If you want to build your muscle and work on gaining more strength, you’ll need to ensure you have the right equipment. This can be the hardest part of all because once your home gym is set up perfectly with all the right gear, you can then use it – properly and carefully – to get where you want to be in terms of your strength and fitness. However, making that home gym perfect can be confusing, and you are going to need to do plenty of research before you can settle on what it is that will be best for you.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the best types of training gear, what they do, and how to use them. Read through the list and you’ll soon get a feel for what will work for you and what won’t work for what you want to achieve. Read on to find out more.
Free weights are something you’ll want in your home gym if you’re looking at building up your muscle and increasing your strength. Free weights are just that; weights that aren’t connected to any kind of machine. So, free weight can incorporate dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells, for example.
The great thing about free weights is that they are a good introductory item for your home gym as they cost less than other pieces of equipment, and they take up very little room, so if you don’t have much space in your home gym (or you’re only able to use the corner of your bedroom or living room, for example), they’ll work perfectly. Plus, they are extremely versatile, so no matter what result you want, you should be able to at least begin to achieve it with free weights.
There are also many different exercises you can do with free weights to ensure you work every muscle group. For example, you might hold the weights while you do squats, or you might hold them by your sides when you are doing lunges. You can even walk around while you move your arms holding them, getting some cardio on as well.
Technically, resistance bands come under the free weight category, although most people wouldn’t expect it since they aren’t weights as such. That’s why we’re mentioning them in their own separate category because you might miss out on having them in your home gym otherwise.
As with free weights, one of the reasons why resistance bands or tubes are such a great addition to your home gym is that they hardly take up any space at all, and can be stored very easily. They are also very versatile, and many consider them to be the most versatile of all the ‘weights’ you can own.
The colors of the bands are just there for show; each color represents a different weight. Yellow is the lightest, green is medium, and red will give you the highest level of resistance. Knowing this will help you start with the right band for you. Starting too high can mean your workout becomes difficult to maintain and you won’t see the gains you would if you started with a lighter band and worked out. Plus, you’re more liable to hurt yourself if you aren’t ready to try the high-resistance bands.
You can use the bands as they come to strengthen your arm and leg muscles, or you can attach them to door frames to allow you to do other exercises, such as lat pulldowns and chest presses.
Weight Training Machines
If you have more space and you’re dedicated to getting fitter and stronger, it’s a great idea to buy your own weight-training machine. Gym cable machines, for example, can help hugely when it comes to building muscle and boosting your progress.
As opposed to other weight training equipment, the cable and pulley machines incorporate many more muscles when you’re using them. This is because not only do you need to pull on the cord to move the weights, but you also need to stabilize the weights as they’re moving – you need to keep the cables taut. This means there is a lot of movement carried out in just one exercise, and if you can ensure you have the right number of weights attached (not too many so you have trouble moving them and not too few or too light so that they’re not doing anything for you), you can essentially do an entire workout with just this one type of machine.
Of course, other weight-training machines also have their place. Some are known as stack machines, and these are the ones you’ll most likely come across if you go to a professional gym to work out. To choose the weight you want to lift, you simply move a pin up and down. Then, you push up or pull down (depending on the machine) on a handle to do the exercise. As you can see, this involves less work than a cable machine, so it is down to you which you feel would benefit you, and which you feel you would use the most.
A weight bench is another great piece of equipment to have in your home gym because it can be used for so many different exercises. It sits somewhere in between free weights and weight lifting machines not just in terms of its size, but also in how it can be used and what it can do.
The name weight bench does describe this piece of equipment accurately. It is a padded bench that you can sit or lie down on (depending on how you adjust them), and you can use it for very nearly any exercise you want to.
Using barbells and dumbbells is a great way to use a weight bench, for example. You can lie flat with your feet on the floor and pull the weights up and down at the side of the bench. If you don’t have space for a larger machine, but you want something a little more sturdy, than trying to use the free weights on their own, this is a great compromise.