If you have a home exercise space, it can be extremely rewarding to design that space for maximum effectiveness. Outfitting your own gym offers several benefits: you get to choose the equipment that best meets your needs, you get to breathe in the fresh air while working out outside of commercial spaces, and you're free from distractions such as unfamiliar equipment.
Before you get started, it's important to define your goals for building a home gym. Are you looking to build body mass or lose weight? If so, barbells and power racks are a must-have. Also, consider how much space you have available in your workout room; some equipment takes up more floor space than others.
In addition, consider the overall appearance of your exercise space. You can opt for a complete, professional setup that would look at home in a commercial gym. Or you might want a more casual feel with a larger variety of equipment to work with. Either way, there are plenty of ideas and designs to explore.
With these things in mind, here are the 7 most popular home gym ideas available today.
The number of high-quality multi-piece gyms on the market is pretty low, but they're definitely a prized possession. Setting up a multi-piece gym allows you to get a very effective workout while still having plenty of space for other activities. These types of gyms are generally very sturdy and easy to assemble, but they're also quite expensive compared to many other options available.
Also known as "compact" gyms, these multi-piece setups tend to be more affordable than their full-sized counterparts. The trade-off for this affordability is a shorter workout space and less stability. Most compact gyms make up for these shortcomings by including a wider variety of options to choose from, often with a greater level of adjustability.
If you plan on working out in your home gym on a regular basis, you're going to need a power rack or cage of some kind. A power rack gives you the ability to do just about any type of exercise that requires a barbell, from squats and pull-ups to dips and shrugs.
Power racks are great for protecting your spine, but they also limit your range of motion compared with a full squat. If you're not ready to commit to a power cage, be sure to check out the posts on squat stands and half racks; they offer many of the same benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Power cages are great, but they aren't very easy on your wallet. For those who are looking to save some money, functional trainers are a great alternative. Functional trainers consist of two or three long bars that can be arranged independently of each other for multiple applications.
For example, you could arrange the bars so they're at knee level for squats and above shoulder level for pull-ups. You just have to watch out for imbalances, as functional trainers aren't designed to take on the same level of weight that a power cage can.
If you're just starting out with your home gym, it's probably not the best idea to invest in a heavy-duty punching bag or body bag right away. However, these types of bags can make for a great addition to your home workout space.
Many of them are designed specifically for aerobic exercise, so you won't have to worry about it taking up too much room or becoming a nuisance. Just be sure that you're committed before you invest in a heavy bag/body bag; they're not going to take care of themselves.
They're also a great way to express your frustrations without hurting anybody, as long as you keep them outdoors and away from children and pets.
If you're really into working out or just looking for a convenient way to burn off some extra energy, consider investing in a bouldering wall or a few climbing ropes. Both of these take up very little room and can provide a great workout for your upper body, particularly if you have the space to do pull-ups as well.
A solid bench press is a must for any home gym that's looking to establish its credibility. The best bench press stations are made from high-quality steel, offer a wide range of adjustability, and come with an assortment of options for performing different exercises.
Calf raise stations serve the same purpose as weight benches, but they allow you to focus more on your legs than your chest. This type of station is particularly helpful for runners who want to boost their endurance.
If you're looking for a good balance between strength training and cardiovascular exercise, consider investing in either a spin bike or a rower. Spin bikes are great because they take up very little room and work your legs, back, and arms all at once. Rowers are similar to spin bikes, but you actually end up using more energy and getting a better workout.
Stationary bikes, rowing machines, and elliptical trainers provide great low-impact exercise that anyone can do. With all three types of machines, you'll want to keep your intensity level relatively high in order to get the most out of your workout.
These types of cardio machines work best when you can view a TV or listen to music while using them. The distraction factor is key for these machines because they aren't going to offer up a super intense workout, especially if you're not already in good shape.
Although treadmills are probably the most popular cardio machine, they're also expensive and don't give you a full-body workout. That being said, if you have the room to accommodate a treadmill in your home gym, by all means, go for it.
If treadmills aren't an option, one could try out the exercise bike instead. Exercise bikes are relatively inexpensive and can be used just as easily at low-intensity levels as high ones.
Spin bikes and rowing machines are also great options for those who don't have a lot of room to spare. These types of equipment can easily fit in your home without taking up too much space, and they're just as effective as their larger counterparts.
If you really want to take your home workout to the next level, invest in some home workout accessories. There are all kinds of different products on the market that can help you get better results while lifting weights or doing cardio at home.
Although it's not always necessary, weight-lifting gloves can give your hands a break while reducing overall calluses and blisters. Compression sleeves are another great accessory for weightlifters, particularly if you have wrist problems.
For cardio equipment, this list would be incomplete without mentioning the stability ball. Stability balls are great for core workouts and can also help improve your flexibility while strengthening certain muscles in your legs and back.
If you're looking to get a great workout at home, consider buying some of the products mentioned in this article. These ten design ideas should provide an excellent starting point for your journey towards getting into shape and living healthier. There are plenty of accessories that can help you get better results from lifting weights or doing cardio, so don't be afraid to take advantage! Remember: it's never too late to start taking care of yourself again - even if it means putting down the remote control or turning off Netflix while working out. You'll thank yourself later when you've achieved all those fitness goals you set months ago!