We’re living in the golden era of the home gym. Here is my small guide on my favorite home gym tools I’ve been training my clients with.
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My Essentials :
- Resistance Bands. There’s a LOT of things you can do with good resistance bands and they form the foundation of my minimalist training style.
- Door Anchor for resistance bands. Essential for training your back and any form of pulling exercise.
- Water “Sand” Bag and Water Jugs. Sounds silly but before you buy dumbbells and kettlebells, try an “aqua” bag or hit up your grocery store / hardware store for a 5 or 10 gallon water jug, preferably ones with handles.
- Hip Bands for isolating your butt. I find these tend to require replacing after 1-2 years with weekly use, even with the expensive ones.
- Floor Sliders for abdominal, chest and leg work. I go cheap on these, the expensive ones are overrated. Note, sometimes these don’t slide super well on some kinds of carpet.
- Yoga Mat. Personally I went pricy on mine since a good one will last you a decade, but you can easily go cheap here without much loss.
Nice-to-Haves / Bonuses :
- Pull-up bars or TRX System. Personally I just go to the local park and use the jungle gym but these are great options for in-home training.
- KettleBells. Love these Apollo kettlebells, the handles are some of my favorites and I’ve swung a LOT of different bells. I’d recommend starting with a 35 pound bell for men and a 26 or 18 pounder for women. Down the road, I recommend you buy a matching second bell for double swings and carries.
- Dumbbells. Start with 1 “light” and 1 “heavy” dumbbell. Weight is relative but a good rule of thumb is under 20 pounds for the light bell and over 40 pounds for the heavy bell.
- Sandbags. I LOVE sandbags, and train with mine daily now. A good sandbag is an investment and trust me, you don’t want a cheapo sandbag.
- Pelotons. My clients love them and I find those who owned pelotons doubled their fat loss. There’s also a “delight” factor to the peloton that I find absent from other spin bikes in the category. For spin bikes in general, the mechanics because they lock you in a compromised position of being internally rotated with an overly kyphotic spine. If you do choose to purchase one (or already have), make sure you pay extra attention to strengthening your hamstrings and stretch your spine, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and ankles for at least 15 minutes after EVERY session.
- Adjustable dumbbells. Expensive, but useful for saving space and having more precision in your home workouts.
Overrated In My Opinion :
- All-in-one gym machines. This is just my observation as a personal trainer of those who’ve bought these. For 95% of people, you’ll get excited buying it, use it for one or two weeks and then hang your laundry on it.
- Lots of mixed weights. Personally I find if you have 1 “light” and 1 “heavy” weight, you’re golden 95% of the time at a fraction of the price. Remember, whatever you buy you also have to store and move.
Coming Soon – Building a Home Based Barbell Gym