Life gets busy and getting to the gym isn’t always a possibility. One way you can still exercise on a regular basis is to set up your own home gym. Even if there’s not a lot of room, many accessories will fit nicely into a spare bedroom or in a basement. If you are serious about setting up your own gym at home, here are some of the more effective accessories that you should buy now.
Push Up Stands
While you may not think push up stands accomplish much, they actually help you to get more our of this type of exercise. The stands add a bit of height which in turn increases the resistance on your arms. They help to increase muscle strength in your chest even as they build muscle mass in the arms. Thanks to the fact that you grip them, they can also help build your wrists and strengthen your hands. When not in use, they will take up almost no space.
Weight Lifting Bars and Free Weights
You can perform all sorts of routines with a simple weight lifting bar and a set of weights. Start out with relatively low amounts of weight and add more as you strengthen your upper body. Arm curls are a good example of how to put the bar and weights to good use in a relatively small space. Once you master using these, consider adding a weight bench so you can use the bar and the weights for exercises that work the muscles in your legs.
Pull Up Bars
There are pull up bars that fit easily over the top of a door. Once in place, you can do as many pull ups as you like. If the doors in your home are hollow, you can also invest in a bar that is screwed directly into the door frame. Make sure it’s near the top and you allow enough space for your hands to curl around the bar without resting on the top of the frame.
Pull ups are great exercise that rely on your own body weight for resistance. Start out with a few repetitions and gradually increase them as you tone and strengthen the muscles in your arms and chest.
Floor mats are a must in any home gym. You can use them to perform sit ups, stretching exercises, yoga, and even some sit ups. They also provide cushioning while you are jumping rope. This is important, since the shock absorbed by the mat helps to minimize the potential for leg cramps later in the evening.
Sandbags can be used to add more resistance to a number of exercise routines. Depending on the design, you can place them on your legs while you do lifts. You can also place them on your shoulders while you do squats. The right retailer will have the bags in 40, 60, and 80 pound sizes. Many of these come with pouches that start at 10 pounds. That makes it easier to start with a manageable amount of weight and gradually work up to the maximum amount the bag will hold.
These bands are one of the simplest home gym accessories you can buy. They come in difference sizes do you can start with ones that offer less resistance and gradually build muscle mass. One of the nice things about the bands is they are among the most portable of all workout accessories. If you go on a business trip, take them along. You can use them in a hotel room just as easily as you do in the home gym, and they won’t take up much space in the luggage.
Many people think that you need two people to get much of a workout with a medicine ball. In fact, this is a great way to make your sit ups more effective. Hold the ball while you raise and lower your torso and you will feel some added resistance in your stomach muscles. If you do have a friend come over to work out with you, there’s always the option of tossing the medicine ball around a bit.
An exercise bike is another way to lower your stress level while providing a great workout for your heart. The bike also gives your legs and stomach muscles plenty of attention. Remember that you are less concerned with speed and more interested in how long you can continue to pedal. Make sure you invest in a bike that allows you to adjust the tension. Once the bike begins to get a little too easy to pedal for 15 minutes or more, you can increase the setting and get the benefits of added resistance.
Dip stations allow you to perform many of the exercises you would normally do with a set of rings. Since you don’t really have the space for the rings, choosing to buy a dip station makes it possible to enjoy some of those exercises you used to do in gymnastics class. Along with being a lot of fun, they will work the muscles in your back, arms, and torso.
These are only a few of the high quality fitness accessories that you can use to launch your home gym. As time goes on and your fitness level increases, there’s always the chance of adding a few new pieces of equipment. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the repetitions and resistance as your body becomes used to the workout. In just a few months, you will notice a big difference in how you look and feel.