10 Best Gym Essentials and Equipment for Your Home

If there’s one thing we know about gym memberships or fitness classes, it’s that they’re expensive. Not to mention, getting up, getting changed, and getting out the door to fit in your fitness routine is much easier said than done. 

So why leave the house? You can craft your very own home gym that will save you time and money. Plus, having the freedom to pick and choose the equipment that suits your needs helps to ensure that you’ll never miss out on that workout.

It’s time to cancel that gym membership once and for all so you can have some spending money to build an elite fitness studio right inside your home. Here are some essentials that you’ll need.

Strength Training

Many people are afraid to stop going to the gym because they think they can’t get a killer muscle-building workout without having access to tons of machines. These at-home essentials prove otherwise.

1. Gorilla Bow

Dumbbells are a compact and simple weight training tool. The problem is that one set is extremely expensive, and if you’re doing it right, you’ll quickly outgrow them and need to purchase a heavier weight. Resistance bands are an inexpensive alternative, but they don’t give you the same movement complexity as dumbbells. If only there were a combination of the two…

Of course, there is one. The Gorilla Bow is the epitome of an essential piece of workout equipment for your home because it can essentially act as multiple different pieces all in one. Resistance bands attach to a sturdy, high-quality bar that gives you the ease of use of resistance bands with the variety of barbells and dumbbells.

Attach the bands to your feet and do some seated rows. Or wrap the bands around your shoulder blades and do some chest presses. The workouts are endless, and you can do them anytime from anywhere. 

There’s a reason we put this first on the list because you really might not need to get anything else. After all, we waste money and space on equipment you don’t need?

2. Suspension Training Straps

If you’ve ever watched a gymnast practice, you’ve probably seen them hold themselves up with two handles suspended from the ceiling. While that requires a lot more stability and strength than the average Joe, suspension training straps are great additions to your at-home gym for some variety to your strength training routine.

Suspension straps hang from an anchor point and give you the ability to complete tons of different moves. What’s great about them is that you can change the difficulty of the movements by just standing closer or further away from the anchor point.

Not to mention, since the bands hang from the ceiling, it helps to improve your stability as you build strength. 

3. Stability Balance Trainers

You can probably find an exercise ball in every home in America, but if you’re looking to pack on some serious muscle, you’ll want to slice that exercise ball in half. Stability balance trainers look like half of an exercise ball, but they give you double the benefits.

The reason is that you can use the “ball” side like a normal exercise ball to focus on your core muscles. However, you can flip it over and use the flat side for maximum stability during a wide assortment of workouts.

We like balance trainers because it serves as a way to make existing exercises more challenging. For example, a push-up on the flat side of a balance trainer is much more difficult than one on the floor.

4. Kettlebells

Kettlebells are one of those pieces of equipment that often goes forgotten. And it’s a shame because these are some of the best ways to incorporate heart-pumping power into your routine.

Kettlebell exercises are often leg-focused and require quick, powerful movements that require your body to work extra hard in order to stabilize. They’re the perfect way to spruce up leg day and keep your workouts fresh.

Cardio

In addition to pumping iron (or resistance bands), you need to make sure you’re keeping your heart healthy to burn fat and let your muscles really pop. These are some essential pieces of equipment to get your heart rate sky high.

5. Battling Ropes

Whoever thought that a Boy Scout staple could ever give you such an amazing workout? Battle ropes are giant, heavy ropes that work each arm independently. This helps to eliminate muscle imbalances while giving you a super dynamic cardio workout.

You can swing the ropes down to the floor with a battling-ropes crossover to build up those core muscles, or you can make some waves with each arm independently. Regardless, what you’re getting is an insane cardio workout that’s masked as a strength exercise.

6. Heart Rate Monitor

In order to really burn fat and get your muscles more toned than ever, you want to make sure you’re exerting yourself enough (without overworking). The best way to do this is by getting a heart rate monitor to physically see where you’re at.

Your target heart rate is usually around 85% of your maximum heart rate, as this is when you’ll start burning the most fat. Monitors can give you insight into how hard you’re working so you can tailor your runs and HIIT routines accordingly.

7. Stationary Bike

Treadmills are a classic cardio machine for your at-home workouts, but they’re not exactly subtle. If you live in a small space, it might be much easier and realistic to use a stationary bike instead. 

Stationary bikes are getting a lot of attention right now, and many of them are loaded with bells and whistles like touch screens. But you really don’t need anything more than a traditional bike to get in a powerful cardio workout without ever needing to leave home.

8. Slam Balls

Medicine balls are a great way to incorporate some muscle training into a cardio regimen. But slam balls are a variation that takes things to a whole new level. They’re extremely similar, but the crucial difference is that slam balls are thicker and can withstand more high-impact throwing exercises. As the name implies, you can slam them around to your heart’s content.

Try a squat to shoulder press and then slam the ball to the ground to get some powerful, heart-racing movement in. They’re simple pieces of equipment to use but difficult to master.

Stretching

As important as it is to shed some pounds or pack on some muscle, it’s equally important to make sure your muscles are flexible and comfortable so you can keep training the next day.

9. Foam Rollers

When you have a hard-core workout that tests your muscles, you need to make sure they’re getting adequate rest. Lactic acid builds up in your muscles when glucose is converted into energy. It’s why your muscles get sore after a workout when you forget to stretch. However, you can physically break apart lactic acid build-up with foam rollers to get yourself back into action the next day.

These are must-haves, especially for frequent runners, but you’ll be thankful you had them after a heavy weightlifting session.

10. Yoga Straps

Despite their name, these long rubber bands can do a lot more than help with complex yoga movements. You can use these circular bands to help with passive stretches that require some extra force to stretch the muscle. For example, wrap these straps around your foot and pull them towards you to stretch your calf beyond its normal range of motion.

What’s nice is that you can also use these straps as resistance bands for other exercises as well. In theory, you can use yoga straps for your workout and post-workout regimen.

Home, Sweet, Home...Gym

There’s no reason to ever leave your home when you can have access to so much high-quality equipment right from inside. You’ll look just as buff as elite trainers and just as toned as marathon runners without spending a fortune.

If you still like the structure and guidance of a fitness studio but don’t want to deal with the hefty fees and inconvenience, the Gorilla Bow All-Access Membership was made for you. With access to live and on-demand classes, you can train like a pro from your bedroom, hotel room, game room, or laundry room.

 

Sources:

Mobility and Stability: Joint Functions When We Move | NASM

Stay Healthy Understanding Your Target Heart Rate | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up in Muscles? And Why Does It Cause Soreness? | Scientific American

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