In this article I will do a short review of various home training equipment you can purchase for the goal of getting fit in the privacy of your own home. This article will include both expensive and fairly cheap options, so I’m sure there is something for everyone.
It’s not secret that lot of people prefer to train at home for various reasons. It can save time, money, and even be more comfortable. On the other hand it can be more difficult and uncomfortable as-well. You need to put in some more thought on how to perform certain exercises using things around the house, things that don’t always perform suitably for what you wish to use them for.
So here’s a short list of things you may consider buying, with some added commentary.
Aerobic exercise equipment.
Cardio machines – now there are quite a few to choose from. Cheaper options may only cost a 100 dollars, but better stuff my be in the thousands. So there is plenty to choose from depending on your wallet. But in general, it is one of the more expensive investments you can make.
That money however is usually well spent, as such machines offer great ways to improve your cardiovascular health and aerobic performance. And unlike traditional cardio-training like running or biking outside, you can always work out comfortably at home despite outside conditions. You can also forgo a lot of the special clothing and equipment that can cost as much as the machine. As a bonus, you can train alone, away from strangers eyes and in the case of some machines, set them up so you can even watch your TV or read a book while working out.
Jumping rope – definitely one of the cheapest options around for improving cardiovascular health. You can jump/run in place and also activate many upper-body muscles as-well. However your downstairs neighbours if you have any, may not particularly enjoy this choice.
Hula hoop – sounds like a kids toy? Maybe, but in practice it’s a decent piece of equipment you can use to get some work done. It’s use isn’t limited to just your waist, but you can use it on many body parts. It will increase your pulse, make you flex and work different muscles and it’s cheap, so why not, right?
Resistance training equipment.
Dumbbells – without a doubt, one of the most versatile pieces of home training equipment you can ever own. These should be the foundation of your home gym. Now, while most of the dumbbells you see at the gym have a fixed weight – you want to find adjustable weight dumbbells for home use. That way, you can utilize them for years and comfortably train all the muscles in your body as each muscle requires a different amount of weight for effective training.
Also, you should really look to pick up a pair of these. Having two, will again give you even more options on how to train, and with adjustable weight, you can often even pile the weights from both dumbbells onto a single handle, giving more options on how to train your stronger muscles.
Barbell – probably the second best piece of equipment next to the dumbbells. Again, aside from a few specific muscles, a barbell and a decent selection of weights will allow you to train most muscles in your body. And like with dumbbells, you should get an adjustable version, and a bunch of weight plates so that you can make good use of it for years to come.
Rubber bands – an extremely versatile piece of equipment. While their use can at times be a bit complicated due to non-standard exercising solutions available for each muscle, they give a great many choices on how to train. In addition, they provide a different resistance compared to free weights and because of that, they are also a great recovery tool. As a bonus, you can easily take them with you anywhere you go, so you never have a reason to skip a work-out.
Special equipment – under this category you can pile a whole bunch of things that usually serve a singular purpose in either training or helping you to train using other items.
A bench (for benching a barbell, or dumbells), pull-up bar, push-up handles, squatting posts (where to rest a barbell), grip and wrist training equipment, training gloves, wrist-bands, lifting straps, lifting belts, chalk.
Foam-rollers – these are longer or shorter cylinders that are covered in a foam like soft padding. You use them to massage different muscles in order to improve either work-out recovery or to recover faster from injuries. They are also great for relieving general muscle pains and tension that can also help with many chronic pains like back, neck or shoulder pain.
Rubber bands – already mentioned in the previous category, they are also worth bringing out here. You can strengthen specific muscles and do so very gently as they will offer only as much resistance as you are physically forcing yourself to utilize.
Tennis ball – sounds weird? In practice many athletes use this to great effect. The use is similar to a foam roller, where you basically use your own bodyweight and roll the muscle over the tennis ball, massaging the muscle and relieving tension. It is however more useful for smaller, more specific muscles and not so much for large muscle groups. It can however be considerably more effective at targeting deep tensions as it applies more of your bodyweight into a smaller surface area.
So these are some of the options you have if you are interested in buying some home training equipment to help out with your fitness goals. Some of these are more expensive than others, some are meant for specific tasks and some for the whole body. Something for everyone.
A good idea is to start with things that offer whole body training options and move on to more specific items. You can take your pick as you become more knowledgeable of your own goals and what you like to do. There isn’t much point in buying things you are most likely never going to use.
My general recommendation would be to start with a pair of dumbbells. While cardio equipment is nice, you can always do some cardio outside, even if it’s just taking a walk. However doing resistance exercises is much more difficult outside and offer only limited options are available. Dumbbells however give the most flexibility in training every muscle in your body. A beginner can start with nothing, using just their own bodyweight, but soon enough you’ll be looking for added weights to really push certain muscles.
Good luck with your training!