The lockdowns and caution that came with the pandemic pushed many people out of their gyms and forced them to figure out how to get a good workout at home. Now, even as restrictions have relaxed, you may still enjoy working out from home. That’s why RAVE Reviews is presenting this guide to home exercise equipment, along with suggested workouts and advice.
Working Out From Home
Working out from home isn’t for everyone. Some people are able to stay motivated at a gym while working out at home often leads to distractions. It comes down to two key factors; the equipment you use and how committed you are to losing weight or regaining/maintaining your health. Choosing to work out at home will make it more convenient. No more commuting to and from the gym or having to carry extra clothes so that you can work out on your way home.
With more and more people choosing to work from home, creating a home-based gym seems to be the next logical step. Another advantage of having a home gym is that you can work out with your family, encouraging them to establish healthier lifestyle habits at an early age. Before you begin to buy any type of exercise equipment, you will need to determine what level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) that you want to focus on. Once you know that, you can begin to look at gym equipment that will help you achieve your goals.
Just How Committed Are You?
Setting up a home gym will cost you money. Choose a room in your home, a section of your garage, or a corner of your basement where you will have enough room to put up your equipment. The area will need to be big enough for both your equipment and you to be able to move around freely as you warm up and cool down. As you begin to choose your equipment, you will find out the price ranges of the equipment you need. This may cause you to rethink your decision.
Are you truly committed to regaining your health and losing weight? You can spend a fortune on equipment that won’t do you any good at all if you aren’t committed to using it on a regular basis. Before you make your first purchase, make a solid commitment to yourself to stick with your exercise routine. Once you get started and make it through the first couple of months, things will go much easier and you will find yourself actually looking forward to your workouts and the stress relief they provide.
What’s Your Budget?
Exercise equipment will range in price depending on how sophisticated or technologically advanced it is. Some pieces will be extremely affordable, but they will also be rather simplistic and may only have one or two features. Treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipticals, and stair climbers have become very sophisticated. They use advanced technology to show you the number of calories burned, your heart rate, and the distance you traveled. They also are programmed with different workouts to enhance your exercise experience.
Before you go on a spending spree, go to a gym and look at the different pieces of equipment. Choose the ones that seem to fit your level of expertise and then take that information and start shopping. It would be more beneficial to start at or below your level of fitness and move upward than to go above your level and struggle. Struggling to gain ground can be overwhelming and may discourage you from continuing. If you start at a lower level, you will be able to gain ground more quickly and use those achievements as motivators.
Is a Home Gym Worth It?
A home gym can be worth much more than the cost of the equipment used to create it. It can be filled with the most valuable equipment in the industry and still be absolutely worthless if you choose not to use it. Much like your education, it is only worth something if you use it to its fullest potential. Creating your own personal home gym can be the most valuable tool you have at your disposal if you are truly intent on improving your quality of life. You are the only one who can make that commitment.
A home gym can be your sanctuary and your private getaway where you leave all of your days’ frustrations behind. Whether you use simple pieces of equipment like barbells and exercise balls or state-of-the-art treadmills and all-in-one machines, your home gym will be as valuable as you make it when it comes to improving your health and quality of life. No amount of money can buy your health. Having the right equipment and the motivation to continue using it is more valuable than any amount of money you invest in the equipment.
Equipment for Beginners
As a beginner, there are several pieces of equipment you may want to consider. Treadmills, weight benches, dumbbells, and exercise mats are good choices that will allow you to work out at your own level. Being able to switch things up is the best way to stay motivated and keep yourself moving forward.
When you are first starting out, you should schedule your major workouts for every other day. On alternate days, use Yoga, Pilates, walking, or a 15-minute aerobic workout to keep yourself on track.
- Treadmills can be incredibly simple or very complex. Some are small enough to fold up and roll away under your bed, while others are very large and difficult to move once you have them in place.
- Vibration machines are rather simple to use and are designed to break up fat deposits. The best vibration machines are incredibly easy to use. Although vibration machines are not as common as other types of exercise equipment, they do seem to produce results over time.
- Weight benches are simple pieces of equipment. It’s learning to use the various types of weights and the weight bar. If you plan on using a weight bench, you should have someone to spot you while you are lifting.
- Dumbbells or hand weights are a great way to start lifting. You can begin to lift using the smallest amount of weight and gradually start lifting using larger weights. Free weights can be used almost anywhere and will give you the chance to target specific muscle groups when used correctly.
- Exercise mats are ideal for yoga, Pilates, and stretching. Mats come in many different thicknesses and are meant to keep you from slipping during your workout.
Muscles have memory. In order to prevent them from falling into a routine, you will need to alter your workout schedule on a daily basis. Change your perspective. Don’t devote all your time to lifting weights. Stretch it out. Throw in a few CrossFit routines. Mix things up and don’t get used to one type of routine. If you work your legs and arms on Monday, work your back and abs on Wednesday. If you want to really make things interesting, put your workout exercises in a hat and pull out three or four and build your daily routine.
- Sunday – Walk 30 minutes
- Monday – Treadmill, free weights, exercise bike
- Tuesday – Yoga or Pilates
- Wednesday – Exercise bike, CrossFit routine, walking outside or stretching
- Thursday – Walk or swim for 30 minutes
- Friday – Treadmill, free weights, rowing machine, treadmill
- Saturday – No workout scheduled
Equipment for Intermediate Users
If you are an intermediate user, you can begin to add kettlebells, Bosu balls, and exercise balls. Continue using the equipment that you started with and build on your program. Try working out for different lengths of time. Include your beginner-level workouts occasionally, not to give yourself a break, but to remind your muscles that not all work is heavy. Like in your beginner workouts, on your alternate workout days, stay active. Walk, swim, or perform a yoga or Pilates routine. Continue to move forward in some way every day.
- Kettlebells are a unique type of weight that can be used to pull and stretch muscles while lifting. They can be used in a swinging motion or when trying to toss a weight. Kettlebells are extremely effective for individuals who are trying to maintain both strength and flexibility.
- Bosu balls are unique in that they are half of an exercise ball that is made to produce resistance. Bosu balls are a great way to strengthen the core muscles and provide users with a great way to maintain physical balance.
- Exercise balls serve many purposes. They are used for strength training, building the core, and helping to re-establish balance within the body. For some, using an exercise ball can help them improve flexibility and range of motion. Exercise balls come in different sizes and can be used in various exercises.
Create a kettlebell workout that you can interchange with free weights. Use your exercise and Bosu Balls for core strengthening. If you have an all-in-one machine, create a circuit using each exercise at least three times. This will ensure you get a thorough workout. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down stretches to prevent injuring yourself.
Sample intermediate workout:
- Sunday – Walk, dance, or swim for 30 minutes
- Monday – Warm-up, 15 minutes Bosu ball, 15 minutes free weights, treadmill
- Tuesday – Yoga, Pilates, Shao lin exercises
- Wednesday – Warm-up, kettlebell exercises, all-in-one machine, exercise bike
- Thursday – Swimming, stretching or walking for 30 minutes
- Friday – Warm-up, CrossFit workout, Bosu ball, treadmill
- Saturday – No workout scheduled
There are several types of advanced equipment that you can start to incorporate into your workout routines. A squat rack and barbells will allow you to build strength. Consider moving up from an all-in-one machine to a tower setup that offers you a wider range of lifting options. Make sure to continue including your beginner and intermediate workouts occasionally. You can alter them to include more reps and more weight so that you still feel like you are accomplishing your goals. Including warm-ups and cool-downs that are a few minutes longer and slightly more strenuous. This keeps the blood flowing strongly for longer periods of time and will help to strengthen your heart.
Advanced pieces of equipment often come in the form of workout machines. Workout towers normally have four specific stations that allow you to perform a variety of exercises. Squat racks are designed for those who want to max out their squat weights. This type of exercise isn’t for a beginner. Using HIIT exercises will help you keep your workout on track once you have reached a specific level of physical strength that will allow you to maintain that type of activity. Once you have reached an advanced level, you will begin to see where all of your hard work has started to pay off. For some, that may mean a leaner physique and more stamina. For others, a stockier build and increased physical strength is the reward. Set your goals and get the type of physical strength you are looking for.
Sample advanced workout:
- Sunday – Stretching, yoga, Pilates, walking, or swimming
- Monday – Squat rack, Bosu ball, HIIT exercises, cool down time
- Tuesday – Walk, swim, or dance for 30 minutes
- Wednesday – Strength training, CrossFit, HIIT, cool down time
- Thursday – Swim or walk for 30 minutes
- Friday – Squat rack, CrossFit, Bosu ball, cool down time
- Saturday – No workout scheduled
Find Out What Videos Are Available
When you need a little motivation to keep moving forward, you might be able to find what you need by watching a few training videos. Fitness trainers put out videos so that individuals who need their insight can learn proper form and technique when working out. Not only will it give your motivation a boost, it will also help to reduce your risk of injury if you are not doing an exercise correctly. CrossFit trainers often put their routines on video so their clients can use them as part of their home workout sessions.
Having a television in your workout area may be good for some and distracting to others. It’s important to keep your mind focused on what you are doing. Quality workout videos keep you focused and on pace. Watching the videos will show you proper techniques and give you advice on how to use each exercise to its fullest advantage. You can find videos on YouTube as well as look on the websites of fitness magazines. The more you watch, the more knowledge you will gain about both exercises and different pieces of equipment.
Talk to a Personal Trainer
One of the biggest challenges people face when first starting a new exercise program on their own is self-doubt. Doubt that they are not doing something right or that they are not doing enough. They may need to add a few new exercises for the knee or exercises for their arms. They may be looking for ways to strengthen their core muscles. Talking to a personal trainer can give you the peace of mind you need to keep moving forward towards your goals. Working with a personal trainer will also give you a workout buddy with whom you can share your exercise time.
Certified personal trainers can help you develop workout programs that will address your strengths and allow you to eliminate your weaknesses. They can identify problems in your workouts that could increase your risk of potential injury. By using their expertise, a personal trainer can keep you focused on the goals you have set for yourself and possibly set a few new ones that will keep you moving toward the finish line. Personal trainers who have been certified take continuing education courses that will keep them abreast of new exercises and new equipment that may be of interest to you.
What Home Exercise Burns the Most Calories?
Depending on how you use them, exercise bikes, swimming, and running are the best for burning calories. Swimming laps for 30 minutes is the best way to work the entire body. Swimming is one of the only full-body exercises that use the body’s own resistance against itself. You will gain more of a workout by swimming for 30 minutes than you will be lifting weights for the same amount of time. Swimming also places much less stress on the joints while improving cardiovascular function.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, adds a little push to your exercise routine. Interval training uses outbursts of high-intensity energy to burn extra calories and give you a mental pick me up that elevates your mood and keeps you working toward your fitness goals. Burning calories is a priority if you are trying to lose weight. HIIT workouts also offer benefits to athletes who are trying to gain muscle mass and strength as well. Combining HIIT with other types of workouts is the best way to switch up routines and keep muscles from developing a pattern.
What Is the Most Effective Home Exercise Equipment?
The most effective home exercise equipment will depend on who is using it. Some people prefer chain-driven equipment, like Nautilus. Others may prefer the hydraulic equipment produced by Cybex Fitness. Other brands may use a combination of both types of machines. There are numerous brands to choose from, each offering its own list of benefits that can be utilized by those who have specific health goals in mind.
The most effective pieces of equipment will be those that help produce the best possible results for each individual. Effectiveness is also determined by how well a piece of equipment moves you toward your goals. Individuals who are trying to lose weight will need to burn more calories. Treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, and exercise bikes are excellent choices for anyone who is trying to lose weight or improve cardiovascular function.
Set Your Goals
When you start to set up your home gym, odds are that you will have specific goals in mind. You may want to lose a specific amount of weight or gain a specific amount of muscle mass. You may also want to increase your overall stamina. The best way to improve your health is to set realistic goals. Set goals that include smaller milestones. Every time a milestone is reached, it will give you the motivation you need to keep working toward the bigger picture.
One of the best things about setting goals is that, with each goal you achieve, you work toward establishing healthier lifestyle patterns. When you have a home gym at your disposal that is full of the types of equipment you enjoy using, the easier it is to start a workout routine. Continue following your workout schedule and your weekly routines will begin to establish themselves as patterns. Positive patterns lead to healthier, more active lifestyles. It all starts with choosing the type of exercise equipment you feel most comfortable using.
Create a Workout Schedule
We all have hectic lives. If we want to maintain our health, we must find time to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Exercise reduces stress and improves our mood by releasing endorphins. With the right type of exercise equipment, we can work on our exercise programs any time we choose. Even multiple times per day if that is what we want to do. The goal for most people who work out is to achieve some level of fitness. Whether it is to improve physical function or to simply get back into shape and lose weight, it’s important to create a workout schedule that you will be able to follow.
An effective workout schedule involves using every resource at your disposal. Using all of your exercise equipment to its fullest advantage is the best way to achieve your fitness goals. Effective workouts rely on both equipment and exercise programs. Using both together offers a well-rounded workout routine that addresses the majority of your primary concerns and will provide you with many more benefits over and above better physical health. Creating your own workout schedule is the best option. It allows you to be in control of your schedule and the exercises you choose to use.
Upgrading Your Equipment
The exercise equipment you start out with may not be the same equipment you continue to use. Over time, you will become stronger and more adept at some of the exercises you are using. As you outgrow each piece of your original equipment, you can choose to upgrade it to the next level. Upgrading each piece of equipment allows you to continue to move forward. Outgrowing a piece of exercise equipment is the same as reaching a permanent milestone. The more advancements you make, the more equipment you will need to upgrade. In some cases, you may need to move to a different piece of equipment entirely if you want to keep moving forward.
For many people who have home gyms, an upgrade can sometimes mean going from an older piece of equipment to a more technologically advanced piece that has all of the bells and whistles many people today look for. Newer machines have built-in computer screens that allow you to watch your favorite programs and videos. All of your health statistics are within view and can be easily stored until the next time you use the equipment. Tracking your progress is easy and you can monitor it all by installing an app on your smartphone. These upgrades are designed to help you keep track of every workout you perform so that you can see your progress.
Having a home gym at your disposal won’t do you much good if you aren’t motivated to use it. The best way to stay motivated is to do things that you enjoy. When you are choosing your first pieces of equipment, pick out pieces of equipment that you truly enjoy using. Look for those pieces that provide you with the challenges you are looking for. Using those pieces of equipment, create a home gym that you look forward to using on a regular basis. Your home gym should be a place that you look forward to using on a daily basis.
The other part of your motivation comes from your strong desire to improve your health. As we get older, our health can begin to deteriorate due to poor lifestyle habits. Creating a home gym allows you to regain your health and lose the extra weight that you may have gained over the years. The exercise equipment you choose to use in your home gym will determine how successful you are along the way. Take the time that you need to find the pieces of equipment that will allow you to reach your full potential when it comes to your health and well-being.
A home gym will be as unique as the person who designs it. Every piece of equipment that is chosen will play a role in your personal fitness journey. It’s important to do your research to find out what brands are recommended for specific types of workouts. Learn as much as you can and make an informed decision. Your home gym should be everything you want and more. It will be your best resource for a brighter future. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to explore your health and include new exercises and fitness routines.