Tulane Public Relations/Flickr
But we can do it. With enough willpower and determination, and with the number of workout plans available online, you don’t need a personal trainer to keep you on track as long as you stay committed to the process. Below, Insider Picks has collected home gym equipment for various types of workouts; whether you’re looking to up your endurance or come out of the winter season with a set of washboard abs, there’s something here that could help you on your way.
If you put the proper time and technique into working the heavy bag, you can get a full-body cardio workout. This bag from Outslayer is reviewed as being made with high-quality materials and built to last. Plus, in addition to getting a solid sweat going, you get to hit something and hit it hard; a solid way to relieve whatever stress life may be in your life.
Rowing machines can help improve your fitness level in a variety of ways; they can build and tone muscles, strengthen cardiovascular function, and improve your endurance. It’s a great way to burn calories, so if your main goal is weight loss, think about making it a part of your regular routine. Rowing is also a solid alternative for people with back and joint problems, as it places little strain on these areas as long as they’re using good form.
There are many stationary bikes to choose from if you’re in the market, but air bikes have a few features that make them a bit different from your SoulCycle bike. First, all resistance is created by you; the harder you pedal, the more the fan will push back. This allows to you change resistance at your own pace, making it the perfect piece of equipment for your home gym if you’re focused on high-intensity interval training. Also, unlike most stationary bikes, you’ll also be pushing and pulling with your arms while you move, providing an upper body workout as well.
Elliptical machines have been the subject of many a debate in gyms across the nation. While some purists believe the treadmill to be superior, there are many benefits to putting in time with the elliptical. To start, it’s a low impact workout; the gliding motion allows those with joint issues and back pain to work up a sweat without throwing their body out of place. Also, ellipticals lend themselves well to multitasking, so if you’re the type to read or watch “Survivor” while you exercise, this is a great addition to your home gym. While this model by Sole Fitness is pricey, most reviewers have cited that the quality is well worth the cost.
Running is always a workout. If you can afford it, having a treadmill in your home gym can allow you to get your three daily miles in regardless of how much ice and rain Mother Nature throws at you.
Dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment, and these adjustable weights by Bowflex only add to that versatility. With the turn of a dial, you have access to free weights from 5 to 52.5 pounds. For those starting a new workout regiment, this is a great feature that allows you to vary your workouts and continue to challenge yourself as you get stronger, rather than having to buy a new set of weights every time your biceps bulge out.
If you want to get a full workout in with your free weights, it’s helpful to have a bench that allows you to switch positions while keeping proper form.
For those who enjoy a machine-free workout, medicine balls are a valuable asset. Plan a workout of lunges, squats, sit ups, and curls, and you can get your whole body involved without jumping from machine to sweat-covered machine at an overcrowded gym.
Having a comfortable, reliable exercise mat is important for anyone trying to start a regular yoga regiment. It’s also a great surface for ab work, pushups, and your pre- and post-workout stretches. This mat from HemingWeigh is about 5/8” thick, providing an extra bit of cushion compared to your standard yoga mat, allowing you to save yourself the soreness that comes with working on a hardwood floor.
Once you get into the swing of your regular workout routine, you’ll probably (well, definitely) experience some soreness on your off days. To help relieve that pain, snag a foam roller such as this one by TriggerPoint in order to roll out knots and tight muscles.
On a Budget
Pull-ups are tough. Some of us can’t even do two in succession without our arms giving out. But if you set up a pull-up bar in a doorway of your home and make a point to do as many as you can each time you walk through, you’ll find improvement comes quicker than expected.
It’s quite possible you haven’t picked up a jump rope since elementary school, but if you’re looking for a cheap, portable way to get your blood flowing quickly, a jump rope is a solid investment. Ten minutes of continuous jumps are the equivalent of about 30 minutes of running, so if you’re having difficulty fitting time for cardio into your schedule, this could be your solution.
An ab wheel is a great way to mix up your core routine and flatten out your stomach. Just be careful jumping too quickly and too far into ab work, you might not be able to move the next day.
If the low-impact cardio offered by elliptical machines is appealing to you, but you don’t have the space or money for a commercial unit, this model by stamina is a nice alternative. While you lose the upper body push-pull of traditional ellipticals, maintaining your balance forces you to engage your core while pumping your legs.
Of course it’s nice to have top-tier equipment, but if you can’t swing paying four figures for a top-tier treadmill, there are some more affordable options that will still allow you to get your run in come snow or rain or heat. This model by Weslo is fairly narrow, but in giving up a few inches of width you’re saving a lot of money.