While the idiom is a bit of a brutal one, it is hard to think of a better application of the term ‘there is more than one way to skin a cat’ than when talking about physical fitness. Unlike so many things in life, there is not an objectively ‘correct’ or ‘best’ way of getting fit. Don’t get us wrong, good form is important, but when talking more generally about exercise, the best one a person can do is one that they enjoy the most. If you get the most out of lifting weights, then you are more likely to lift weights more often. Pretty simple. The same applies to swimming, hiking, running, cycling, and pretty much every other form of exercise.
The broad variety of things a person can do to be fit is usually the basis of the argument for a gym membership. Depending on the health club, facilities can include everything from free weights to tracks and pools. Due to that fact, some folks will argue that it is hard – or even impossible – to get the same kind of workout that you can get in a gym anywhere else. While a home gym and a gym membership aren’t mutually exclusive – there are in fact a bunch of different ways that you can get a great workout at home. Whether you are a Yoga freak trying to get a deeper stretch, a lifter looking to bulk up with some weights, or an athlete hoping to improve your agility or stamina during the off season, we’ve built out a list of home gym essentials that can help you push the limits. Take a scroll through and find your fit.
Body Weight Equipment
1. Fitness Ready Glide Discs. ($16)
2. Perfect Pushup ($22)
3. Nayoya Gymnastic Rings ($38)
4. Iron Gym Pull Up Bar ($27)
5. Metolius Finger Board ($78)
6. Perfect Fitness ($26)
7. Ultimate Body Press Dip Stand ($90)
8. TRX Suspension Trainer ($180)
Not everyone wants to make the leap on a set of weights, but you really don’t need many to stay fit. Step on a scale. See that number that just ticked up? You can easily use it to your advantage by doing a wide variety of floor exercises, almost all of which can be complemented or made more difficult with the right set of gear. Ideal for those who don’t have a whole lot of a room to spare in their apartment for equipment, all this gear asks of you is a little room and maybe a strong enough ceiling or door frame. Whether you are looking to build up your upper body strength, or strengthen your core, or get those deep single leg lunges going – all of this equipment will help you get there.
Weight Training Equipment
1. Valeo Medicine Ball ($33)
2. 35 Pound Rogue Kettlebell ($47)
3. Fitness Gear 300 Pound Olympic Weight Set ($200)
4. Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells ($279)
5. Adjustable Bench ($545)
6. R-3 Power Rack ($695)
When it comes to weight lifting, there are a dizzying number of different types of equipment a person could use. It seems like each muscle group has their own isolation machine, and while those things have a lot to recommend them, most weight lifting exercises can be done with a relatively simple setup. A power rack, a set of free weights, a barbell, and a bench are ideal for for someone looking to build out their own garage gym. While they require more space, they allow for a person to get a full body workout – hitting everything from squats to curls and bench presses. While you’re at it, adding in a kettle bell or medicine ball never hurts – especially for getting shoulders and core.
Some people are obsessed with cardio, some do it grudgingly because they know how great of a complement it is with weight training, and still others do it on strictly because of the doctor’s orders. Whatever your reason for going until it is hard to breathe (and then going some more), these different apparatus will be sure to get the most out of you and look great while doing it. Perfect for those who live in climates that get either too hot or too snowy and cold to get outside on a run or bike-ride, these machines ranging from the easily accessible jumprope to the more expensive rowing machine preferred by Frank Underwood, there is a cardio exercise machine for you.
1. Lacrosse Ball ($5)
2. Resistance Loop Bands ($10)
3. Premium Muscle Roller ($20)
4. Thera-Band Stretch Strap ($16)
5. Hand Stand Blocks ($39)
6. TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller ($40)
7. TKO Anti-Burst Fitness Ball ($32)
8. Manduka PROlite Yoga and Pilates Mat ($80)
With all that lifting, straining, breaking down and rebuilding of muscle, you can end up doing some unintended damage to your body in both small and large ways. Whether you are looking to do some preventative therapy like yoga or weekly stretching, or are recovering from a more intense injury, it helps to have some gear laying around that you can use to loosen up or strengthen different spots. Handstand blocks and a great yoga mat are ideal for helping you stick those hard stances or difficult inverted poses, while those gnarly knots in your calf you got from going too hard on the stationary bike can easily be worked out with a muscle roller.
1. Cintz Marker Cones ($13)
2. SKLZ Speed Resistance Training Parachute ($30)
3. Flat Rung Agility Ladder ($27)
4. Training Mask 2.0 ($80)
5. Cap Weighted Vest ($53)
6. Flat Pack Games Box ($125)
7. Everlast 70-pound Heavy Bag ($73)
Great athletes put in the bulk of their time and effort off the field, not on it. That isn’t to say a guy like Clint Dempsey or Rob Gronkowski aren’t pushing themselves during game time, they are, but they can only hustle for a fumble or make a fast break because when the season hadn’t yet started, they were training for agility, stamina, and strength. Some of the best ways to do that is to head into your own backyard or nearest park and hit some sprints and agility ladders with an altitude mask, parachute, or weighted vest.