The fact is, depending on your routine, you don’t need home exercise equipment. You could get by in just your gym shorts. Nothing else.
Home fitness without equipment is becoming more and more popular, especially with the hundreds of bodyweight circuit training exercises available where no special equipment is required. (And I’ll be focusing heavily on these throughout this site.)
Even so, I think that you should have a minimum of home exercise equipment. Just a few pieces of equipment can literally add hundreds (maybe thousands) of exercises to your arsenal. And the more you have, the greater variety you have, which keeps things interesting.
Bottom line . . . there’s less chance of you giving up!
Bare Essentials For Home Exercise Equipment
The list below is what I consider to be your absolute basics. They’re cheap, and easy to get hold off. Is your birthday coming up? Stick it on the wish list!
The exercise ball is my most favourite of all exercise equipment. By a long shot. If that’s all I ever owned (in terms of home exercise equipment!) I’d die a happy man.
Its versatility is astonishing – there are literally hundreds of core strength building exercises. And it’s only an inflatable rubber ball!
Dumbbells are also versatile. (I’ve left barbells off this list as many exercises require additional, relatively expensive, equipment.)
There are less exercises with dumbbells than with exercise balls, but you can perform far better isolation exercises. That is, exercises that target specific muscles or muscle groups. You can also progressively up-the-weight as your strength increases.
Now to the old school . . .
Skipping ropes! Yes, they are much less versatile. After all, the only thing you can do with it is . . . skip! But they are great fun, and can give you either a good warm up or excellent aerobic workout if you’re energetic and skilful enough.
Running shoes or trainers. This one is obvious. I won’t waste your time going into it!
I’ve added a gym mat more out of comfort. If you get around to buying one, or if it gets ticked off your wish list, you’ll know why. They just make floor exercises much more comfortable. I don’t perform my floor exercises and flexibility training without one.
The Next Level Up in Home Exercise Equipment
If you want to start adding more strength exercises to your workout routines then you’ll need to invest in some heavier weights.
Purchase a barbell and some dumbbells and you’ll be able to perform several great exercises, especially compound exercises that target multiple muscles and muscle groups (think of clean and jerk exercises and its variations).
For a little more cash you could invest in a flat bench and rack – you’ll be able to perform excellent strength exercises like bench presses.
This kit is more than enough.
For me, If I’d only had limited room and a moderate budget, and wanted to add some serious strength to my routines, I’d buy a power rack to fit in my garage. One barbell, dumbbells, and an adjustable inclining bench. That’s it.
You would be able to get enough exercises from this kit to build some serious strength, whether strength endurance or maximum strength is your goal.
The Ulitmate in Home Exercise Equipment
If you have the money, you could build yourself an awesome home fitness gym. You are really only limited by what you want to spend, and the room you have spare.
Aerobic fitness could be satisfied by numerous machines, such as rowing machines, bikes, cross trainers, steppers, power plates, treadmills, and the like. You kind of get want you pay for with this type of kit. Generally, the more you spend the better the equipment and the more robust it is. For strength you could invest in various multi-gyms, cable machines, power racks, hammer machines, barbells and dumbbells. You could perform hundreds of strength exercises, so your training would never become stagnant or boring.
Some Final Points
Having covered the range of equipment you could blow your cash on, you needn’t spend too much in getting yourself set up. Especially if you are just starting out. Go back to the bare essentials of home exercise equipment above. These items really are a great starting point.