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The Best Home Gym Equipment

If you hate the idea of getting in your car, driving to the gym, and paying a hefty monthly membership, why not create a gym in your home? It takes a lot less money and space than you may think. Get-Fit Guy has a list of the 7 must-haves to get you fit at home.

By
Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #206

I recently posted a video to the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page showing me in the throes of Ironman swim-bike-run training…in my basement.

In this particular case, it was because I just found out I have less than 2 weeks to prepare for the brutal Ironman Hawaii World Championship. However, whether you’re training for an Ironman triathlon or just trying to shed a few pounds, it’s important that you make your home a place where you could potentially get as fit as possible, without having the hassle of having to drive to a gym, health club, or park.>

 

Since it’s been nearly two years since I told you How to Make a Home Gym, I figured this would be a good time to revisit exactly what I’m using in my own home gym these days. I'll give you my top recommendations for home gym equipment to help you build muscle, burn fat, and boost physical performance.

The Best Home Gym Equipment

In addition to the usual home gym equipment that I've mentioned before – specifically dumbbells, a big stability ball, a Bosu ball, a yoga mat, and some elastic bands, here’s everything else I have in my home gym:

  1. Squat Rack - My entire home gym is now based around something called a squat rack. Also known as a power cage, a squat rack is a versatile piece of equipment for weight training designed to allow for a free-weight workout using a barbell. The rack is comprised of four sturdy, steel vertical posts with two movable horizontal bar catchers on each side, and a pull-up bar along the top. The barbell has rubber weight plates, which allow you to safely drop the barbell if you’re lifting heavy weights. I use the rack for exercises like deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, cleans, and a variety of other barbell exercises.

  2. Battle Rope – A battle rope is simply a big heavy rope with handles on either end. It used for a wide variety of exercises such as waves, circles, sidewinders, rainbows, and any other way you can think of to move a heavy rope (stay tuned - I will publish a battle rope training guide with videos very soon!). You can see plenty of good battle rope training videos and even purchase a battle rope on the website Onnit, which sells strange training equipment such as kettlebells with monkey faces on them and medieval style maces you can use to swing or to strike tires with.

     

  3. Kettlebell - You learned everything you need to know about kettlebells in the episode How to Use Kettlebells. While my standby exercise is the kettlebell swing, I also do kettlebell deadlifts, kettlebell “around the world” through and around my legs, kettlebell squats with the kettlebell held against my chest, and even kettlebell throws in my backyard! Compared to a dumbbell, a kettlebell can get you fitter faster based on it’s asymmetrical design, which makes it more difficult to hold and move.

  4. Vasatrainer – The Vasatrainer is a bench attached to a special pulley system that allows you to lie on your stomach and simulate a swimming motion that feels very much like swimming in water. It also has add-ons that allow you to do things like kayak paddle training, rowing, or simple upper and lower body cable exercises. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever come to “swimming on land” and perfect for when I can’t get to the pool.

  5. Indoor Bike Trainer – Directly besides the Vasatrainer, I have an indoor bike trainer. Unlike a stationary exercise bike, an indoor bike trainer allows you to take your normal outdoors bike and set it up on a trainer that provides resistance. This is especially nice if you want a consistent riding experience whether you’re cycling inside or outside. The advantage of having a bike in an indoor gym is that it gives you an option to hop on the bike for cardiovascular bursts of exercise in between your weight training sets, which is a perfect way to burn fat fast.

  6. Suspension Trainer - The term suspension training refers to an approach to strength training that uses a system of ropes and webbing to allow you to work against your own body weight. You may be familiar with the TRX as one example of a suspension trainer. I use one called a MostFit for exercises like suspended push-ups, suspended single leg squats, and suspended abdominal knee-ups. Here’s a video of me doing a workout with the MosFit.

  7. Perfirmer HandlesPerfirmer handles are a bit like push-up handles, but they are enhanced with wheels and a revolving handle that allows the base of the handles to use two functioning surfaces. One side of the base provides 4-wheeled construction that slides around as you’re trying to do push-ups, ab rollouts, and other types of exercises. But if you flip the handles over, the opposite side of the handle is a non-slip base if you need more stability.  This unique revolving feature allows you to utilize a variety of advanced muscle-building exercises and to build balance into your upper body workouts.

How about you? What does your home gym look like? What would you add or remove from mine? Tell us below in Comments or join the conversation over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

Power cage image courtesy of XMark Fitness. Other images courtesy of Shutterstock.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.