Simplicity usually beats complexity when investing in fitness equipment for a home gym. The most complicated fitness equipment has a way of ending up as furniture and clothes hangers.
By focusing on basic exercises that works big muscle groups, you don’t need that many items to get a complete workout either. Here are some great additions to a home gym that are simple, effective and not very expensive.
Adding gymnastic rings to your home gym is a great investment in your health. The exercises you can do with rings to strengthen your upper body is almost unlimited. They are inexpensive, very effective and will not take up any space. With adjustable straps you only need something to hang from.
This is the absolute best solution for pullups in my opinion. The rings «twist» as you pull up and will automatically place your hands in a natural position for your body. You can also adjust the height for other variations like uneven pullups and «aussie» pullups.
Other exercises you can do with gymnastic rings are dips, pushups, front lever, back lever, leg raises and a lot more! Only your imagination will limit the options.
Another great tool to strengthen your upper-body pulling muscles is the pullup bar. Ranging from simple doorway mounted bars to wall mounted and free standing bars, there are a lot of different options. This will depend on what you want and of course your home.
If you want to quickly improve your strength and coordination, parallettes training is great. But not many people have a set of parallel bars hanging around. In fact most people have never heard of them.
The best way to understand parallettes is to think of gymnastic athletes.
Have you ever watched male gymnasts move around on the parallel bars? Parallettes, or p-bars, are basically mini versions of parallel bars so you can do similar training without needing a gymnastics facility.
While similar to the pushup bars or dips bars that you’ll see in the gym, parallettes are generally lower to the ground. With a pair of parallettes you can make incredible gains in pressing strength, inverted skills like handstand push-ups, body control and stability.
Parallette training involve supporting your body weight on your hands and maintaining positions over an extended period of time, but they’re great for building up core muscle and leg strength too. And they take up almost no space at all.
Some of the exercises you can do with parallettes are dips, pushups, handstand pushups, core exercises and a lot of different isometric holds.
Kettlebell training is rising in popularity in gyms all over the world for good reasons.
The development of kettlebells can be traced back to Russian farmers in the 1700s, as an implement originally used to weigh crops. The farmers noticed that they became stronger through the use of these implements, and used them to show off their strength at festivals. Later, the kettlebell was used as a training tool for the Soviet army.
Here are just some of the benefits of kettlebell training:
A lot of machines and certain exercises train our muscles individually, kettlebell exercises train your body as a whole.
Kettlebell training will give you a mix of the strength and explosiveness that are needed for developing real athletic power.
You will increase your grip-strength wich is a weak link for many people in other exercises.
It will give you a better posture by strengthening the entire posterior chain.
Kettlebellls will increase your aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels.
On top of all of the fitness and health benefits kettlebellls are relatively cheap and will not steal much of your space. It is a great addition to any home gym.
Total body resistance trainers – TRX
Invented by a former U.S. Navy SEAL, TRX turns every exercise into a challenge for the core by using two very accessible resources: gravity and our own bodyweight. If you don’t have to much space and would like to invest in gear that you can bring along on your travelt, this may be worth checking out. All you have to do is anchor the TRX straps to a secure spot and use either your feet or hands to hold onto the straps. You can do similar exercises with gymnastic rings, but TRX straps also have door anchors.
In general, a part of your body will be suspended above the ground or you’ll be leaning into or away from the straps to create resistance and destabilization. Knocking our balance out of whack gives us no other option but to adjust, which means engaging your core. It strengthen your abs, back and fire up the shoulders and hips to maintain control throughout the movement.
Personally I like to do my cardio training outdoors. I mean, why invest in a treadmill when the best place to run is outside? This will of course depend on where you live. However, there are many other options than treadmills and spinning bikes out there.
Some of the cardio fitness equipment that are inexpensive and don’t take up much space are things like jumping ropes and step trainers. This will give you a lot of value and many training options.
Another great addition to your home gym is a punching bag, and no, you don’t need to train martial arts to use one! When punching you engage your entire body, including your core, shoulders, and hips, to effectively control your movements as you hit the bag. This type of total body engagement can help you burn a lot of calories and strengthen your major muscle groups.
On top of that studies have found that female boxers are more likely to have higher bone mineral density than other women of similar age and anthropometric measurements. Boxing and kicking are good for you, it is also a fun addition to your cardio training.
Building a home gym do not have to be expensive or take a lot of space in your house, with simple and effective fitness equipment you can get a total body workout!