As the world and how we live our day-to-day lives changes, the way many people exercise and take care of their fitness, changes too. Gym memberships are still popular, but more and more people are opting to turn their garage or basement into an at-home gym. Sure, the cost of buying different types of weights can add up, but you don’t need a whole lot to stock an effective, at-home gym. Plus, you don’t have to worry about monthly dues, the grunting guy next to you, or sweaty equipment that hasn’t been wiped down.
If you’ve been considering your own at-home gym, the following strength training equipment provides a good, cost-effective base from which to get started.
This versatile piece of strength training equipment is a mainstay in nearly any gym or fitness center. Resembling a cannonball with a loop for a handle on one end, the kettlebell can be used for a wide variety of exercises. Its versatility also means it works for both strength training and cardio, often simultaneously. Popular kettlebell exercises include kettlebell swings, cleans, squats, and farmer’s walks. Another feature of the kettlebell is that it helps force your core to stabilize while performing exercises.
When stocking your home gym, you can manage with a single kettlebell. Choose a weight that is challenging but that you can perform with even as you gain strength. A good place to start is in the 25-45-lb range, depending on your current fitness levels.
The O.G. of the gym, dumbbells are a staple in every fitness center, garage, and basement in the world. They not only offer sought-after versatility, but they don’t take up a lot of room. A nice set of dumbbells of varying weights can be an investment, but when you think of the long-term benefits to your health and the amount of use you’ll get out of them, they’re also a wise purchase for your at-home gym.
Resistance bands come in an array of strengths and colors. They kind of remind you of big rubber bands. But their attributes and versatility make them a strong contender for any at-home gym. Squats, deadlifts, bicep curls, band walks—the exercise possibilities are nearly endless. Resistance bands are ideal for anyone with joint issues, as they offer a low-impact way to simulate lifting weights.
They take up almost no space in your at-home gym, plus they pack up easily so you can take them on the road with you when you travel. Resistance bands are relatively cheap. Usually, a good set features different resistant levels, from extremely easy to ultra-heavy. If you play sports, resistance bands are also ideal for a dynamic warmup.
You have probably seen those old black and white pictures of muscular fitness enthusiasts of yore, holding a medicine ball in front of them. And why the name medicine ball anyway? Well, it doesn’t matter, what matters is these basketball-shaped pieces of gym equipment are a fantastic tool to help develop and train your explosive power. You can throw them, carry them, lift them, and more. They are an ideal tool for training explosive power for sports like golf, baseball, hockey, and more. Even better? Medicine ball slams are a great stress reliever!
OK, so you probably won’t find these in every gym. But that’s OK. They may just be what gives your at-home gym the advantage. For those seeking “peak fitness,” plate carriers are perfect for hardcore workouts. Regular planks, pushups, and lunges not challenging you anymore? Add a plate carrier and a couple of weighted kits and you will have all you want and more. Plate carriers allow you to get the absolute most out of your workout.
Now that you’ve outfitted your home gym with the best strength training equipment and got the latest workout gear, you are officially ready to go full beast mode and get in the best shape of your life!