Are you sick of the crowd at the gym? Sick of the time spent in commuting to gym that toy have rather have spent in reps? Do you mind shelling out heavy fees for equipments you hardly use or you have to wait for turns to use it? Do you like to workout in peace without people staring at your form or how much weight did you pick today? Nosy workout partners bother you? If the answers to these are yes, its time to think of having your own home gym!
But listen, although it can be easy creating your home gym, it will be challenging enough to keep yourself motivated to actually use it. So before you invest in expensive equipments or redoing a room in your house, think twice.
Just buying equipments like abs cradles, abs belts, vibrating dumbbells etc won’t make a room your ideal gym. Here are few pointers if you are actually serious about building a perfect home gym so that you don’t end up buying just an expensive treadmill that you would hardly use in the name of home gyms!
1 A separate room
Keeping a room of your own is very important as when working out you need to be away from the distractions the home offers. Ideally it should have a door and a music system to keep the noise away. This one hour spent in this room should be totally yours so spend this time guilt free.
A full length mirror also helps as seeing the proper form and position is very important as it lowers the chance of injury. It need not be expensive but just safe and where you can see yourself head to toe. Don’t worry if you can’t one room for your home gym. Just dedicate a corner of your house as your gym. Push around the furniture and make space. Modern home gyms need not be too spacious as now a day you get equipments which let you do eight exercises from one of it.
2 Buy equipments based on your goals
Once you are done with deciding with the space dedicated to workouts, next step is to decide to buy equipments. Don’t buy equipments just because it’s the in thing in market or just because someone recommended it. Sit down and decide as to what are your fitness goals. Weight loss, weight gain, cardio or strength training. But sometimes it’s not that simple either. If you are trying to lose weight, just focusing on cardio won’t help you. Yes you do get your heartbeat up and you burn calories but after sometimes your body will get used to it and you will stop losing weight. So it’s best to decide on a combination of both cardio and strength training. Just losing weight is not enough, toning muscles and adding definition is equally important.
3 Invest in Dumbbells
Contrary to what people believe about weight training, it is very important not just for weight loss but for your overall fitness level. Invest in 3 sets of dumbbells, ranging from 5lbs, 10 lbs and 15lbs. You may start with 5lbs and as you go on building strength you can buy heavier weights. Or better, invest in adjustable dumbbells. These are equipments that add plates with the click of a switch from 2lbs to 50 lbs. they take up less space and can be gradually adjusted to as you move ahead on the fitness journey.
4 Stability Ball
Most of the people believe the more we huff and puff, spend longer hours in gym and are in the pool of our own sweat everyday – the more chances we have of reaching our fitness goals sooner. Not true. If you don’t take care of the injuries, you would end up spending more time sitting and nursing your injuries than actually working out. A stability ball will go a long way in preventing those. No point bulking up muscles and losing on your flexibility. Next to dumbbells, a good stability ball should be your absolute buy for home gyms. Work on your balance and core strength. Do crunches, bridges, squats and hamstring curls. They take up very less space and act as benches when working with dumbbells. Just make sure the quality is good and it doesn’t burst out while working.
5 Resistance bands
They are the best things to have for home gyms. It’s easy to do, low cost, take up almost no space and extremely versatile. Do this when you need to do light to moderate resistance exercise. If you need to go advanced with this, you may buy ones that come with handles and door attachments.
You can do – lat pull-downs, standing chest presses, squats, and shoulder-related exercises with these. The best thing about resistance bands is the variety it brings in the workouts you can do at home. Don’t underestimate these things – you may want to go advanced with these by buying the straps you can attach to ceilings trusses or doors and your body weight becomes the resistance.
We cannot possibly complete this article without mentioning the good old cardio exercises. Nothing beats raising your heart rate up and benefitting on the calorie expenditure. Skipping is one such cardio where you won’t be spending too much and won’t be taking too much space. Just invest in a good old skipping rope and you are done. You may buy one which counts the skips while you skip.
If you are worried about hitting something with the rope, you can buy skipping ropes which are actually ‘rope less’! They are just weighted handles actually and they can mimic the benefits of while you skip on these ropes less skip ropes! You may try high knees, Jumping jacks, aerobic steppers etc in cardio exercises. Basically, anything that makes your heart rate goes up. It need not be very expensive or high tech really.
7 The Big Machines
Well, if you really do want to buy the big machines and impressive contraptions like – treadmills, elliptical trainers, spin cycles and stuff by all means go ahead and buy it but decide on one. If you love running, invest in a treadmill.
Just know that running on treadmills is actually quite hard on your knees and this is actually something you can do outside without buying actually anything. Most of these heavy equipments can help you with only one set of movement and actually do take up a lot of space and well, of course are costly. So think one a lot, read lot of reviews and do your research before deciding on one.
Also, your home gym might not be as elaborate or as beautiful as the local gym, but if you are actually putting in hours and work in your home gym, you are doing way better than people who have membership to the most expensive gyms in world with world class facilities but aren’t using it. So, go ahead, make the space your own, make it safe and make it work for you. Happy Working out!