Getting to the gym can be hard, but if you have the right equipment at home, you don’t have to worry about staying in shape. Some people set up a home gym in a flex room or bonus room. Others use an extra bedroom or the basement. You could even just set something small up in the corner of a room.
As you think about creating a home gym, you need to consider which type of equipment will work best for you. We’ve put together a list of some of the best ideas, but don’t be afraid to customize your selections.
Cardiovascular health is incredibly important. You’ll want some type of equipment to help you burn some calories. Treadmills are always a popular choice because you can run or walk at your own pace. It’s usually easy to pick one up cheaply on kijiji, but you’ll need a truck and two strong people to carry it into your home. Elliptical machines and stationary bikes are good alternatives for those who might have knee problems.
Machines like this make it easy to get your workout in, but they can also be bulky and take up a lot of space. If you want a smaller option, you could consider a jump rope or the “step” platforms that you usually see in step aerobics classes. These options are both affordable, and they’re small enough to store out of sight.
You can’t forget about strength training. Building strong muscles helps you burn calories and gives you a toned look. When it comes to weights, you can be as basic or as extravagant as you want. If you like the idea of weight machines, look for something like a Bowflex that allows you to work all of your muscle groups. You could also purchase a weight bench or even just a few free weights. Finally, elastic fitness bands are the perfect solution for those who want something small that they can put away when not in use. Bands come in different “strengths”, so you can adjust based on your level of fitness.
.Many types of exercises have you naturally working your core, but you probably also want to spend at least a little time focusing on these essential muscles. If you’re looking for something beyond sit-ups, a balance ball may be the answer for you. Most will come with a series of exercises that you can perform. Other gadgets like core sliders or ab rollers might work, but they sometimes take up a lot of unnecessary space.
If you do have space, a Power Tower can help you do some bodyweight exercises. They’re often used for pull-ups and chin-ups, but when you do exercises like leg lifts, your core will get an awesome workout.
Yoga and Stretching
Whether you’re aiming to be a yoga master or you just need to stretch out some sore muscles, you need some space to spread out. If the flooring in the room is already somewhat comfortable, you may not need anything special for stretching. Many people like to purchase a yoga mat, though, or spread a large towel over the floor. Both can keep sweat off the floor, but the yoga mat is nice if you’re actually doing a yoga routine. While it’s tempting to scrimp on the mat, consider splurging on a thick, sturdy mat in the $30-40 range.
You can take things even further by purchasing a few yoga accessories, like yoga blocks or straps. These affordable tools can help you deepen your stretches or perfect your form when doing yoga.
If you have at least one item from each of the above categories, you’re well on your way to having a great home gym. If you want to go beyond the basics, though, a few extras can take your workout to the next level.
For instance, having some large mirrors mounted on the walls will allow you to check your form while you exercise. This way, you can be sure that you’re doing the moves correctly. You might also want a bit of entertainment while you exercise. A TV in the room is great for watching shows on Netflix while you’re on the treadmill, and you can also use it for playing exercise videos. Those who like to listen to music while exercising may appreciate speakers. You won’t have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of sweaty earbuds anymore.
It can take a little bit of money to set up your home gym, but remember that you’ll be able to cancel the gym membership. For others having the ability to workout in your home instead of driving somewhere can be a large time saver! You’ll soon find that the convenience of having everything you need right in your home is well worth the time and financial investment you put into creating a dedicated workout space.