6 Things You Should Have in Your Home Gym and 1 Thing You Shouldn’t

Home fitness success is easier when you have the right tools
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Home fitness is becoming ever more popular as people realize that they can do a lot with just a little bit of equipment. In fact, some people don’t use any equipment at all, just their own body weight. While that can be an effective way to get fit, adding a few pieces of equipment can go a long way and building your own home gym isn’t too difficult or expensive.

There are a few essentials that will help jump-start your home fitness, but there’s also one thing you should leave out of your fitness space.

Home Gym Essentials:

Floor Mats
Bigger is better, make sure the mat you’re using covers the entire area you plan to use. Don’t go for a carpet; instead opt for a surface you can wipe down with plenty of padding for your joints.

Stability Ball
This ball will be great for core work and makes a great substitute for a bench. It’s super cheap and extremely versatile, definitely a home gym staple.

Your body weight is your best asset in strength training. When you’re ready to step it up and make each exercise a little harder, go for the dumbbells. These weights are extremely inexpensive compared to bulky machines and offer even more benefits thanks to the greater range of motion.

A Sturdy Chair or Platform
If you don’t feel like splurging on plyometric boxes, any sturdy* platform will do. Box jumps are an incredibly effective (and draining) leg workout. Chairs are perfect for tricep dips because they offer full range of motion.

*Be aware of the limitations of your improvised equipment.

A Towel
This little-known trick might be the best kept secret in the world of fitness. Yeah, we know you already use a towel to wipe your sweat, but this cheap and compact piece of equipment does more than that. A towel on a wood or tile floor will slide; use it under your hands or feet to get a killer ab workout. If you happen to own a cable trainer, switch out the grip for a towel to work at a different angle that will challenge different muscles. Your tricep pull will never be the same.

Foam Roller
Most people know a foam roller is a great way to follow up your workout, but this tool serves dual purpose in your limited gym space. Foam rollers can assist in your workout as well. Doing push-ups with your hands on the foam roller will help those with injured or inflexible wrists and there are dozens of ways a foam roller can work your abs.

The Thing You Should Leave Out:

A Scale
A scale is a perfectly good thing to have in the house, even if it might not be the most accurate to track weight loss, but it doesn’t belong with your fitness equipment in the gym. The scale is synonymous with skewing emotions and you don’t need that kind of distraction in your home gym. Keep the scale out of the gym and focus on how your body feels, that’s what matters most.

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