Okay, so sorry, I lied about the beer…but I do have some good exercise information for you!
Exercising at home guarantees a harder time coming up with an excuse not to work out. Contrary to what the industry will have you believe, you don’t need anything to expensive.
Here is a list of must haves to set you up:
- Dumbbells with removable weight plates & smaller plates (1.25, 2.5 lbs) – as you increase strength you’ll need to increase weights lifted to continue this cycle. With some exercises (think shoulder press, rotator cuff moves) you won’t be able to increase by 10 lbs in one session, so the standard 5 lb plates most sets come with will not always be useful.
- Some sort of indoor cardio – go outside when you can, but don’t let the weather make or break a workout. A treadmill or bike are the most realistic, useful, and useable long-term pieces. Ellipticals are fun, but if you’re going to invest, invest in a motion the human body is meant to do (elliptical motion is not a natural human movement and as such used regularly can cause repetitive injury). If you have the money, get both. Can’t afford cardio stuff? Get some cardio videos, or better yet, free full length cardio on good old YouTube. I’m not condoning all that I see on there (good Heavens with a side of exaggerated eye rolling), but there are some good ones. Mix it up – it’s never good to do the same thing all the time.
- Step – yup, like the ones in group fitness classes. Best, most versatile bench you can buy. You can do all sorts of weight stuff on it, plus cardio. Check out second-hand stores – I bought two in perfect shape there, it cost me $10 for both.
- Stability (Swiss) ball – I don’t care if you hate ball classes – there are still about 1 billion exercises you can do with these things that I guarantee you have never even heard of.
Those are all you really need. However, if you have the resources, a suspension trainer is a good, fun, mix-it-up option (you know what I am talking about…think three letters). You don’t need the brand name one. In fact there are many on the market. Also, although they are a bit of a fad, I do love my kettlebells.
These are the most versatile yet functional options, and you could use them in many different ways for many years to come. Please take my advice and don’t buy a weight machine – these are limiting, and they are just not functionally transferable to everyday movements (they support part of the body while isolating a certain muscle group). This is why free weights truly are the best. (Right now I’m plugging my ears and not listening to anyone who says otherwise, because that’s just foolish.) I know, body builder types are cringing right now thinking “listen fool! You need to isolate to grow the muscle!” Wrong my friend. You might have a strong muscle in isolation, but why must you wear a weight belt to support your guts when you lift? Why do olympic lifters sometimes poop out their intestines (sorry for the grotesque description, just want to get my point across)? Because as a functional group, your muscles don’t know how to work together synergistically.
Okay, now you know what a basic home gym requires…what are some items you love to have in order to workout at home? Please leave a comment below 🙂
Enjoy this day!
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