Building a home gym can be daunting, but it not only saves money in the long run, but saves quite a bit of time as well (no driving to the gym and back, no waiting for equipment, and nobody to waste your time chatting). Well, in this article we are going to show you how to build a home gym that gives you everything you need to build the body of your dreams without requiring a ton of money or space. So, now you’ve made the decision to build a gym in your spare room or your garage, but what does this mean? How exactly does one “build” a gym? So, what tools do you need to accomplish this? To get started on a great home gym, you should invest in certain items: Here are 10 essential items to outfit your home gym.
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The exercises you can do with dumbbells are seemingly endless so they justify their purchase immediately. Look for hex shaped dumbbells with black rubber coating – these last the longest and are most comfortable for working out. Get 3-5 sets in a range of weights to accommodate for different exercises and for the strength you will be gaining.
A lot of people will tell you kettlebells are not essential. Many kettlebell movements can be done similarly with a dumbbell. Certain kettlebell movements are unique, however, and some movements just work better or are more challenging with a kettlebell. I think they are a worthwhile investment for the variety they can add to your workout routines. Look for kettlebells with big smooth handles and without a painted coating.
3. Pull Up Bar
Pull up bars aren’t just for pull ups! There are a number of basic gymnastic exercises you can practice if you have a pull up bar installed at home. While you can get pull up bar systems built for doorways, ideally you would have an archway or part of a wall where you could mount a bar. If you can’t yet do pull ups, you’ll also want to buy some resistance bands for assistance.
Great for the home gym or for traveling, rings are light weight and add another level to your bodyweight exercises. Rings also give you the ability to increase the variety in your workouts by adding a whole lexicon of gymnastic exercises. When looking for rings, make sure you get a brand that is light in weight and easy to hang.
5. Jump Rope
If you haven’t jumped rope since you were a kid, you’re in for a surprise! Turns out it’s harder than it looks and it’s fantastic cardio. Jumping rope also works your coordination in a big way. If you are a beginner, just get a durable rope and don’t worry about details. If you have some jumping skill, look for either a wire lightweight rope to work on speed and timing or a weighted rope to work on strength.
6. Medicine Ball
A great tool for plyometric exercises as well as core strength movements, a medicine ball is an essential purchase. Whether you are throwing it, carrying it, or doing abdominal exercises with it, a medicinal ball provides you with many, many options. Look for a SOFT medicine ball so that it is forgiving when you do exercises involving throwing or catching it.
What’s more fun than having something to jump on? Boxes are a great item for building explosive power and quickness. You can also use them for squatting, for bench dips, and for other non-jumping exercises. You may want to build your own wooden box if you have the ability, or hire a friend. In a pinch, you can also just go down to the hardware store and purchase an irrigation box.
Your home gym, of course, would not be complete without a barbell. Barbells, like other free weights, are much better than the machines at the gym because of the stabilization and coordination aspects they bring to your workouts. Look for a sturdy, not too cheap and not too expensive bar. If you have small hands, pay attention to the diameter of the bar and consider purchasing a “women’s” bar.
10. Stereo System
Seriously, you have to rock good tunes while you work out.
With these ten items and a little time spent on the internet, you could generate hundreds of excellent workouts for yourself. If you can’t see buying all ten at once, slowly start building your gym, one piece of equipment at a time.