Accumulating a few select pieces of gear to beef up your home gym is one of the easiest, and most effective ways to reach — and maintain — your fitness goals. For many people, working out at home means there’s less standing between them and success. Home gyms don’t have hours or operation or dress codes. You can workout when you want, as you want.
It’s also less expensive in the long-run than a gym membership. You don’t need to invest in huge, expensive pieces of equipment: you just need to invest in a few, powerfully versatile items and you’ll be set for years of success.
1.A Yoga Mat
Even if you don’t do yoga, a yoga mat is a must-have for floor work. It provides a little cushion and grip for stretching and core training, helping to make exercise more comfortable and therefore, more effective.
Resistance bands are super affordable, often costing less than $20. They are available in a range of resistances, so you can keep the good gains coming and increase resistance as your fitness level increases. What’s more, they don’t take up a lot of space, so if you only have a few square feet in which to workout, you still have more than enough room.
You need to lift heavy to increase your lean muscle mass enough to see serious fat burn and definition. This is where dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells come in. You don’t need to buy all of them, but choose at least one so you can get the heavy-duty gains from lifting.
How heavy is heavy enough? You should not be lifting so heavy you hurt yourself, but you should be lifting enough that more than 10 reps is next to impossible. Since your lower body can lift heavier than your upper body, you will likely need to choose two different heavy resistance levels.
Whether you use your phone, portable speakers that sync up to your phone, an iPOD, or mp3 player, there’s no doubt that music can enhance athletic performance and as a result, overall caloric burn. So, if you want to make the most of your workout, crank up the tunes!
Having a mirror in your home gym isn’t about checking out how amazing your look in your new, hot workout clothing (though there’s that, too). Mirrors in any gym are primarily so you can check your form and make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly and safely. So, grab a mirror and feast your eyes on your form — and sure, how great your butt looks in your sexy yoga pants.
You can use your phone, watch, clock or buy an interval timer, but chances are, some part of your training is going to require you to time yourself, or at least know the time. So, have some sort of time-telling device on hand so you can know when to push, and when to call it a day and whip up your post-workout protein shake.
If you bought every single one of these suggestions, you could outfit your home gym for less than $500. That’s a small price to pay for the lifelong gift of happiness and health. Invest in yourself!