While super fun, it can also be a little overwhelming to think about what to include when building a home gym. With so many available options, you may feel that you need (or want!) them all. Depending on your space and budget, you really don’t need more than a few essentials to build yourself a great home gym.
Here are 10 home gym essentials that should be in any home gym set up:
You can’t go wrong with a good set of dumbbells. Whether you elect to purchase a full set of neoprene or hex dumbbells or prefer a space-saving Olympic bar dumbbell set, they are a must-have. There are so many exercises that you can do with a set of dumbbells and you can really get in a fantastic full-body workout using just this one tool.
Make sure to get dumbbells in a variety of weights (or weight plates) because the weight you can lift may be different from muscle group to muscle group. For example, you may be able to lift more weight doing a simple bicep curl than you could when doing certain shoulder exercises.
Also, consider purchasing a storage rack to keep them organized and out of your way. It makes them easier to get to, and you don’t want to trip or fall over your weights on the floor.
Kettlebells are an incredibly versatile piece of home equipment. When used correctly, they can work nearly every muscle in your body using just a few key movements. The kettlebell swing, for which these are most well known, is only one of the many exercises you can do with it. You can also use a kettlebell for squats, overhead presses and deadlifts.
Like dumbbells, you should consider purchasing kettlebells in a few different sizes so you can make sure to select the right weight for each exercise that you are doing. You can also purchase an adjustable kettlebell, like the Apex APKB-5009 to save both money and space.
- Power Tower
A Power Tower is a powerful piece of gym equipment that lets you do many different body weight exercises, like pull-ups, leg raises, tricep dips and in some cases, push-ups. They are fairly small, especially when compared to other home gym systems.
Power Towers are particularly good for building strength in the arms, core, back and shoulders. The moves can even be modified using a sling or strap to lessen your weight, or by holding extra weight to increase the intensity.
The Marcy Power Tower TC-3515 even has a multi-grip pull-up station so you can more precisely target the muscles in the shoulders, chest and arms.
- Weight Bench
A weight bench is an integral part of your home gym set-up. When used with your other equipment, the weight bench helps you stay safe and comfortable. By allowing you to change the angle at which you are lifting weights, you can better target specific muscles during your workout.
Purchasing a multi-position weight bench, like the Marcy Multi-position Foldable Olympic Weight Bench MWB-70205, makes it easier to perform a variety of strength training exercises.
Many of Marcy’s weight benches offer additional benefits or exercise stations, such as:
- A preacher curl arm pad
- Squat rack
- Leg developer
- Bench incline/decline options
- Barbell and Weight Plates
Barbells and the corresponding weight plates can be used for many different upper body exercises. They come in two different sizes: standard or Olympic sizes, and are not interchangeable. While standard weight plates are fine for a beginner, the barbell is not usually able to hold as much weight as an Olympic sized bar.
Olympic bars and their weight plates are standardized and the type of weight required for use in weightlifting competitions. Olympic bars are also able to hold heavier weight as well.
While it is possible to start with a standard bar and upgrade to an Olympic sized later on, don’t forget that you’ll need to repurchase all of your weight plates as well.
- Floor Mats
Home gym flooring is one of the most important yet often overlooked home gym essential in any space. Mats protect your floor from dropped weights or equipment and can make floor exercises significantly more comfortable. Just think about how much more comfortable it is to stretch or do sit-ups on a floor mat than it is on a hard floor.
You can also consider purchasing yoga mats to put on the floor for stretching and other floor exercises.
- Resistance bands
Resistance bands are often underrated but give an incredible strength-training workout. This is because they work your muscles in a way that is completely different than free weights. With resistance bands, your muscles are engaged through the entire movement.
Resistance bands come in a variety of resistances, sizes and shapes so you can build the intensity of your workout. If you are new to regular exercise, start with the lightest resistance and work your way up. When doing a resistance band workout, perform each movement slowly and deliberately to get the maximum benefit.
- A cardio machine
Cardio is a super important part of any workout regimen. Simply focusing on weight training neglects a crucial component of your health and fitness. Every home gym should have at least one piece of equipment that lets you get a good cardio workout.
There are several options for cardio workouts:
- Stationary bikes
- Rowing machine
- Cardio trampoline trainer
Which one you select depends on many factors: what your space can accommodate, your fitness goals, and even your fitness level and needs. For example, someone who is looking to recover from a serious injury may do better with a recumbent bike or low impact elliptical, while a serious marathoner might prefer to have a treadmill.
- Foam Roller
Foam rollers are an absolutely essential piece of home gym equipment. They go far beyond massaging out tight muscles and can actually help your muscles recover from a tough workout.
In fact, foam rollers have many benefits for users:
- Increased flexibility
- Stress reduction
- Muscle recovery
- Injury prevention
Use the foam roller for about 20 to 30 seconds on any tight muscle to relieve tension.
Foam rollers can also be used as supports while stretching or during your workout.
- Music System
Don’t forget to get yourself a rockin’ music or entertainment system for your home gym. Though it doesn’t directly help you workout, it does help to boost motivation and consistency for your workout. Let’s face it; sometimes working out on a regular basis can be difficult. But having good music can help to entertain you and push you to keep going. A fast beat can even help you improve your running or cardio speed and keep you on pace.
If you have a smartphone or music site subscription, consider purchasing a compatible speaker to help amplify the sound. If not, consider getting one! If you prefer watching TV while working out, that may be an option too.
- The Right Program
If you are new to working out at home, you need to make sure that you understand how to build a workout program, as well as tips to make sure that you are using the equipment correctly. Check out the blog or newsletter at Marcy for workouts, training tips, exercises and other information that can help you stay on track and exercise safely.
If you’re ready to make a purchase, check out the selection of home fitness equipment at MarcyPro. You’ll find that Marcy offers a large variety of home gym equipment that can meet every budget, floor space and workout goals!