Don’t have time to hit the gym today? Wish you could just workout at home in your PJ’s? If you’re looking to start an easy, DIY home gym setup complete with all the equipment you need to take care of your body from head to toe, we’ve got you covered! Today on the Fit Stop Blog we’re sharing 8 essential and inexpensive products to complete your home gym. Keep reading for more!
As a physical therapist, I specialize in exercise prescription for keeping your body in top working order. Many times, we’re tasked with developing home exercise routines for individuals coming off of an injury. But what about you? If nothing ails you, can home-based workouts be worthwhile enough to get you in shape and prevent injuries? OF COURSE!!! It doesn’t take 1000’s of dollars worth of fancy home gym equipment to build muscle, strengthen the core, tone your body and rehab or prevent injuries. Here are the 8 products I recommend that everybody own to outfit a pretty amazing home gym.
1. Exercise Ball
There are so many ways you can use a good exercise ball, it could merit its own post! An especially great way to work your core, an exercise ball can even double as a calorie-burning, ergonomic home office chair alternative! Turn a short exercise session into a total body workout with an exercise ball.
2. Yoga Mat
This is another one of those universal fitness tools that both guys and gals can benefit from using. Whether with yoga, Pilates, stretching or strengthening, a comfortable mat can completely change the way you work out at home! Here are some of our favorite core strengthening exercises you can do with the help of a comfy yoga mat.
3. Pull Up Bar
Getting a multidirectional grip pull up bar allows for building some serious arm strength with just your body weight. Rather than using that questionably small tree limb or testing out your newly build deck awning, try using a well secured doorway pull up bar as part of your next “arm” day. You won’t be disappointed!
4. Foam Roller
Investing in a foam roller big enough to lay on (around 36”) can have great benefits for your back, shoulders or even your legs. Poor posture, stiff shoulders, or low back pain can all benefit from daily foam roller use as well as leg knots that come on after a good run. The more common black colored, compressed foam rollers will provide a little more aggressive treatment while the softer white foam rolls can be more comfortable, but might get a bit flattened time.
5. Resistance Band
Resistance bands can be a valuable (and portable) tool for building strength in the shoulders, arms, legs and even the core. Many of the same cable exercises you do in the gym can be adapted for home-use with a band. Fix your posture, bulk up your arms, get yourself some resistance bands!
6. Bosu Ball/Dynadiscs
Are you prone to rolling your ankle? Do you feel like your balance isn’t what it used to be? One of our more pricey suggestions, a Bosu ball still fits nicely into our list of essential home gym items. It might normally be seen as a dynamic balance trainer and rehab aid for coming back from a sprained ankle, but it doubles as an excellent core strengthener (are you seeing a pattern here?) and leg muscle builder. If a Bosu ball is out of your price range, one or two Dynadiscs can fill the need nicely, while adding some difficulty to your pushups, for example.
7. Resistance Loops
If you have weak hips, you’re at a much higher risk of having hip, knee, foot or even back pain at some point in life. Using resistance loop bands are an excellent way to strengthen those hips! The ladies will appreciate their utility in firming and toning the glutes and hips, while the guys… well, our weak hips are often to blame for knee pain with running. In short, we could all use a little targeted work on our hips!
8. Dumbbell Set
You can’t beat dumbbells when it comes to the variety of exercises you can perform for strengthening and toning your upper (end even lower) body! A solid workout with dumbbells can be an excellent addition to your body weight and resistance band exercises for strength training and toning.
With all of the equipment listed, take care to perform each exercise you do with proper form, and always in a well-controlled manner to avoid getting injured. You really can have a super-effective workout at home, whether your goal is to lose weight, build bulk or recover from an injury. Getting set up with the right tools can set you on the path to attaining excellent total body health and fitness!
Questions about any of the information presented in this post? Exercises you need advice on? Does a specific movement hurt when you do it? We’re happy to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us at one of our four convenient locations with your questions or concerns:
Alex Engar, SPT
Fit Stop Physical Therapy – Farmington
172 N East Promontory Ste 200
Farmington, UT 84025