5 Must-Haves for your Home Gym in 2021
2021 has certainly been another year of gym closures and even after lockdowns end, some of us will continue to do things differently by working out at home in our garages, gardens, or wherever there is space around the home. We have also had to force ourselves to get motivated and challenge ourselves differently. Invest in the right equipment and you will create a space that you want to keep coming back too.
Most of us have already built up some kind of home gym but it is imperative to make sure you consider these 5 must-haves in your home gym to stay active and healthy.
1. Pick your Cardio Champion
You can easily hit the pavement for a run or cycle, or you can jump into your pool for a few laps, but investing in a cardiovascular machine can improve your fitness level.
There are many benefits to investing in one or two pieces of cardio equipment. For example an exercise bike, rowing machine, commercial gym machine, or a ski machine. One huge benefit is when it comes to not relying on being outside to get your heart rate going. Because, rain or shine, you can do your cardio regardless of the weather. Plus, many of them also have targeted benefits for cardio that can support your specific goals.
Not keen on being tied to a cardio machine? There are other simple options to raise your cardio fitness without spending a large amount of money. A skipping rope can be just as effective to burn those calories and get the blood pumping. The popular Men’s Health magazine reports that ‘the Skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio exercises around, as per a study that found just 10 minutes a day with the rope was comparable to 30 minutes of jogging’. So get skipping!
2. Build your Weight Collection
Kettlebells, barbells, and weight plates are some of the portable weights that can provide you with a different option in regards to doing your exercises at home. You can utilize these sorts of hand weights to do strength exercises like bicep curls, and amp up the opposition by holding them during squats or lunges.
The options are endless when it comes to increasing your weight collection with a range of different weights to choose from, with a general weight range from 4kg up to 35kg. Some days you will feel like taking it easy then other days you will want to smash those fitness goals and choose the higher weights. If this is you, it might pay to look into putting in a rack and investing in a weight package. This way you have all your weights in a safe place off the floor and also have the variety to modify the intensity of your workout.
3. Set yourself up for success
We often forget the little value-added items that help us stay motivated and just make getting out into our home gym more enjoyable. It can be a good stereo system to pump out the latest 2021 workout playlist. Talk about one of the most important additions to your home gym! Who doesn’t imagine themselves as ‘Rocky’ while you sweat through an intense workout with Eye of the Tiger blasting away?
Another simple add-on to your home gym that people just don’t put enough value into is the interval timer. HIIT workouts are extremely popular and effective for weight loss. HIIT includes short explosions of extreme exercise rotated with low-intensity recuperation periods. It can be the most time-effective way of working out. Setting up a dedicated interval timer allows you to easily monitor these intervals and makes you stay on track during your workout. No need to rely on interval timer apps on your phone anymore.
4. Resistance is real.
Yep, if you want to target and tone those different muscle groups then you need to grab a few different resistance bands or medicine balls to add to your workout routine.
What you might not realise is that resistance training carries a multitude of benefits for any age group, from strengthening the bones, joints, and muscles, supporting good posture, and even aiding in a sharper brain, improving memory and thinking skills. We could all use a little help clearing that brain fog at the end of a hard day!
Don’t know where to start your resistance training? You can find multiple free videos on YouTube to guide your resistance strength training routine. Make sure you mix it up with various levels of resistance, whether it be a heavier weight range with your medicine ball or a harder resistance level with the resistance bands.
5. Balance is everything
While warm-ups or cooldowns won’t burn a lot of calories or build muscle, they’re crucial for success. Before you even begin running or using the gym machines, warm-ups get the oxygen flowing to the muscles, improving muscle elasticity which helps reduce your risk of injury. The last thing you want after all your hard work to reach your fitness goals is to become injured.
A cooldown is just as important as it aids with recovery, reducing those DOM’s (delayed onset muscle soreness). We have all had those, especially after leg day when even sitting becomes a tortuous event! By adding a yoga mat for stretching, a foam roller, or a massage ball, you can recover quickly and be ready for your next workout.
Once your gym has all these essential must-haves, you will also be able to vary your routines in any way necessary so that you can achieve your goals. It will likely be one of the best investments you can make for your health in 2021!