When you’re into fitness, it’s very unlikely that the only time you come into contact with gym equipment is when you’re at the gym. People who are serious about getting fit and building muscle generally invest in equipment at home, too. They might not have a full-sized home gym, but they at least have a few basic pieces that they can use to get a workout in when the gym is closed, or when they’re too busy to get there.
The problem with most home gym setups is that you don’t have a routine, and you don’t have the same range of equipment that you’d have if you were in a professional environment. That can lead to inconsistent workouts, and bad habits creeping in. It also means your equipment setup might not be as well-rounded as it needs to be in order for you to build muscle consistently. That’s not so much a problem if better cardio and fitness are your ultimate goal, but if you’re looking to built muscle, that can become frustrating and demoralizing.
Muscle tone and definition comes from repetition and the right equipment. It can feel like you’re getting nowhere when you’re putting the work in and seeing no results, but try to think of it in the same way you’d think of playing games at an online slots website. Every single one of the Online Slots UK on that website has a ‘return to player’ rate. Each time you place a bet and lose your money, you’re statistically one bet closer to winning. You can’t see the win until it happens, but it’s moving nearer all the time. Eventually, that online slots game has to pay out. Eventually, your muscle tone has to show. You just have to give it the right conditions to thrive and develop – and that means having these five items in your home to help you on your way.
A Plyo Box
Here’s one in the eye for everybody who expected us to start with dumbbells! We’re listing the plyo box first as a reminder that it’s always leg day somewhere, and that leg day isn’t to be skipped or glossed over. Leg muscles might not be as glamorous as arm or stomach muscles, but your body will be unbalanced if you don’t develop them at the same time. Not only is a plyo box good for your legs, but it’s also good for your core and your agility. They also come in handy for dips and squatting exercises. It might just be a box, but it’s a very versatile box. Here are a few exercises you can try with a plyo box to show you what we mean.
Now that we’ve got the surprise of the plyo box out of the way, we can state the obvious. Yes, your home gym needs to have dumbbells. They’re the most basic, most popular piece of gym equipment in the world. Not all dumbbells are made equal, though, so get yourself a quality set like bowflex 1090 dumbbells. Hexagonal weights are the most balanced, and those that come with a rubber coating will last longer than those that don’t. It would help if you had a good spread of weights for different working intensities, so somewhere between three and five sets of dumbbells is around the right number.
How many of you have a pull-up bar, but don’t have rings? If so, what’s your excuse? If you can find the space in your home to set up a pull-up bar, you can also set up rings – and rings allow you to do a lot of things that pull-up bars can’t. Pull-ups are about brute strength. Rings allow you to add a few gymnastic twists into your exercise routine, which will help you to retain balance. Remember that muscle mass isn’t the only objective when it comes to gaining muscle; muscle tone and flexibility are just as important, and rings will help you to ensure that the muscle you gain is the right kind of muscle.
A Medicine Ball
Nobody seems to like medicine balls. We’ve even seen some respectable newspaper columns question whether they do you any good at all. That’s a very silly question. If you’re struggling with your medicine ball and you dislike it, you probably bought too heavy a ball. A medicine ball is not a weight, and your objective isn’t to lift and carry the largest, heaviest one possible. You should be able to throw and catch your medicine ball as well as carry it, and if you can’t do that, you need to invest in a smaller ball. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to reap the benefits that come with owning one. Holding a medicine ball while doing sit-ups is a great way of bringing on abdominal muscles faster. Almost any core strength movement is enhanced if you involve a medicine ball. Like the plyo box, this is a highly adaptable piece of essential gym kit.
Owning a barbell is one of the few ways that a home gym can be superior to a professional gym. The weight machines at most gyms are carefully calibrated, and therefore perfectly balanced. You don’t have to worry about their stability, or your own co-ordination when you’re picking them up. You don’t have that luxury when you’re dealing with free weights like barbells. You’re not just dealing with the weight; you’re also dealing with the potential of that weight shifting as you attempt to lift it. Once again, that comes back to strengthening your core as well as giving your muscles a workout. Free weights are undoubtedly the best means of gaining muscle, but only if you back them up with a well-rounded routine elsewhere.
You’re welcome to add to the five pieces of equipment we’ve listed above if you wish, but don’t let any additional bits of kit distract you from the importance of what’s listed here. From improving your co-ordination to improving agility and working on your core, this equipment will bring you speed and grace as well as power. You’ll still get the improved muscle tone and definition that you’re looking for, but you’ll also become a more well-rounded athlete in the process. That’s a double win!