you do 4 sets of 15 reps. This is still going to overload the muscle and make it work harder!
• Push your limits – so many people get on the treadmill, turn it to the same speed and incline, turn their tv show on and forget about what they are doing. Which is definitely a great way to get some exercise in if you totally hate it, but after awhile your body will stop responding. This is because that speed and incline is going to get easier which means your body isn’t going to have to work as hard to do it. If we aren’t working as hard, we are not pushing our threshold enough to make changes and we are going to hit a plateau. So make sure you are always making adjustments!
• Keep track – like, write everything down in a workout journal or notebook. What exercises you did, what weight you used, how many sets and reps you did. And after 2 weeks, up the stimulus (weight or reps) and continue to do this overtime! You also want to keep track so that you know where you did modifications. Maybe last time you did a certain workout you did 3 pushups on your toes and 7 on your knees; well, next time try to do 4 on your toes and then 5. Keep pushing yourself further and further. Don’t just get in a rut of going through the motions, you have to SHOW up and work hard, every time!
If you are looking for a program you can do at home, 20 minutes a day, and learn how to live a healthier lifestyle from the ground up..then I suggest you get into the next Endorphitness Accelerator! It is a 6 week fitness challenge that is going to change your life! Whether you are just starting out, or you need a 6 week push to get going again…you’ll find it useful and beneficial!