The Six Things You MUST Have for Your Home Workout!
Going to the gym has its perks with the fancy equipment, complimentary towels, and attractive gym rats to give you eye candy to strive for. However, we can’t always make it out of our homes to the gym. For those days (or all the days, depending on your lifestyle) we turn to our home workouts for the benefits of the gym minus the travel, and eye candy.
Whether you have a home gym already, or you’re looking to create one, this is the checklist for you! A home gym doesn’t have to be complete with barbells, benches, and stationary bikes (although there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s your thing). You can start a home gym with a few small, removable pieces of equipment in any room you please. That way, even if you live in a one-room home, your home gym can disappear and reappear whenever you need!
1. Yoga Mat: If you have nothing else, this should be very first purchase for your home gym. Whether you’re working out on a hard floor or carpet, you’ll likely need a yoga mat for most of your exercises to protect your bum and your floor. You can purchase these for next to nothing from Target, Walmart, or your favorite sporting goods store. You can also take it up a notch and find designer mats to make your workout even more special!
2. Pull Up Bar: Not everyone may agree with this item, but pull up bars are a perfect addition to any home gym. They can be purchased for under $30 and propped in most doorways and removed easily. Just because you cannot complete a full pull up bar today, even hanging on your bar for a few minutes will strengthen your arms and back. Most pull up bars can also be used for push up bars, or flipped for tricep dips if you don’t have a weight bench.
3. Jump Rope: When space or funds prevent you from setting up a treadmill, stationary bike, or other cardio machine, a jump rope is a great alternative. You can burn serious calories with this tiny piece of equipment. The best thing about it is that you can pack it away with you for trips or an outdoor workout. Of course, jump ropes are inexpensive, with even the more sleek, designer styles costing less than $20.
Dumbbells are an awesome piece of gym equipment to get your strength on. I like to purchase a medium set (8-12 lbs) and a heavy set (15-25 lbs) for my workouts. Typically, dumbbells cost $1 – $1.50 per pound, so the heavier you go, the more pricey the equipment. I usually purchase mine from Walmart for the best deal, but you can find them at any sporting goods store. Don’t be scared to go heavy!
5. Exercise Ball
An exercise ball is essential to a home gym. This one object will serve as your exercise bench, a stability ball, an ab machine, hamstring machine, and back stretcher. The only thing you should think about is the size. If you are short, like me (5’1) you should go for a medium ball as certain exercises will be difficult on a ball that is too large. These are also quite inexpensive, usually costing between $10 and $25. Check Amazon for the best deals.
6. Foam Roller
The last item on this list should be mandatory whether you plan to workout at home or anywhere. A foam roller can literally save your life! Well, it can help you lead a more pain-free life, at the very least. Foam rollers come in many shapes and sizes, but all help your muscles prepare for a grueling workout, and help blood flow to the muscle tissue. You can purchase a foam roller at Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, or any sporting goods store. Of course, I’d recommend checking Amazon first for the best of the best price. If you’ve never used a foam roller before, check out this simple guide: How to Foam Roll.
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