As we learn more about nutrition and the importance of staying physically fit, the growing market of the health and fitness industry continues to boom.
Unfortunately, many people are now wasting thousands of dollars each year on unused gym memberships when they could be purchasing exercise equipment for a home to get more significant results.
Considering Americans spent over $60 billion on trying to get fit in 2013 alone, it makes sense that the market for home gym equipment has seen some growth recently too. More and more people are ditching their expensive and unused gym memberships for a personal setup in the comfort of their own home, allowing them to feel comfortable and relaxed as they work out.
There are so many benefits to having your own exercise equipment at home, with everything from saving money to improving your entire family’s health among them. With the right choice of equipment to meet your fitness goals, there’s no reason you can’t achieve them quickly and effectively and give yourself a new lease on life.
Whether you’re looking to focus solely on a cardio workout, or perhaps build your muscle mass, there’s a piece of exercise equipment to suit your needs. With just a few tools in your home gym, you’ll be equipped to work out any area of your body you wish and with great results too.
For many, attending a gym or health club when they’re beginning a new fitness regime can be intimidating enough to make them avoid it. Having your own exercise equipment allows you to work at your own pace and in a comfortable setting, with a range of other benefits too.
Cardiovascular workouts are the most important type of exercise we can give our bodies, as they’re responsible for improving heart health, aiding weight loss, and giving us an overall feeling of wellness. Finding the right piece of cardio exercise equipment for your home gym can be challenging, though, if you’re unsure about what each of the major ones can achieve.
As we each have our own needs dependent on fitness levels, environment, time restraints, and overall goals, there’s likely to be one of these to suit your home gym. Here are just a few of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment and how to use each of them for an effective cardiovascular workout.
What is it: These devices are stationary bikes that allow the user to pedal as if they were cycling in a real-life environment. The simulated cycling movements provide an intense cardio workout which gets your heart rate raised. Half an hour on an exercise bike can burn up to 300 calories at the highest level of intensity.
How do you use it: These stationary bikes work just like a regular bicycle, so it’s just a matter of sitting on the seat and then adjusting the handlebars and pedals to suit your body shape.
You can adjust the resistance settings on the bike in most models so you can give yourself a more challenging workout if you wish. Simply move the pedals in a circular motion as you do with a regular bike, and enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Who does it suit: Exercise bikes are another great choice for low impact cardio machines, particularly if you’re using a recumbent model that allows you to sit back comfortably. They require less balance than a standard bicycle and don’t require the user to go outside in unfavorable weather to operate.
What is it: Elliptical exercise equipment, also known as elliptical trainers or cross trainers, are large machines that simulate stair climbing, walking, and running. These machines have been designed to relieve pressure, so they’re ideal for low impact workouts with great results, burning up to 300 calories in half an hour.
How do you use it: To use an elliptical trainer might feel strange at first, but it’s just a matter of gaining the right momentum. Step onto the trainer and sit back on your heels so that you’re secured comfortably, and if possible try not to use the handrails. Step on foot rests on foot at a time until the machine starts to move along with you.
Depending on your weight, size, and fitness level, you can adjust an elliptical to differing levels of resistance. The more resistance you have, the harder your workout and the better your results. Try to pedal the machine both ways and alternate exercises as you can for the best outcomes.
Who does it suit: Although the elliptical works well for everyone, they’re ideal for people who want a bit more fun from their cardio workouts. These machines are great for people with injuries or illness, but they’re also good for experienced professionals who want a challenge from their cardio.
What is it: Arguably the most popular piece of cardio equipment, a treadmill is another stationary device that allows the user to simulate walking or running on a smooth surface which operates underneath them. These aren’t as vigorous as other devices, burning up to 200 calories in half an hour, but they’re easy to use and don’t require any special skills or knowledge.
How do you use it: These simple devices are the easiest to use of all cardio equipment, as the user steps onto the machine and secures themselves before starting the device. You can adjust the incline of your surface so it can be difficult or easy, depending on your needs.
Who does it suit: The treadmill is ideal for those new to the world of fitness, or anyone who wants a simple approach to their cardio workouts. Many people watch TV while walking on a treadmill, so you don’t need to put much thought into your exercise.
What is it: A rowing machine is a unique piece of gym equipment that often intimidates new users, but one that has great results. These machines simulate a rowboat with our actions, so it feels just as though you’re rowing a boat through the water, all the while staying stationary. Rowing at a moderate pace burns around 200 – 300 calories per 30 minutes.
How do you use it: Perfecting the technique of a rowing machine can take some practice, as you need to ensure your posture and alignment are correct to save yourself from injury. Sit in the machine and strap your feet it, using your arms to row and keeping your core tightened. Pull yourself forward using arms and chest, as these should be doing the bulk of the work, then push back with your legs.
Who does it suit: Rowing machines are generally suited to those who feel a little more confident in their strength and technique, but that’s not to say it can’t be learned. These are a great piece of core exercise equipment that strengthens your abs and provides cardio too. They’re ideal for people suffering from back injuries, provided you’re using them correctly.
What is it: A total body training system is a multipurpose device used for weight training, usually incorporating a few different functions in one. These systems can include everything from a bench press, curl pad, barbell, press bar, and more.
How do you use it: These machines have a variety of uses, all intended to build muscle mass. Depending on the exercise you’re doing, there is a number of ways you can use it for the best results. Always keep your system stored on exercise equipment mats made from rubber or foam, as their weight can sometimes do damage to floors if not protected.
Who does it suit: A total body training system can be expensive and complicated to operate, so they’re best reserved for those with some knowledge on correct form and technique. If you’re looking for more of a challenge than just dumbbells, a total body training system is the ultimate muscle builder for the serious athlete.
For those looking for more than just a cardiovascular workout, there is a range of devices and equipment that can build strength, tone muscles, and improve your flexibility. Along with a quality machine in your home gym, these devices will give you an all-over workout that gets greater results from just cardio alone.
What is it: A resistance band is mainly used for strength training, and they’re incorporated into stretches and moves to provide extra resistance. These bands mean you can use your own weight to provide resistance for strength training without needing to use bulky free weights. They come in various lengths, strengths, and materials to suit all types of bodies and exercises.
How do you use it: There’s no one way to use a resistance band, as they can be incorporated into your workout to target just about every muscle group you have. These are an especially good piece of ab exercise equipment thanks to their ability to keep your core tightened as you work out. Most moves require you to hold the handles in either hand and perform a range of stretches.
Who does it suit: These versatile devices are ideal for all fitness levels and ages, as you can purchase bands to suit your needs specifically. They’re compact and portable so ideal for people who like to exercise on the go as well.
What is it: As one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment you can own, an exercise ball is a must-have for any home workout space. Also known as stability balls, an exercise ball is a large PVC ball that you can use to perform stretches, rehabilitation, and strength training.
How do you use it: Depending on your fitness goals, there are a few main ways to use an exercise ball. Firstly, for improving posture and flexibility in which case the user sits on it. Secondly, as an ab firming device which you use to perform other strength exercises. Finally, as a way to improve balance and flexibility during workouts such as yoga and pilates.
Who does it suit: These affordable and simple devices have been designed with all fitness levels in mind. They can be used with a whole range of exercises, stretching, and strengthening, so they’re a must-have for any home gym.
What is it: Originally designed as a Russian farm weight, these cast iron devices were also part of the Soviet Army’s training exercises. Shaped like a bell and coming in a variety of sizes and weights, the kettlebell is an effective way to mix both cardio and strength training with the one compact device.
How do you use it: There are a number of ways to use a kettlebell, depending on the area of your body you’re looking to target. Most popularly, they’re used in swinging motion using the momentum from your hips as you hold onto the handle, in an effort to keep all of your muscle groups stimulated at once.
Who does it suit: Thanks to their variety of sizes and uses, the kettlebell is a versatile piece of gym equipment that suits all ages and fitness levels. Beginners can start with a smaller weight and then move onto something heavier when they need their next challenge. They’re a great piece of core exercise equipment as your abs are generally tightened when you perform any of the moves.
What is it: Dumbbells are a form of free weight, generally featuring a bar in the middle and two weights on either end. These devices are made from cast iron usually, and they come in a range of different sizes. Dumbbells are often sold in pairs, but they can be used on their own when required.
How do you use it: There are a number of ways you can use your dumbbells, depending on the muscle group you’re focused on. They’re a great piece of exercise equipment for arms if you want to do rows and presses, or good for legs when incorporated into squats and lunges.
Who does it suit: Although many think weights are just for the more experienced fitness fanatic, it’s never too early to start incorporating them into your workout.
Provided you stick to a comfortable weight for your fitness level, these tools can quickly help you build strength and tone muscle so that you can move to the next size up. Adjustable dumbbells are best so that you don’t have to keep purchasing new weights as you require a new challenge.
Navigating your way through the saturated market of home exercise equipment can be challenging, with so many inferior products available. The best rule to follow when purchasing home exercise equipment is to aim for a mid-range product that suits your budget, as these are items you don’t want to skimp on.
Here are a few things to consider when shopping for home exercise equipment:
There’s no need to spend a fortune when you’re starting your home gym, so don’t feel that you have to own the best gym equipment available just to get results. Focus on your fitness goals first and foremost before you decide on the tools, and give yourself a solid home workout plan that can help you achieve them.
When you consider the huge benefits that can be had from owning just a few pieces of gym equipment, there’s no need to ever spend a cent at a fitness center again. Not only will you save yourself money, but you’re giving your loved ones their own incentive to get fit and healthy too.
The best approach to purchasing these devices is not just to think about the best exercise equipment for legs or arms, but consider an all-over approach for your entire body. Start off with some basic supplies such as a cardio machine and something for working on strength, and then add to your tools as you find what works best for you.
Having access to your own exercise equipment gives you the freedom you need to work out whenever you like and however you like, so you’re more likely to stay motivated in achieving your goals. With just a few choice pieces you’ll improve your physical wellbeing and self-esteem in no time, and change your life for the better.