No matter how nice the gym is that you are going to right now, eventually you are going to grow tired of it. The place may have the best equipment and the friendliest staff, but the monthly membership is usually a good chunk of change. Plus, having to get ready to leave the house, fight traffic while driving to the gym, waiting for the people to get off the machines you want to use, and then having to drive back home. All that time adds up. For the amount of time it takes you to accomplish all that, you could get two full workouts in. This is why constructing your own home gym with the best home gym equipment is exciting.
Below is a list of 9 essential pieces of gym equipment you will need to accomplish your dream. Of course, there will be more equipment you can always add later on if there is adequate room still available in your home gym area. But these are the basics that every home gym must have.
Weight Bench – An Essential Piece For Your Home Gym
- 1 Weight Bench – An Essential Piece For Your Home Gym
- 2 Pull Up Bar – You Need One if You Want The Best Home Gym Equipment
- 3 Squat Rack – Must Have for Legs Home Gym Equipment
- 4 Dumbbells
- 5 Barbell and Weight Plates
- 6 Kettlebells – (Plus How To Do Kettlebell Swings)
- 7 Dip Station
- 8 Exercise Bands
- 9 Exercise Bike – A Top Cardio Machine For Your Home Gym
- 10 Finishing Out Your Home Gym With The Best Equipment
We all know what a weight bench is. However, not all weight benches are created equal. This is going to be one of the staples of your home gym. You will be completing many exercises on this weight bench. Dumbbell presses, seated curls, rows, flys, bench press, military press, and many other exercises can be performed on a weight bench. It is important that you purchase a sturdy one. We have all been on those flimsy weight benches that can barely withstand our own weight, let alone when we add some heavy dumbbells and try to do an exercise on them. Getting a commercial grade weight bench that is adjustable for all the different exercises you will be doing is your best option. You do not want it to collapse on you right in the middle of bench pressing some 100 pound dumbbells. You probably like having teeth in your mouth.
Pull Up Bar – You Need One if You Want The Best Home Gym Equipment
A pull up bar is a home gym essential because it really does train your back and lats extremely well. Even if you can only do a few pull ups right now, gradually you will be able to do more. Or maybe you are a crossfit legend that dominates at pull ups. Basically, it is not a home gym if you do not have a pull up bar. However, you may not have to run out to the store and buy one to hook on to your doorframe. If your home gym is in the garage or perhaps the basement, you might be able to install a thick bar near the ceiling or on the rafters that will allow you to do pull ups. Just don’t grab on to a water pipe by mistake. It will probably collapse and your basement will be flooded.
Squat Rack – Must Have for Legs Home Gym Equipment
Number one rule of weightlifting: Thou Shall Not Forget Legs. A strong squat rack is an essential in a home gym. Not only for doing squats and training your legs, but there are many other exercises you can do with a good squat rack. For one thing, many squat racks come with a pull up bar, so this could save you in having to purchase one separately. Also, you can do shrugs in the squat rack to help strengthen your back and traps. Plus, it is a perfect place to do military presses for shoulders. In addition, if you feel you need to bench press with a barbell, the squat rack is the safe place to do it with safety bars located on the sides. Lastly, as you probably have noticed at the gym, people love to curl and work their biceps in the squat rack. There are many exercises you can perform with this piece of gym equipment, so be sure to include it in your home gym.
You can’t have a home gym without dumbbells. Dumbbells can be used for almost every exercise you can think of. Everyone would love to have a complete set of dumbbells ranging from 5 to 100 pounds and going up in five pound increments. But this is when it gets pricey. A complete new set of dumbbells like that could cost well over $1,000 with the rack. Your best bet in getting it at a better price is finding them used on a website like Craigslist. Or if you know which dumbbells are either too light or too heavy for you, just buy the dumbbells that you believe you will need. If you need to, you can always add more later on.
Barbell and Weight Plates
A squat rack will basically be an expensive coat hanger if you do not have a bar and weight plates to go along with it. You definitely need a good amount of weight plates and a barbell in your home gym. One of the most popular compound exercises performed with the bar and plates is the deadlift. It really does work quite a few muscles at once. Having about 500 pounds of weight plates and a strong bar will provide you the resistance needed for most of your exercises.
Kettlebells – (Plus How To Do Kettlebell Swings)
Kettlebells are kind of a forgotten piece of exercise equipment. If you went back in time a few decades, you would see a gym full of people working out with kettlebells. They really increase grip strength and can be used in a variety of exercises. The kettlebell swings are pretty popular still and trains several muscle groups at once. You may also use these in deadlifts, shoulder exercises, and squats. It’s a good addition to a well-equipped home gym.
Here a quick video of how to do a Kettlebell Swing:
Dips train your lats, shoulders, chest, and back. They are a compound movement that gives your whole upper body a good workout. There are several dip stations on the market. In fact, many dip stations also offer a pull up bar at the top, so you could find a two-in-one piece of weight equipment that allows you to do pull ups and dips. In addition, you just may be able to find one that allows you to do leg raises for abs as well. A piece of exercise home gym equipment that lets you do three different exercises is something that you really need. It does not take up much space and it really isn’t that expensive.
Older exercise bands used to be a bit flimsy and snap violently after a few workouts. Each time it happened, you would check to make sure you still had both eyes. The newer ones cost a bit of money, but are definitely worth it. They are much more durable with stable handles or even have ankle straps for your legs. They also have easy to use anchors that can be closed in a door. This lets you use the bands virtually the same as the cable crossover equipment in a commercial gym.
If you are looking for exercise bands, we recommend these here.
Exercise Bike – A Top Cardio Machine For Your Home Gym
Here is the deal. You need some sort of cardio machine in your home gym. You can’t just rely on strength training exercises. An exercise bike probably takes up the least amount of space, plus it is easy on the joints. Anybody can use an exercise bike regardless of the type of condition they are in as well. There is nothing fancy about it, just jump on and start pedaling. If you don’t want to be sitting on one of those tiny bike seats, you can either switch it out for a more comfortable one or purchase a recumbent bike instead.
Finishing Out Your Home Gym With The Best Equipment
It is amazing what having a wall of mirrors in your home gym will do for your workouts. Not only do you get to make sure that your form is proper, but it provides you inspiration. Having a chance to watch yourself in the reflection where you are struggling and working out usually ends with the ability to do another one or two reps in your sets. Plus, there is nothing wrong with admiring new muscles from the hard work you are putting in.
Another essential to make it appear to be a real gym is to bring in some black rubber flooring. For this gym, you will be fine with the thickness being at 8 millimeters for your new flooring. It will provide you the little bit of cushion needed and keep your floor from being damaged.
Using the best home gym equipment in your home will leave you feeling energized and reinvigorated to start training hard on a consistent basis. Of course, it will take a bit of an investment at first, but that is why we showed you the best home gym for the money. In the long run you are saving on paying a monthly membership fee and the wear and tear on your car. Plus, your home gym is open 24 hours and you are the member of the month every month. It does not get any better than that.