Having the ability to work out from home is a great way to save money and time. However, creating a home gym can feel overwhelming. With so many options for gym equipment, it’s hard to know what to buy and where to start. Plus, no one wants extra gym equipment that will just collect dust and laundry in the corner. This article will give you practical tips for creating a home gym without breaking the bank or need for extra space.
1.) Know Your Fitness Goal
Ultimately, the specifics of your home gym will depend on your personal fitness goal. That’s why your first step in creating a home gym requires you to identify your goal. A well-rounded physical fitness routine will include cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and flexibility. However, you will likely have one of these as your main fitness goal. Below we outline tips for structuring your home gym based on these general fitness types.
If you have a cardiovascular fitness goal that is based on a specific type of exercise, you might need to invest in some equipment to help with this goal. For example, runners who can’t work out in the great outdoors may want to purchase a treadmill. However, if you are just looking to increase your overall cardio fitness level and not training for a specific event, you don’t need any indoor cardio equipment. Instead, we recommend you increase your heart rate outdoors when you can or without equipment indoors.
Jumping rope is one great way to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping that won’t require extra square footage. Intervals with different cardiovascular exercises can also work. Jumping jacks, running in place, and mountain climbers are among the many exercises you can alternate between to exercise your heart. To see results you’ll want to get in an average of 30 minutes of cardiovascular fitness a day. However, this can be broken up into 15 or even 10 minute intervals and still allow you to see results.
Strength training refers to the type of physical fitness that focuses on your muscles. To strengthen your muscles, you’ll need to provide them with some type of resistance to work against. You can use your body weight, however, having other options is useful. The two easiest items to bring into your home to complement bodyweight exercises are dumbbells and resistance bands. Both come in different levels. However, you may also want to include a medicine ball or kettlebells for additional variety.
To save yourself from buying too many pieces of equipment, you’ll need to identify the level of weight you’ll need. This can be done easily by completing exercises with the equipment you’re interested in purchasing and noting the number of repetitions you’re able to perform. If you are looking to substantially increase your overall muscle mass and have been lifting weights for awhile, you’ll want a weight that you can lift between 5-8 times before needing a rest. Looking for general strength training to increase your overall fitness? Find a weight that allows you to perform 10-15 repetiions without a break. If you need to increase your muscle endurance, find a weight that allows you to complete over 20 repetitions without a break.
Flexibility refers to the fitness goal of increasing the range of motion around your joints. Stretching exercises and fitness formats such as Pilates should be included in your fitness routine to help you reach a flexibility goal. You won’t need much to increase your flexibility. However, you should have a good mat to lie down on and you may want to purchase a Pilates strap and block to help you ease into more advanced positions. A foam roller can help you work on your flexibility as well since this piece of equipment helps users work out muscle knots that otherwise decrease your range of motion.
Other useful items
In addition to fitness goal specific equipment, there are some other items that will be useful for your home gym. A mirror is useful in ensuring you are completing the routine with proper form. A stability or Swiss ball can be useful for strength training and many functional training exercises. To ensure you are working out at the proper intensity and burning enough calories to reach a given weight loss goal, a heart rate monitor can be very useful. Finally, a good selection of music and some motivational quotes placed near your workout area can help keep you on the right track. Access to on-line fitness videos is also useful to help you prevent boredom.
Working out at home is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your fitness goals. You won’t have to fight traffic to get to the gym. In addition to preventing frustration, you’ll keep yourself from wasting time and money when you eliminate your gym commute. Tend to “forget” shoes, socks, or gym clothes in the morning rush? With your home gym you’ll banish these excuses because your gym bag will always be within reach.