I just got a new apartment, and frankly... I have an extra bedroom. It's just sitting there (I have my desk in the living room), with a spare futon mattress and nothing else. Thusly, I wish to make it useful.
So, I thought of creating a home gym. I've heard the basics are a bench, a bar and some barbells, dumbells perhaps, and some bodyweight exercise tools a la 'zis:
-for pullups, dips, modified pushups, etc. I'd also get a yoga ball because they can be ridiculously useful in creating bodyweight exercises.
So, for the fitness aficionados on these forums, what other basics might you add to a home gym? Also, is there any reason ye prefer being a member of and going to a gym outside of your home?
Chest expanders. The lats can be hard to exercise well with just free weights. You can do them with a pull up bar, but most of those designed for use at home are to narrows. To exercise the back properly you need to be able to spread the hands quite wide.
If you want some cardio stuff a simple skipping rope is pretty effective. I have a boxing bag which is great for a high intensity work out but with home gyms you can keep it as simple as you want, the key is your motivation, knowledge of what you're doing so you don't injure yourself and then using the basic equipment that you have to be able to get the same kind of work out you could get at a gym.
The yoga ball and free weights are pretty effective and versatile when it comes to exercising most of your body.
I like the gym environment as there are no distractions from exercising, there's a personal trainer there which pushes me harder, and the commitment to be at a certain place by a certain time motivates me to do so regularly. My gym experiences have also given me a base knowledge to be comfortable exercising at home without hurting myself if I wanted to, not that I want to, but it's one area that I'd suggest others be cautious about. Basic strength and cardio workouts are great but technique and balance are important.
Get a kettlebell. They are really versatile, you only need 1, and it works out a lot of muscles that more traditional weight lifting tends to neglect. I've lifted weights for years and the kettlebell still makes me feel like a pussy on occasion.
With that said, I think dumb bells are more important than barbells. The bench will still help a lot, though.
Elliptical are awesome if you can afford one (better than a treadmill imo).
Pull-up bars are awesome, and you can get them with wide grips that stick out and past door frames. Make sure you have a suitable doorway first, though. It also helps to get one that can double as a sit-up bar.
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There is only a few things I have when it comes to exercising using my own body weight, this would be a pull up bar and a weighted vest. Probably the only other equipment that I have (that isn't mine) is a treadmill I use to adjust speed and incline on my runs. I don't have a gym membership, I've found using my own body weight a lot more "fun" than using too much equipment. Over a period of time, I just started finding exercises that I liked to do. I'm no expert though.
pull ups/chin-ups (if strong enough, can try using only one hand, but I can't do that yet)
crunches (along with the side ones that work on the obliques)
lower body: I often do my lower body with some form of weight(weighted vest, maybe a backpack could work if you need even more weight. I don't think adding a backpack with running is a good idea though.)
calf raises (you can try to perform this with one leg, careful with balance though)
There is probably a lot more you can find when it comes to using your own body weight to exercise. But like I said, I tend to try to find the exercises I like doing for a group of muscles/particular muscle.
Also, a gym membership might work in your advantage, that is if you want to go beyond your body weight. After a certain point of using your own body as resistance, there is going to be a time that your muscles won't grow any bigger.
So, for the fitness aficionados on these forums, what other basics might you add to a home gym?
Maybe get a yoga mat too? Pretty good to have something soft to lay your butt on when doing sit-up, or if you're doing push-ups on your knees.
Oh, and I really like these:
- good for toning!
This is over the top maybe, but if you could install a punching bag (not your SO!) and get some gloves, you're golden.
Also, is there any reason ye prefer being a member of and going to a gym outside of your home?
Only reason I work out at a gym is for the extra energy boost and motivation I get from other people. And it's like, going to work instead of working at home. You're a little bit more productive, I feel.