What is the best home workout equipment? The equipment that helps you achieve your health and fitness goals!
The best home workout equipment for you depends on 3 factors:
1)Most importantly, your fitness goals
3)The practicality of owning such equipment (availability of room and floor space)
Ideally, you want to make sure to include several types of equipment that have features for all the important muscle groups – arms, shoulders, chest, back, abs, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves and hamstrings. Here are tips to help you narrow down your choices:
#1 Cardio Equipment
Fitness Goals: Regardless of your fitness goals, you need cardio equipment. Cardio exercises will help you burn fat, lose weight and improve your overall health and fitness level – endurance, strength and flexibility.
Anything that gets your heart rate up, makes you feel sweaty and gets more oxygen pumping through your blood qualifies as cardiovascular exercise. You can use DVDs, a jump rope, exercise band, kettleballs or dumbbells (for circuit training), mini trampoline, or you can find great quality used exercise equipment at a discount price.
$400 and Over: Treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike (or road bike with trainer), stairclimber, rowing machine, etc. See more fitness equipment here.
Space: Machines typically require about 30 square feet per unit.
#2 Strength Equipment Fitness Goals:
Strength training will help you get fit and toned, decreasing fat mass while simultaneously increasing muscle mass. The big question here is whether to use free weights or resistance machines. Both will help you build strength, but arguably, free weights increase muscle mass faster. Keep in mind there are definite disadvantages to each:
Machines are not as efficient as free weights. They target only one or two muscle groups at a time.
If the price is a factor, machines are typically more expensive and less versatile (unless you purchase used exercise equipment).
Machines require a larger amount of space, especially if you purchase multiple units.
The heavy free weights come with safety concerns. If you prefer to workout with heavy bench lifting, chest presses, or squats it is best to have a spotter (which may not always be available while you’re working out at home).
There is more room for error as opposed to controlled movements on a machine. Therefore, heavy free weight lifting is not recommended for beginners. Make sure you choose lighter free weights initially, and then gradually build your strength. If you push too hard too soon, you can end up sacrificing form and there is greater possibility for injury.
Free weights (dumbbells, bars, plates, etc.), weight bench, resistance bands, kettleballs, medicine balls, or you can find a great quality used exercise equipment at a discount price.
$400 and Over:
All-in-one multi-gym (such as a Bowflex), adjustable weight training bench, squat stand, power rack and weights, or a combination of various resistance machines to target specific muscle groups.
A multi-station gym necessitates anywhere between 50 to 200 square feet. The amount of space required for resistance machines will depend on the type and size of the equipment purchased. On average, 30 square feet is recommended per machine.
#3 Core Equipment Fitness Goals:
Also termed “abdominal conditioning”, core exercises help improve balance, posture and stability, training the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. Low Budget: DVDs, stability balls, wobble boards, or decline bench. $400 and Over: Abdominal machine, back machine, or hip machine. Space: Ab machines require the same amount of space as any other resistance machine, approximately 30 square feet. The other ab equipment can be stored in a small space.
#4 Flexibility Equipment
Flexibility tends to deteriorate with age, and accelerates with a sedentary lifestyle. Without good flexibility, performing normal daily activities can become difficult (getting out of bed, cleaning, etc.). From improving overall health to enhancing athletic performance and muscular conditioning, flexibility training is a must.
Stretching bands, foam rollers, slant board or stretch machine. $400 and Over: Stretch station, inversion table.
Space: A stretch machine or stretch station requires 30 to 50 square feet of space. The other flexibility equipment can be stored in a small space.