Home gyms can be a major time convenience and more cost efficient in the long run than an expensive gym membership. Before you begin assembling a home gym, it is important to outline your goals. Are you looking to bulk up and build mass? Or lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health? Every exercise regimen should incorporate both, but understanding what you want to focus on will help a lot when it comes time to start, especially if you have limited space.
Where to Start
There is no need to go crazy at first. You can still get a great workout with a limited supply of equipment, and this will allow you to make sure you are committed to your routine before investing thousands more dollars in exercise equipment.
One of the things many people do not consider enough when building a home gym is space. Fitness incorporates more than just sitting on a bench or moving your legs on a machine. You need plenty of space to move around and really work up a sweat. If you have limited options, you can always make things work, but think basement before unused den when it comes to your location.
The Budget Gym
As I mentioned above, you do not need to start your gym with a bunch of expensive equipment. Here are some basics that every home exerciser should have:
- Stability ball: Although they take a bit of getting used to (they have a tendency to roll away from novices), nothing is better at supporting the spine and isolating your stomach muscles. Give your core the workout it deserves by doing abdominal (ab) exercises on one of these.
- Resistance bands: Resistance bands provide a lot of flexibility for your routine and can help build and tone muscles by using your own body against isolated muscles.
- Pull-up bar: Many pull-up bars can easily fit in a doorway and will allow you to do several exercises that target your core, back and arms.
- Weight bench: You do not need an array of weights in the early stages of your home gym, but a bench will allow you to work with resistance bands and dumbbells to target muscles in your shoulders, back, chest and arms.
- Dumbbells: You may also want to add a small set of dumbbells at this point. You can perform lunges and other exercises that will help work your legs, and you can also use them in a variety of ways to work your upper body, too.
The Full Experience
Of course, the above should only be your introduction to the home gym world. As you continue using your home gym, you can add more equipment, such as Cardio equipment: This should be first on your list. Horizon Fitness makes a range of machines that will get your heart beating in no time. Ellipticals, exercise bikes and treadmills offer enormous bang for the buck when it comes to getting a good cardio workout. If you have shaky joints in your knees, go the lower-impact route with a bike or elliptical.
- Cardio equipment: This should be first on your list. Horizon Fitness makes a range of machines that will get your heart beating in no time. Ellipticals, exercise bikes and treadmills offer enormous bang for the buck when it comes to getting a good cardio workout. If you have shaky joints in your knees, go the lower-impact route with a bike or elliptical.
- More dumbbells: A more complete set of dumbbells will allow you to take full advantage of your bench. You can add to these with an Olympic bar and some plates (you will need rubber mats to protect your floor) and you will have a full free-lifting setup.
- All-in-one machine: You can finalize your gym with one of these bad boys. Often, incorporating this type of machine will allow you to work your back, shoulders, arms, legs and other muscles in ways free weights alone cannot. With one of these, you will never have to pay for a gym membership again.
Remember, the key to a home gym is actually using it. You cannot tone your body or lose weight if all that equipment just collects dust. Make sure the space is well lit and treat it as a sanctuary. It is your space, so own it, and use it to its full potential.