Home fitness training has been a rising trend for a few years, and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this. Thanks to new technology, it’s now possible to attend virtual classes and experience the gym’s social interaction without leaving your home. Internet-enabled spinning bikes and rowing machines make it possible to participate in races and competitions from your home gym.
Besides saving money on gym fees, using fitness equipment at home is a convenient way to train, though the thought of losing out on potential clients, as a result, doesn’t hinder personal trainer Ken Inoue one bit. In fact, Mr. Inoue hopes this encourages you to work out more frequently, meaning you’ll experience gains and reach your goals more quickly. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, or simply increase your fitness level, you’ll benefit from the key items of home fitness equipment highlighted by Inoue below.
1) A Yoga mat
As well as making it easier to clean your home gym area, a yoga mat ensures comfort when you’re working out on the floor. Simple bodyweight exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, and planks are core to home exercise regimes, and a yoga mat protects your knees and elbows during these routines. If you have a little more space, interlocking exercise mats are worth considering.
2) Resistance bands
A set of resistance bands is one of the most versatile and affordable home exercise equipment you can buy. They can be used for a wide range of lower and upper body workouts and add intensity to basic exercises such as squats and glute bridges. Resistance bands usually come in sets of five, with each offering a different tension level. By combining two or three, it’s possible to replicate the strength training benefits of heavyweights. Because they’re lightweight and pack away into a small bag, a set of resistance bands is ideal if you travel and want to exercise away from home.
3) A jump rope
A skipping or jump rope is one of the most effective exercise equipment items for cardio workouts at home. Even just a few minutes can be enough to activate your cardiovascular system and kick start fat burning. Jump rope training is a full-body workout incorporating your shoulders, arms, core, and legs. It also helps to improve coordination and strengthen muscles to reduce the risk of injuries.
Sets of dumbbells can be found in gyms around the world. They are one of the more traditional training equipment types, but there’s still a place for them in modern fitness training regimes. Dumbbells are particularly useful for bicep curls, hammer curls, and lateral raises. A set of three different weights is a great addition to a home gym.
Pro Fitness Tip from Ken Inoue: It’s a good idea to start training with smaller weights to learn proper form and technique before moving up to more challenging weights and exercises, such as the Arnold Press.
Dumbbells and kettlebells can be used interchangeably for some exercises, but each has value in strength training. The key difference is that dumbbells are intended for slower-moving exercises targeting specific muscle groups, whereas kettlebells can be used for more dynamic movement. The basic kettlebell swing can strengthen your core, glutes, back, quads, hamstrings, and arms, as well as increasing your heart rate into the fat-burning zone. The kettlebell press is an easy way to replicate the classic powerlifting move.
6) A balance ball
A balance ball, also known as a Swiss ball or stability ball, is ideal for strengthening your core and improving your posture. Available for as little as ten dollars, this is an essential item for a home gym. A balance ball can enhance other exercises such as bicep curls and planks on its own for pilates and yoga exercises. Fighting the ball’s tiny movements when you sit or lean on it forces muscles deep within your core to activate.
7) A slam ball
Slam balls, or medicine balls as they were called in the past, offer unique training benefits over other weights. Their roots can be traced back thousands of years, and Persian wrestlers used them to develop strength and stamina. It’s the range of motion and movement speed that brings particular benefits to slam ball training. You can perform several exercises with a slam ball to build explosive power and develop strength in your shoulders, back, core, calves, and triceps.
Setting up a home gym needn’t cost a fortune, and it should be seen as an investment in your health and fitness. You can start with just a few equipment items and add more to suit your personal training needs and goals.
About Ken Inoue
As a life-long surfer, Ken Inoue learned how to embrace the laid back So-Cal vibes in tandem with a vigorous yet rewarding exercise routine from a young age. As a personal trainer, he’s a firm believer in finding multiple paths to fitness. Mr. Inoue tailors exercise plans to the individual to create accessible, motivating, and efficient sessions with balanced results. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has proved especially important in curating digital fitness regimens that clients can sink their teeth into at home with little to no equipment. In his spare time, Ken enjoys exploring new restaurants focused on a well-balanced diet via Los Angeles takeout, practicing a mindful yoga flow, catching a wave along the Southern California coast, and socializing with friends and family in Torrance, health protocols permitting, of course.