In recent times, there has been an increased interest in bringing the gym into the home. However, for many who are serious about their weight training, there is a prevalent misconception that the home gym lifestyle has no way of approaching the complexity of what the local gym has on offer. Whilst it’s true that your garage may not be capable of housing the plethora of machines that reside at your local, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to target all major muscle groups with a much simpler setup at home.
Doing this effectively is about having the right gear and knowing how to use it. It’s important to know every little bit of equipment that will be required for your workouts, or streamlining the process further by investing in a home gym bundle. If you’re considering simplifying your workout by eliminating the trip – but looking to lose none of its effectiveness – then this is the guide for you.
One of the best ways of bringing your resistance exercises into your home is having a versatile and space efficient set of weights – adjustable weights suchs as dumbbells and barbells are often a superior option for this reason. Being able to have simple bars with plates to add and remove as needed will dramatically reduce the amount of storage space required. The removable plates are much easier to store than many different barbells and dumbbells of various weights.
Similarly, ensuring that you invest in an adjustable bench will help down the line by broadening greatly the exercises that are available to you. The muscle groups that are being targeted by the machines in the gym can often be targeted at home with free weights and a bench. Often, using this method can be even more advantageous as training without the fixed path that the machines create for your movements, you will be additionally training your muscle control.
Resistance bands are a tremendously versatile, inexpensive and space efficient piece of exercise gear. They are available in varying ratings of strength, meaning that there are some that give greater resistance to being stretched than others, therefore requiring greater strength. There may be some fear around the potential of resistance bands breaking whilst they are being used – this is possible, which is why it is important to inspect the bands regularly before use and replace as necessary. The vast majority of injuries from resistance bands come from improper use, so pay particular attention to your form and technique when using these tools.
In some cases, resistance bands can even be a superior resistance workout device to dumbbells. When used for similar exercises, resistance bands (in being true to their name) provide a constant resistance against your muscles, for the entirety of the movement. This means that in the end the resistance bands will do a greater job of promoting muscle growth.
Depending on your fitness goals, body weight exercises can also be a worthy avenue to consider. For many, supplementing your routine with body weight exercises can be a great way of developing your body control and it is healthier for your joints, too.
However, with the correct tools such as dumbbells or kettlebells, you’ll be able to supplement some of your bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges or situps. Adding free weights to these exercises will allow you to have some of the best of both worlds.
Although cardio may seem like a distant concern for those who are focussed on strength training, it’s important never to write it off entirely. Even for those with fitness goals that are about their muscles, having a well-rounded routine is always important. Cardio can be a great cool down for your workout or it can be there to assist you in building endurance – in turn this will improve your heart rate and help you to tackle heavier workouts.
Some simple and space efficient avenues for cardio include skipping ropes and boxing bags. A skipping rope is a relatively inexpensive tool that will quickly help you to work up a sweat – they certainly won’t be as lightly playful as how you remember them from the schoolyard if you use them right. A boxing bag is a great way to get in touch with the strength that you’ve been building while getting a good cardio exercise all at once.
There are even fitness programs such as HIIT, which combines cardio with resistance training and has its own set of benefits.
Whilst it may seem like a lot to get together right away, you shouldn’t be afraid to begin your journey of weight training at home. Starting your setup can be incredibly simple and there are many exercises that can be done with very little in the way of equipment. With the right technique and the discipline to go along with it, there’s nothing stopping you from having the equivalent of a whole warehouse full of weights and machines, all just tucked away under your bed.