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Build Your Own Home Gym: Essential and Optional Home Gym Equipment

May 27, 2021

Let's face it, since the Covid-19 pandemic started, and is still continuing almost a year and half later, some aspects of life have been exposed for better or worse. Working from home for many people will at least be part of the new norm.  It might not be an everyday work from home situation, but at the minimum the great trial of testing out the efficiency of working from home has proven to be a success. So what about gyms? I personally like gyms and enjoy being around others who also enjoy working out and pushing themselves to new mental and physical limits. But honestly, I never like busy gyms. So why not work out from home?

Distance is one of the biggest driving factors in whether or not someone decides to workout. You know it, if the drive or commute is over 15 minutes, every time you decide to work out or not is a battle. Not everyone has 3 hours to carve out of their day to get to the gym, get a nice workout in, get cleaned up after, and head back home. A home gym is the most efficient way to spend your time. And what's even better is all the money you'd spend working out a club can be invested in your home gym equipment. That way you can pick and choose the items you like and most importantly, no cancellation fees!

Home Gym Equipment

So let's dive into it.  

I will break down the Essential home gym items by necessary, and then optional.

Essential home gym equipment:

1) Adjustable Folding Weight Bench

The adjustable folding weight bench should be anyone's top priority when working out from home.  The versatility and utility are next to none. You can choose body weight exercises such as step ups, plank holds, incline pushups etc. Or you can use it for most of the obvious exercises like dumbbell presses, chest presses, chest flies, bent over rows, and many others. To complement this purchase it goes without saying, you should also buy some dumbbells so you're able to take advantage of the non body weight exercises. You can get standalone ones ranging from a few pounds up to 100+lbs or even better to save some space you can opt for the Home fitness studio adjustable dumbbell set.  

Home Adjustable Folding Weight Bench

2) A simple jump rope

Yes you read that correctly, a simple jump rope. Why is this an important piece of your home setup? Mainly because it takes up almost no space, and is great for cardio, toning your calves, and overall fun. If you're a fan of boxing take a look at some famous recent boxers like Lomachenko and Pacquiao and watch their footwork and movement. It's magical to say the least. They are almost floating around the ring and back and forth. I'm not saying you can be like them, but you can at least try. Much of that movement is from jumping rope. Some people will like to say, "Buy a weighted rope", I wholeheartedly disagree. Yes, weighted ropes definitely offer you a harder workout, but not only will you get tired super fast, they just aren't fun. Jumping rope is enjoyable and even more fun when you can add in double under and other more advanced jumping tricks. With a weighted rope that all goes out the window.

3) Elliptical cross trainer

Now you may be wondering why I didn't choose a treadmill or workout bike. I was so close to saying a workout bike but didn't chose it for the simple fact that Home Fitness Code's Elliptical cross trainer provides a full body cardio workout. While a workout bike is great for cardio and you quadriceps and hip flexors among others, it leaves the upper body out of the workout equation. The Elliptical cross training machine can burn over 500 calories per hour! Besides burning calories it can also help you tone up your arms, legs, and even core. And lastly and maybe most importantly, it is easy on the joints specifically the knees. We are always looking for longevity when it comes to anything working out because 100 decent workouts are much better than 50 great workouts. The more consistency you can put into your fitness regimen, the better off you'll feel, and will receive better results.

Home Fitness Elliptical Cross Trainer

Optional home gym equipment:

1) Kettlebell

I was tempted to put the kettlebell into the necessary equipment and I may be very easily swayed to put it there, but for this article we'll put it in the optional list. Kettlebells are another super versatile piece of equipment. If you Youtube search kettlebell workouts you will get thousands and results and you are hard pressed to find any bad ones there. My personal favorite person to learn kettlebell exercises from is Pavel Tsatsouline. He is one of the pioneers of kettlebell exercises and is beyond knowledgeable about the science of training in general. One of the trickiest parts of mastering kettlebell movements is usually involved with the hips and utilizing them for kettlebell swings, cleans, snatches, and others. The hips are one of those areas on the body that are so crucial for explosiveness and general athletic prowess but often neglected by many. Make sure to follow a coach you like and really nail down your form.

2) Pull up bar

The pull up bar is another optional piece of equipment but very necessary if you are taking your home gym seriously. Since they are relatively painless to setup and take up no floor space, this is a no brainer. As to how to use them and what results to expect, there are a ton of different ways to utilize them. The old school 'teenager' method as I like to call it is every time you pass by the door you do a pull-up or two. A more structured method would be incorporating it into your upper body, pull, or back strength training. No worries if it is too hard in the beginning. You can try some jumping pull-ups or dead hangs for starters, and also use your adjustable weight bench and work on some bent over rows to strengthen those lats. Once you develop some strength in your lats then you should be well on your way to getting your first pull up down. I started training pull-ups as a teenager after advice from a friend's cousin. Many years later they are still an absolute staple in my normal workouts. When you can do 7-10 easily you can experiment with different grips close and wide for targeting specific muscle groups, and after mastering these then the all mighty muscle up may be in your near future!

3) Massage ball

One area that we didn't cover but should always be covered is warmup and recovery. If you are prone to having tight and tense muscles then a massage ball will be perfect to get them loosened up before workouts and you can target specific troublesome areas after you're finished working out. You can use a massage ball lying down on your back with your body weight as leverage to get a deep tissue massage feeling, or if that is too intense you can lean up against a wall with the ball in between you and the wall and slowly release your muscles. What's better is a massage ball is really inexpensive.  Those who have used one know the benefits and use it daily to keep limber.

Massage Ball

Actually working out:

Now that you have your basic home gym list and setup, the next main step is to actually use it! When your home is your gym you have no excuse not to workout. There's no commute, no traffic, and no waiting lines to use the equipment. There are many resources online to learn workout plans, diets, and proper form. Get out there and move!

 

huton Lee
huton Lee



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