It's never been easier or more affordable for you to take your workouts out of the gym and into your own home. Fitness equipment can allow you to set your own training schedule, freeing you from the long commutes to the gym, not to mention the costly membership fees. Likewise, a ‘home gym’ doesn’t need to be a dedicated room in your home, and most fitness equipment is designed to keep space saving in mind. Setting up a home gym is simply a matter of picking the right equipment for your fitness goals.
So, let us take you through our absolute aerobic essentials, balance and flexibility favourites, and our sure-fire strength training equipment to help you start your home workout with the best.
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is the simplest and easiest way to burn calories. The rush of endorphins and other happy chemicals, as well as the natural feeling of accomplishment, is a great draw for this type of exercise. There are many ways to tackle aerobic exercise in a home gym setting, starting with straightforward aerobic steppers. These sturdy plastic steps store easily when not in use and are a fantastic starting point for aerobic routines (neon leg warmers and synth-pop mixtapes are regretfully not included). If you are after something more involved, a serious exercise machine can seem like a daunting investment. However, there are loads of models at varying price points, with the classic exercise bike getting a massive overhaul in the last few years. 'Cross trainers' are versatile all-rounders that target multiple muscle groups, making for an effective machine for aerobic exercise. These workhorse exercise machines start with inexpensive versions that use physical weight to provide resistance and scale up to more involved models that use magnets to slow the arms. An excellent way to strengthen core muscles, burn calories, and boost your mood, cardio in a home gym is easier than it has ever been.
When we think of strength training, we often think of rows on rows of specialist machinery, taking up the large floorspaces of 24-hour gyms, but toning and building muscle at home is easy and effective with just a few pieces of essential kit. Creating a home gym for strength training ultimately starts and ends with the weights. Most muscle groups can be targeted with nothing more than a set of quality weights and some other equipment. The sorts of weights you need for a home gym are largely dependent on your goals, but every setup will require at least one or two. Dumbbells are the most versatile type of weight available, varying widely in design and actual weight. Vinyl dumbbells will serve to provide resistance for toning and are much easier to use if just starting. Heavier dumbbells, especially adjustable wheel lock models bridge the gap between introductory and the serious sets. Kettle bells are another versatile weight, giving you opportunities for a variety of core exercises, and are very easy to store. In terms of other equipment, a solid and reliable weight bench would be great. These folding benches will transform your workouts, opening up a wide array of exercises simply not possible whilst standing. Weight benches are can be well worth the money considering the punishment they will receive over the years and even come with specific exercises in mind, such as ones built for abdominal crunches.
Yoga, Pilates, and other core-centric exercises are perfect for home gyms, requiring very little equipment to begin with. These balance exercises use the body’s weight to provide resistance, making them fantastic ways to work out in the living room, bedroom, or anywhere you have space to spare. A foam yoga mat is an absolute essential and will provide you with the grip you need as well as being more comfortable than carpet or hard wooden floors. Other accessories such as a yoga ball and yoga brick aid in difficult positions. There are even yoga sets.
Warming down and recovering after training is just as important as proper form whilst exercising. The body needs time to recover fully, but simply stopping straight after training will slowly take its toll. The stiff, aching feeling of sore muscles can be lessened with proper warmdowns - stretching and light activity such as walking - as well as a few pieces of essential home gym kit. foam rollers are a simple and effective tool for massaging tired and aching muscles after training. Electric massagers will let you target specific muscle groups and ease the ache that often comes from strength training.
Whatever your fitness goals are, there is a wide selection of practical fitness equipment here at The Range to kickstart your home gym ambitions. Our Home Gym section has everything you need to get started.