Essential Home Gym Exercise Equipment

By:    Published: September 21, 2011

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Setting up your own home gym allows you the comforts and convenience of exercising at home and skips the hassle of having to drive to the gym. Plus, a home gym allows you to workout anytime you want, and you won't have to deal with other gym members sweating and spreading germs on the exercise equipment you plan on using. Here is a complete guide with all the essential exercise equipment needed for building a complete gym in your home.

Cardio Training Equipment

Almost every gym in the world has a section that is completely dedicated to cardio training, from treadmills to elliptical machines. Depending on your budget and the amount of free space you have in your home, finding the right cardio machine can take some careful thought.

  • Low budget cardio equipment: If you are on a limited budget, consider purchasing a jump rope for your cardiovascular workouts. Jump ropes are very affordable and provide a great cardio workout when used correctly. If you have more money to spare, a step-bench is another great piece of cardio equipment that can be purchased for under $100. Both of these items are compact and easy to store, so space shouldn't be an issue.
  • Higher budget cardio equipment: If you can spare $500 to $1000 on your cardio equipment, consider purchasing a treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike for your home gym. All of these machines offer a great cardio workout, but may require a bit of extra space. If you're not sure which cardio machine you would prefer, try to get a temporary pass at a local gym, or ask friends for a guest pass at their gym to try out the different machines and see what you like.

Whether you're going for low budget or higher budget equipment, it's important to have at least one piece of cardio equipment that will allow you to get the blood flowing and pump your cardiovascular system.

Strength Training Equipment

The next category of equipment necessary for any home gym is strength training equipment. Again, this all depends on the amount of space and money you have to spend on your home gym.

  • Low budget strength training equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells and resistance bands are great exercise tools for strength training. Each one of these items offer some form of resistance to help you build muscle and burn fat. These items can be purchased in sets and are more affordable than other home gym, strength training equipment.
  • Higher budget strength training equipment: Expect to spend a couple hundred bucks for all-in-one gyms and weight benches with barbell sets. These are great pieces of equipment for those looking for heavier loads for strength training, but they do require a lot more free space and can be a pain to move. These types of machines typically need a dedicated area within your home since they can't be easily stored.

Core Training Equipment

Many people assume that core training refers to abdominal exercises. However, the core also includes other important muscles, including the obliques, glutes and hip muscles. Strengthening your core is an essential part of a good fitness regimen.

  • Low budget core training equipment: Toning wheels and balance balls are affordable, exercise equipment that can help strengthen your core. These cost anywhere between $10 and $25, and can be easily stored for smaller home gyms.
  • Higher budget core training equipment: If you're willing to spend a few extra bucks on your core, BOSU balls and abdominal trainers range from $75 to $100.

In most cases, a balance ball, toning wheel and core strengthening exercises on a yoga mat are more than sufficient. Higher budget items simply offer alternatives for those looking for new ways to exercise their core.

Other Home Gym Essentials

Once you've taken care of the essential equipment needed for cardio, strength and core training, you can complete your home gym with these important, fitness items:

  • Yoga mat: used for yoga, but can also be used for stretching and exercises performed on the floor in place of an exercise mat.
  • Workout bench: purchase an adjustable bench or an abdominal bench with foot grips for a wide array of exercises.
  • Pull-up bar: you can permanently attach one to a door frame, or purchase one that can be easily removed and stored when not in use.
  • Mirror: useful for monitoring your form and posture to avoid weight-lifting injuries.
  • Portable fan: to keep you cool and provide proper air ventilation.
  • TV: this is entirely up to you, but a TV can come in handy while exercising, which is why most gyms have them.

Save yourself the headache and hassle of owning a gym membership and start exercising in the convenience of your home with your own gym. You can build a home gym with on any budget, all that's left is motivating yourself to actually use it!

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