Getting in shape and staying at the top of your game physically requires a lot of time and attention. As you mature, more and more things and people compete for your time, and quite frankly it can be challenging to keep fitness a priority and make it to the gym every day. To stay fit no matter the life circumstances, it is wise to invest in building your own mini gym at home. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, but once you get a vision of how you want to move forward, you will see how easy and inexpensive it is to develop an effective home gym, even in a small space.
The following list is full of exercise equipment that may be small but packs a big punch in helping you maintain your physique. Each piece mentioned takes up minimal space and can be broken down to be stored discreetly when you have finished your workout.
Dumbbells are a fantastic way to add a little or a lot of weight to your exercise routine to get a big result. Dumbbells store easily and are very compact, making them an easy addition to a home gym, especially when space is a premium. Dumbbells usually come in about five-pound intervals, and the only downside to them is that you need to purchase an entire new set to move up or down in weight. There are some all in one options or stackable weight sets that allow for changing weights without purchasing a new set. These all-in-one sets are perfect for smaller spaces.
Compact Home Gym Machines
One complaint about home gyms in smaller spaces is how challenging it is to get in a heavy lift. If you are looking to lift heavy, the best investment is a Power Tower or Power Cage. These are smaller areas that allow you to lift heavy for squats, deadlifts, bench presses and other exercises that require more weight to be effective. Simply measure the area you want to fit the equipment in, and make sure that one of these options will fit your dimensions.
Pull Up Bar
Pull up bars strengthen forearms, biceps, shoulders, back, core and grip. Depending on what exercises you do, there are pull up exercises that focus on sculpting legs as well. A pull up bar is very easy to use, and even easier to find a place to install. Many bars can be installed near the top of a door jam, so any door in your home can be used. These are the perfect accessory for any place, compact and such an effective exercise to benefit overall health and strength.
A Yoga mat is a thin covering that rolls up and can be stored in a closet or even under a bed or in a drawer. They are perfect to use for practicing planking or pushups and are good for stretching and lengthening muscles as well. There are several yoga-flow videos available online that can aid in muscle recovery after a heavy lift.
Kettlebell workouts are all the rage these days. They are easy to grip and distribute weight differently than traditional weights, which increase flexibility, improve core strength, and improves balance and stability all while torching calories and building muscles. These come in different weights and store easily. There are also kettlebells that have a softer exterior to help protect your floor. There are many sites dedicated to full body kettlebell workouts online, so finding options to do at home should be a breeze!
Balance trainers look like a half of an exercise ball and are usually less than a foot and a half in diameter. They help build core muscles and isolate smaller muscles when performing exercises that are usually done on the floor. There is such a wide variety of exercises that can be performed on a balance trainer, and they are specifically effective for low impact exercises. Push-ups are a fan favorite, as are single-leg squats. Both of these exercises feel much different than the traditional ones done on the floor, as the balance trainer engages the smaller stabilizing muscles effectively.
TRX Trainers, which stand for Total Resistance Exercise Trainers, are a perfect whole body workout that can be stored in a drawer or closet. These are very portable and can be attached to a door jam or other stabilizing equipment. This system was founded by a Navy SEAL and is so effective that it is now found in gyms all over the US. TRX systems can be used for stability and strength training but are also effective for burning fat and weight loss.
A jump rope is definitely an underutilized and underappreciated tool in home fitness! Jump ropes are often mistaken for a child’s toy, but they are so effective at sculpting the body and building cardiovascular fitness. They cost very little and can be stored in a gym bag or even a dresser drawer. They may need to be used on a balcony or in a parking lot, but there is no more effective way to get your heart rate up than jumping rope for a few minutes. There are different weights of jump ropes available, and upping the weight is one way to help strengthen arm muscles while jumping.
If you are looking to increase cardio but want to focus on the upper body, a heavy bag is a perfect option for you. These do require a stand but can hang discreetly in the corner of a room and not take up much space. Heavy bags work well to increase heart rate but do so by focusing on core and upper body, versus jumping which is where the majority of cardio exercise focuses.
Home fitness has several benefits and is possible no matter how small your space may be. With just a little intention and a small investment, you will be well on your way to exercising and staying in shape in the comfort of your own space.