Today we’re going to look at the best exercise equipment for your home gym. I’ll start today off with a story…
I will never forget this poor couple that e-mailed me looking for help. They had just completely remodeled their garage into a nice home gym but needed help getting started on a program to use all the equipment. I asked them to send me a picture so I could see their set up. When I received the pictures, I was mortified. Giant weight machines, cardio bikes, treadmills….it looked like they had bought out a 24-Hour Fitness and moved it into their garage.
They had just spent 1000’s of dollars on equipment for their home gym and I was going to tell them to get rid of it all. A home gym does not require a big expensive set up or take up a huge amount of space. In fact, quite the opposite. Hinging, lunging, squatting, Everything you need to safely and effectively build strength can be purchased for a couple hundred dollars and fit inside a closet.
The following equipment is what I recommend everyone have access to:
An excellent self-care and mobilization tool that will assist in any strength training program. Any foam roller will do. But I prefer the Trigger Point Foam Rollers. The have a a plastic inner ring surrounded by a foam padding that makes it sturdy, without being too hard.
A Set Of 8″ Mini Bands
The easiest way to add resistance to a variety of movements is with 8” minibands. I personally use these Perform Better Bands which can be purchased on Amazon. You can buy a pack although I use the Green and Blue Resistance most often. I like the 9″ bands but you can also get 12″ bands are good for larger body types.
Rubber Resistance Bands
Highly versatile bands that can be used for self-care, to add resistance to a number of exercises, or assist in other movements (like the pull up).
To keep things challenging and safe, I recommend having a few different bands with varying resistance. I use this Functional Fitness Bands From Amazon.
One Medium Kettlebell
At some point you will need to start adding weight. Because of their versatility, I recommend everyone had access to at least one kettlebell. Ideally you have a set of differing weights, but if you’re only going to get one, I would pick a medium weight (something that is challenging, but you can still lift safely).
I buy my kettlebells from Fringe Sport. Huge variety, competitive prices, and free shipping make it a great option.
And that’s it! No big, one-size-doesn’t-fit-all machines. No trendy, late-night infomercial fitness product. Just some bands and some weights. Once you have the equipment, knowing what to do with it is the next step that we’ll cover in our report.
Optional Equipment– These are things not always needed but make great additions any home gym
- Set Of Dumbbells – Another way to add resistance to your program. Dumbbells provide even more variety of strength exercises and are useful for a lot of upper body workouts.
- TRX – The TRX is an amazing tool that not only provides a large variety of exercises, but can be used initially to add assistance to help you build confidence in certain movements that may be difficult or painful initially.
- Squat Rack and Barbell – I truly believe that the barbell is one of the most important HEALTH tools we have available to us. There are so many health benefits to barbell training that I won’t get into here, I’ll suffice it to say that all adults would benefit from having access to a squat rack and barbell.