If you’re looking to build a home gym on a budget, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of just 4 home gym essentials that will help you get a full-body workout no matter the size of your workout space.
1. Resistance Bands
Whether you have a large or limited budget, resistance bands are a must-have home gym essential. Not only are the bands easy to use, you can get a light or strenuous workout making it the ideal piece of home-gym equipment for all fitness levels.
With traditional weight plates and dumbbells, you have to commit a lot of space to store your weights on racks when you’re not using them. Not to mention the weight benches you need to get a proper workout. Gorilla Bow, on the other hand, is lightweight and easy to store, with the original exercise bow being only 56 inches in length and the Gorilla Bow Travel breaking down to only 22 inches long. So no matter your workout space, you’ll have the room to accommodate a Gorilla Bow.
Our innovative design offers a high-quality alternative to traditional resistance-training by using a combination of workout bands and a durable exercise bow. This means that you can work out your whole body with up to 350-pounds of band tension.
Gorilla Bow comes in three different packages, all with different types of bands so you can prioritize your favorite workouts:
- Basic: Gives you up to 110 pounds of band resistance.
- Heavy: Gives you up to 330 pounds of band resistance.
- Ultra: Similar to the Basic package, but includes two 90-pound Short Bands that are perfect for stretch movements like a bench press.
If you want all of these options, there is also the Total Bundle which includes our most popular bands and a travel case.
If you’re looking for tone, and to burn fat, the Gorilla Bow Lite is perfect for high-rep workouts and high-intensity total-body workouts. There’s also the Gorilla Bow Travel, which features a collapsible bow you can bring with you to get some reps in on your vacation.
Gorilla Bow is user friendly and comes with a library of workouts and exercises to put into a routine both online and with our mobile app. Our extensive library gives you plenty of options to work out your whole body, specifically:
And while there are enough workout options to create your own exercise programs, our fitness experts created training videos to walk you through 20-25 minute full-body workout sessions.
Most people could use Gorilla Bow as their all-in-one home gym. But to ensure that you get to do all of your favorite workouts, we’ve included a handful of other exercise equipment.
2. Pull-Up Bar
Pull-up bars can offer a unique challenge to your muscle groups since your body becomes the resistance weight. And while most pull-up exercises can work in tandem with resistance training to strengthen your arm, shoulder, and back muscles, they offer a unique advantage: grip strength.
Grip strength is incredibly important for lifting weights; many times it’s not your muscles that keep you from a new personal best, it’s your grip on the weights. Grip strength also helps your performance in many sports, like golf, tennis, and rock climbing. It also makes certain daily tasks easier, like opening jars, carrying groceries, and shoveling snow in the winter.
Depending on the size of the space you’re working with, there are a few different pull-up bar options you can use:
- Doorway: With either telescoping bars or ones that hook on to your door frame, a doorway pull-up bar is a great way to efficiently use your space. Plus, you won’t have to put any drill holes into your wall or clear any floor space below.
- Mounted: Bolted onto your wall or ceiling, this is generally the most stable option for a pull-up bar. These can vary widely in price, so get whatever bar will fit your needs.
- Tower: If you have a lot of space, tower pull-up bars are firmly planted and heavy enough to accommodate your workouts. Many tower bars also include handholds for tricep dips, making them versatile workout tools.
As we previously mentioned, pull-ups are great for working out specific muscle groups:
- Grip strength
To give you some exercise ideas to add to your workout regime, here are pull-up workouts you can try:
- Standard Chin Up
- Climber Pull-Up
- Behind Neck Pull-Up
- Gironda Sternum Chin-Up
- Negative Pull-Up
- Band-Assisted Chin-Up
- Windscreen Wipers
- Bat Wing Chin-Up
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Hanging Reverse Shoulder Shrugs
3. Jump Rope
While resistance training is critical for building muscles, it’s equally important to get some cardiovascular fitness into your regime. Cardio is crucial for burning fat, releasing endorphins, managing blood pressure, and strengthening your heart and muscles. Having some form of cardio is definitely a home gym essential.
If you’re not into running, cardio exercises can get somewhat pricey, because you’re seemingly limited to getting an exercise bike, a treadmill, or a stationary bike. But there is another, much cheaper alternative for cardio: jump rope.
Jumping is a great method for keeping your heart rate up and challenging your body. Jump rope is known to improve your coordination and increase the resilience of your lower-leg muscles.
Jump ropes are an affordable cardio option you can do anywhere you want, whether it’s in your workout space or just in your backyard or driveway. There are a few different types of rope to choose from, depending on your workout preference:
- Speed Rope: These are great for beginners. They are lightweight, which makes them perfect for slowly advancing towards more advanced exercises. However, these ropes do tend to tangle easier than others.
- Beaded Rope: These ropes have long, cylindrical beads, which make them a little clunkier to use but less likely to tangle. The hard shell beads make a satisfying and rhythmic sound every time they hit the ground, which can help you focus on getting a consistent rhythm.
- Weighted Rope: This is the more advanced option that can offer a higher calorie burn. Most weighted ropes are between one to six pounds, which gives your upper body a workout while you’re doing your cardio session.
One study found that just 10 minutes of jump rope can produce comparable results to 30 minutes of jogging. So you can get a serious workout in just a fraction of the time.
If you’re new to the world of jump rope, work on your coordination first. Do this by jumping in place without the rope; this will save you from getting welts on your shins.
When you’re on the ground, your hands (and rope) should be pointed up. When you’re in the air, your hand (and rope) should be pointed down. Once you’ve got the rhythm down, you can start to incorporate the rope.
Then, you can start to incorporate some legwork. Start by jumping with both legs, then try jumping on one leg and alternating your legs every 5-10 jumps.
Then you’re ready for a countdown workout. Start with a higher number, like 10, and jump 10 times with both legs, 10 with your left leg, and 10 with your right. Then do the same pattern but count to nine, then eight, etc. That’ll give you a high-intensity cardio workout in little to no time at all.
4. Yoga Mat
There’s nothing better than some relaxing yoga after a long week of intensive exercises. While yoga is mostly associated with improving flexibility, it also works on increasing muscle strength and tone, improving respiration and circulation, maintaining balance, and protecting you from other injuries.
All yoga mats perform the same function of cushioning you during your exercise, so the type you get is just up to your preference. However, there are a few variables to consider:
- Thickness: Do you want more or less cushion on your hands and feet? And unless you plan on keeping your yoga mat lying flat in the same place all day, you also should consider how much room you have to store it; thicker yoga mats will take up much more room in your closet.
- Texture: The texture of your yoga mat will affect how much traction it has. So if you’re known to easily slip in the middle of your yoga pose, a heavily textured mat may be right for you.
- Stickiness: Another way to get traction is with a yoga mat that is a little sticky. This comes from the finish of the material, like PVC yoga mats. With the extra stick, you won’t slide all over the place during more technical poses.
Depending on whether you want to focus on core strength or flexibility in your yoga, there are a variety of routes you can take in your exercises. This New York Times article details a few different poses to improve your overall well-being.
But yoga mats aren’t just for yoga poses, though flexibility and mindfulness exercises are important parts of a balanced exercise program. While you can get the majority of your strength training needs from the Gorilla Bow, yoga mats are great to have some extra padding for some core exercises:
- Leg Raises
Alex, thanks for the awesome question and comment! We’re glad to hear you’re getting back at it! Easing back into a routine is definitely important. We’ll bring this to our head trainer and ask her to address it in the next post. Stay tuned!
I love this set up of four essential pieces of equipment ( I happen to have all four). I have taken some time off and am ready to be getting back into exercising but I would like to see a workout plan based on beginners and those getting back into it.. Thanks for allowing me to share my input
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