With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging, many of us are still forced to stay at home, either by government’s orders or by our own choice. This means some of us will never be able to hit the gyms like we used to. We have to find other ways to avoid falling into a sedentary lifestyle by keeping ourselves active even when we’re stuck at home.
Unless you live in a house that boasts a vast backyard with a lap pool, exercising in a limited space (such as a small home or apartment) can be challenging. But it’s achievable (and even easy) if you have the discipline, commitment, and, of course, the right tools.
Others have different reasons for wanting to do workouts at home. If you want to get yourself in better shape but don’t like to pay monthly gym membership fees, working out at home is the other feasible option. Now, the next thing you will have to decide on is buying the right equipment. Here are some of the most common workout equipment to improve your physical health and mental well-being.
Dumbbells are one of the most popular workout tools, especially for the space-constrained. They are also quite effective in working your arms, abs, and back. There are many adjustable dumbbells in which you can tweak the weights according to your preference, from four to a hefty 55 pounds. If you want a more intense workout, you can add more weights.
Dumbbells can be used as they are or connected to one another with a rod to convert them into a barbell.
2) Training bench
If you have some more space to spare, it can accommodate a training bench for your weight training exercise. In buying a training bench, make sure that you choose the one that is solid and stable. Therefore, you may want to buy an option made of steel, which is sturdy enough to support your body and the weights you’re lifting. You might as well invest in a bench that’s solid, sturdy, and of good quality.
3) Resistance bands
Resistance bands are affordable, easy to carry, and can be used by anyone, anywhere. For first-time users, resistance bands can be used to build up their muscles. However, resistance bands – hence the name – are also highly effective for stretching and resistance training.
They are also versatile – you can affix them to your weight bench or simply loop the handles around your feet. You can do a variety of exercises, from bench presses and rows to tricep extensions. Lower resistance bands (two to five pounds) are ideal for stretching, warm-ups, and post-workout routines, while higher resistance bands (25 pounds and above) make effective and powerful workout tools themselves.
The treadmill is one of the oldest and most familiar workout equipment for cardio training. It is a great way to increase your daily number of steps and get a full run without leaving the house. A 20- to 30-minute walk on a treadmill every day will be incredibly beneficial, while a 30- to 60-minute walk will have a significant effect on your weight and overall well-being as you continue doing it much longer.
It’s best to invest in a “smart” treadmill. So, what’s the difference between that and a regular treadmill? In terms of connectivity, you will be able to transmit and receive data with any device, such as your smartphone or smart TV. Many smart treadmills have Bluetooth speakers, HD screens, and the ability to stream various fitness and exercise classes. Smart treadmills also track your distance, calories burned, and heart rate as you run. Many smart treadmills feature programs that automatically control the treadmill’s speed, incline, and decline for a hands-free, continuous workout.
5) Stationary bicycle
A stationary bicycle is an excellent alternative to the treadmill. Compared to the treadmill, a stationary bicycle provides a low-impact way to boost your heart rate. Not to mention it works your arms and legs by replicating a bike ride at different levels of resistance.
6) Rowing machine
A rowing machine is also a good option for cardiovascular endurance training. Compared to a treadmill and stationary bike that focus more on the lower part of the body, a rowing machine provides a full-body workout involving the arms, legs, core, and upper body. It also helps in burning a lot of calories while providing a low-impact cardio workout.
7) Exercise ball
There are many kinds of exercise balls, but the “exercise ball” this article refers to is a big and elastic ball, also known as “yoga ball” or “gymnastic ball.” With this equipment, you can design any exercise routine you wish, especially core exercise routines. It provides additional stability challenges to exercises, such as chest presses, dead bugs, and bicep curls.
If you’re going to lift more weights, you should add barbells to your home gym arsenal. Go for the Olympic bar (55 pounds for men and 45 pounds for women). It will hold the heaviest weights, making them useful for the entirety of your weightlifting progression. Avoid smaller bars as they will be a waste of money. If you cannot lift a 45-pound barbell right away, don’t worry. You’ll be going to use dumbbells, anyway, so you’d start with those instead.
9) Yoga mat
Yoga mat is also a home workout essential. It provides protection and insulation between the body and the ground or the cold floor, preventing loss of heat, energy, or charge from the body to the ground or floor and therefore providing a thermo-insulation. A yoga mat also keeps your body in place because of its anti-slip material.