Many people think that creating a home workout gym is either too intimidating or too costly. For an effective home gym, all that is required is a little bit of planning.
To avoid having a basement filled with expensive dust-collecting equipment, keep these points in mind when making a purchase: What are your fitness goals? How often do you realistically think you will use the equipment? Does the equipment offer enough variations in use that you can change your workouts frequently to prevent your body from hitting a plateau? And, of course, how much can you afford?
Regardless of what your fitness goals are, there are a few equipment options to consider. For building muscles and/or toning, you can choose from free weights, resistance bands, benches and even no equipment. For cardiovascular improvements (e.g. running, walking, etc.), there are even more options. They range from treadmills to elliptical trainers to bikes and beyond. So, answering the previously mentioned questions is very important.
To help make your decision easier, here are several recommendations based on affordability and needs, along with benefits of the exercise equipment. If you want to create a gym that will provide you with a total body workout (cardio, strength and flexibility) on a flexible budget, consider the following recommendations:
• Treadmill – The best option for cardiovascular equipment, because it can be used for running, walking and even some leg strength training. Plus, workouts can continually be varied based on speed, incline and even direction. And, it easily progresses as fitness levels improve.
• A dumbbell set – with weights ranging from 5 to 30-plus pounds. This works great for light toning to intermediate strength training to building muscles.
• Fitness ball – Provides exercise options for toning, strengthening and stretching.
• Resistance bands – Provides another option for strength training. Can alternate use with free weights for a great challenge that will help prevent plateaus.
• Step bench – Can be used for both cardio and strength-training workouts.
If you are limited to purchasing just one very affordable piece of equipment, consider buying a fitness ball. As mentioned above, it provides many different exercise options. With the ball, you can get an upper body workout, lower body workout, very challenging abdominal workout and a stretching/flexibility workout.
Of course, you will need previous knowledge of how to use your home equipment, or you will have to be willing to learn. Most equipment will come with basic instructions and a few sample exercises. You may want to enlist the help of a professional who can provide additional exercise options and guidance, which will ensure that you get the most out of your fitness equipment through every fitness level stage.