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Welcome to Cardio Nation USA

Top 10 Home Gym Essentials to Get You Started

Two of the biggest excuses for not working out are: "I can't afford to pay for a gym membership right now" and "I don't have the time to go to the gym." Both are excuses that would be nullified if only we had the necessary home gym essentials.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to want to wait until the conditions are perfect for doing the things we know are good for us:

  • How about going for a run? I don't have the right shoes
  • What about working out? I'm still trying to find the right gym
  • Maybe some home workouts? Where would I even start?

These are all excuses for not exercising as regularly as we should. Most of these flimsy reasons go out the window as soon as you build yourself a home gym.

Think about it: building a home gym isn't that difficult. It certainly doesn't take up much space, and once you have done it, you will inherently feel very wasteful if you don't use it regularly.

Most Important Home Gym Essentials

Unfortunately, our capacity for finding excuses is pretty much unlimited. That is why you probably already hear a little voice in your head right now saying: but isn't a home gym going to be expensive?

The thing is, if you want something bad enough, you will find a reason to make it happen. A home gym doesn't have to cost you your life savings. With the right knowledge, you can buy yourself some home gym essentials that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Here is the most essential home gym set-up for those who want to build a gym in their basement or spare room without necessarily having to sell a kidney:

1.Dumbbells

These versatile weights more than justify their purchase almost instantly. That is mostly because the number of exercises that incorporate dumbbells are almost endless:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Lateral Raise
  • Shoulder Press
  • Triceps Kickback
  • Alternated Biceps Curl
  • Kneeling One Arm Row

The list goes on and on. The best part is that you don't even need to follow the exact dumbbell regimen. All you have to do is incorporate them in almost every exercise you do, and they instantly bring a whole new level of intensity to it.

2. Jump Rope

Turns out this simple tool we used to play with as kids have some serious cardio benefits when used in a home gym. A jump rope is not only an incredibly cheap home gym essential, but it is also an excellent way to work out your entire body as well as your coordination skills.

The thing is, however, there are different types of jump ropes. As a beginner, you don't need to worry about all that. Get a simple jump rope and use it to work up your jumping skills and cardio.

However, as you get more advanced, you might want to go for a wire lightweight rope that will hold up well when your skipping speed picks up. You can also go for a weighted jump rope to help build up your strength while you are at it.

3. Barbell

There is a very good chance that you can't confidently say that you have a home gym if it doesn't have a barbell or two. Barbells, like dumbbells, offer you an incredible array of versatility as far as the number of exercises that you can do with them goes, from deadlifts to bent-over rows, overhead press, squats, and so much more.

One of the biggest reasons for getting barbells, however, has to do with the fact that they bring a whole new level of stabilization and coordination to your workout routines. Like most free weights, they are much better than complicated machines in this way.

Pay close attention to the kind of bar you buy and ensure that it suits your hand size. If you have particularly small hands, then you can get "women's" bars. It's all about comfort and safety.

4. Exercise or Yoga Mat

The fact that you own a home gym means that you are going to be doing a lot of bodyweight exercises which are often very good for your coordination and core strength. Many of these exercises, such as pushups and abs workouts, will need you to be on the floor.

Exercise or yoga mats make this a more comfortable experience. While you can negate this need by simply covering your home gym floor using interlocking rubber tiles, exercise mats come in very handy if you don't have that much space designated for your home gym.

5. Resistance Bands

These are not only incredibly affordable but are also very easy to store so they won't take up much space. Resistance bands are an excellent way to add a bit of versatility and an extra challenge to your lower-body exercises. There are quite a number of exercises that you can do which incorporate resistance bands:

  • Glute bridges
  • Clamshells with the band around your ankle
  • Side squats

The tighter your band is, the more strenuous and challenging the workouts will be, and the better the gains.

6. Wall Mirrors

Now, these aren't exactly integral to your workouts (there really is no gym exercise that incorporates a mirror). That, however, doesn't mean that you still don't need one in your home gym.

If you have the space, like in a basement gym set-up, you could choose to get wall to wall mirrors. However, if you have a small room or just a designated gym space, then you can buy a full-length mirror.

The main reason why you need a mirror in your home gym is that it helps you keep an eye on your form, which is one of the most important aspects of working out if you are to get the most gains from your routines while avoiding injury.

7. Weight Plates

If you are going to have barbells in your home gym, then you are going to need some weight plates to put on them. The beauty of it all is that you can buy a wide variety of weight plates ranging from 2.5 pounders all the to 45 pounders plus.

It's all about your specific needs. One of the main reasons why these are the easiest gym essentials to get is because you don't have to buy them all in one go. You can do so as your need arises, which helps with the budgeting aspect of things.

8. Kettlebells

Yes, a lot of the exercises that would incorporate kettlebells can also be executed using dumbbells. So in that aspect, they don't exactly fall into the "home gym essentials" list.

However, some exercises are just better and more effective to execute with kettlebells as opposed to dumbbells. These are exercises that:

  • Promote high-calorie burns
  • Increase cardiovascular capacity
  • Foster explosivity, core strength, and stability

Exercises such as kettlebell swings and goblet squats are just better with kettlebells. These are pieces of gym equipment that you can add on as your versatility grows.

9. Dual Adjustable Pulley Machine

Now, if you don't have too much space to dedicate to your gym but would still like to make it as versatile as possible in terms of "weight oriented machines,” then you should consider getting one that incorporates as much of your body as it can.

The best Dual Adjustable Trainers are built for just that purpose.

With the right machine, you will have a variety of upper body workouts, and lower body exercises all in one compact machine that doesn't take up too much space. With this machine, the resistance is provided by two independent weight stacks.

There are angled pull-up handles that allow you to perform bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups. In contrast, a pair of cable handles allow for the performance of chest presses, cable crossovers, triceps extensions, lat rows, woodchoppers, bicep curls, and so much more.

10. Treadmill

One of the biggest mistakes that most people make when they start working out is that they don't pay as much attention as they should to their cardio workouts. While there are many cardio related workouts that you can do with almost everything on this list, very few things come close to giving you as much value as running.

If you aren't keen on doing laps around the block for whatever reason and don't want to go to the park to run, then you should consider getting a treadmill.

This is an excellent way to get your cardio workouts in, work those legs, and burn a whole lot of calories without having to suffer those judgmental stares from your neighbors.

Of course, when building a gym for yourself, there is some home gym equipment that you might want to include, which may not necessarily qualify as home gym essentials but work to bring you comfort and motivate you to work out even more.

One of those items is a stellar sound system that you can blast away and listen to your favorite workout tunes while you push your body to the limit. With these essentials, you will have a well-equipped home gym to get you started on your fitness journey.


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