Many trainers will tell you the best gym is the one you pass every day, and by default, that makes it your home. Not only is an at-home gym convenient, it’s free of monthly dues and cleaner — you don’t have to wipe off equipment sweat from complete strangers.
With an increased interest in home fitness equipment has come an increased market of home fitness apparatus.
If it can be sat on, run on or sat under, not to mention lifted, tossed or balanced on, there’s a good chance that it’s a popular piece of gym equipment. For those filled with good fitness intentions, common pieces of at-home gym equipment include stationery cycles, treadmills and abdominal machines, but there are numerous other interesting pieces that should not be over looked.
Those who use them (properly) rave about them, which is why they’ve become one of the most popular must-have additions to any home gym. Deemed the most flexible piece of at-home equipment, kettlebells are excellent for building muscle while improving overall fitness.
Kettlebells look like small cannons with handles. They are designed to perform ballistic exercises — where users lift, accelerate then release the kettlebell — while improving strength, flexibility (mobility and range of motion) and cardiovascular endurance. Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells are designed with a center of mass — in varying weights — that extend beyond the hand, making for facilitated swinging movements.
Weight plates, barbells and dumbbells are essential for anyone wanting to add to their fitness challenge by toning and strengthening. Having a mixture of weights will allow you to up your training. If you don’t have room for a full weightlifting set-up, free weights are an excellent and inexpensive alternative. Invest a few dollars in a mirror that you can affix to a wall and use while you lift.
Implementing free weight dumbbells into your workout strategy will offer great strength-training resistance, which burns more fat and calories, while toning your biceps, arms and back. Modern dumbbells are made of neoprene, ensuring a solid grip and improved safety. Both free weights and barbell sets come mixed with a variety of heaviness, making them an excellent investment for men and women.
Amazing for core strengthening, the Swiss ball or stability ball, as it is also commonly referred to, is a piece of inexpensive at-home equipment everyone should have — even if you don’t have a home gym. Made from soft elastic, these balls are available in a wide range of diameters, from 35 cm to 85 cm (14 inches to 34 inches). The balls are filled with air and the pressure of the ball can be changed by increasing or decreasing the amount of air inside. While these balls are often used in physical therapy, they have become increasingly popular with the non-injured for its versatility.
Used by beginners and experts alike, these balls are invaluable workout companions for doing push-ups to strengthen pecs, shoulders and triceps. Use the stability ball for core and basic crunches to workout abs and core. You can work out your buttocks, back and hamstrings with a ball by performing bent knee bridges and limb extensions, or challenge yourself to seated wall rolls to exercise the quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks.
This may not be a first choice consideration for most people, but the punching bag — with gloves, of course — is incredibly therapeutic, even if you don’t use it for training. Normally used for endurance and power training, punching bags can be just what the doctor ordered at the end of a stressful week.
Many challenging workouts designed for optimal weight loss implement punching bags into their routines, so if you have a routine that could use an extra challenge, consider a punching bag. This single piece of equipment can help optimize your self-defense skills, offer a full body workout, improve aerobic, coordination and core fitness.