The Covid-19 pandemic forced more of us to exercise at home, either alone, with family or by joining online classes, and it seems most of us really liked it.
The world has experienced a home workout revolution over the last 18 months and more health and fitness-conscious people plan to make it a staple in their post-pandemic active lifestyles.
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Home workout revolution
According to global research by RunRepeat, which surveyed 10,824 gym members from 116 countries, the pandemic-driven shift to at-home and outdoor workouts will remain a firmly entrenched trend.
Based on responses, nearly half (46.67%) of all gym members globally will not return to the gym.
As a result, people are buying fitness equipment to train at home or outdoors. Survey respondents believe that at-home and online fitness (up 134.7%) are the best ways to achieve their goals in 2021.
Beyond the health and safety aspects associated with training at home, many people find the convenience factor alluring. And you can still see incredible results with the right approach and a few basic pieces of home gym equipment.
So what exactly should consumers look for when buying exercise equipment for the ideal home gym?
This is your guide to creating sweat-pumping workout sessions at home, on a budget. Use this guide to construct the ideal workout environment and achieve your goals in the comfort and safety of your home.
Identify your objectives
Consider these questions before deciding what equipment to purchase:
- Do you have adequate space in your home?
- How often are you going to use the equipment?
- What type of exercises do you enjoy doing most?
- Who should you buy from?
- What is your budget?
Creating your workout space
Identify a suitable workout area to set up your home workout zone or room. If you do not have a dedicated room, look for a spot that has enough space for your basic movements that involve a workout mat or jump rope. Outside patio areas or gardens are also ideal.
Ideally, select a space that is free from distractions and will allow you to focus on your workouts.
Whatever space you’ve got to work with, make it your own. Pin up some visual reminders and motivational images and phrases to keep you inspired and on track.
For easy storage, buy a dedicated storage box so that, even when packed away, you know your gym is right there waiting for you.
Home gym must-haves:
- A good sound system.
- Motivational posters to keep you focused and on track.
- Storage space for your accessories.
Equipping your home gym
1. Set a budget and compare pricing
Decide how much you’re willing and able to spend to get started and give thought to what you want to build up to.
2. Go for quality
We’re all price-conscious, especially in these troubling economic times, but don’t skimp on quality to save a few bucks only to have your equipment break a few workouts in. Always invest in quality equipment upfront.
3. Align equipment to your goals
Building the perfect home gym is about matching functionality with affordability. Consider the exercise styles you prefer and buy equipment that lends itself to these workouts. You’ll be more likely to keep working out if you enjoy it, and the results will soon follow.
As a start, the following basic (and budget-friendly) items will let you build a comprehensive home gym and effectively target every major muscle group with various compound and isolation exercises:
- Aerobics step
- Exercise mat
- Stability ball
- Resistance bands
- Mini bands
- Hip bands
- Toning tubes
- Skipping/jump rope
- Suspension trainer
- Ab wheel
The home gym benefits
- It’s time-efficient: No more waiting around to use the equipment. Slot your workouts in whenever it suits your schedule, and don’t waste precious time travelling to and from gym in traffic.
- Cut your expenses: You can set up a home gym that suits your pocket. With gym memberships escalating each year, you’ll soon recoup the cost of your investment.
- Freedom: Train how, where and when you like. You’ll never miss a workout or wait to use equipment again!
- Own your space: Create an environment that motivates you to train. And no more sweaty benches or equipment that hasn’t been wiped down!
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Home workout guidelines
Exercise selection: Use as many compound-complex movements as possible. These include moves like squats and lunges. Whenever possible, combine them with other exercises like lateral raises or curls. Combining two or more moves into one exercise increases the number of muscles targeted with one exercise, which burns more calories per hour, while also toning and shaping more muscles in less time.
Boost the intensity: There are two key ways to boost your workload during a home workout session – increase the resistance or increase the volume (or a combination of both). If you have limited resistance at home, it’s time to increase the volume with more reps and sets.
Get explosive: Explosive plyometric movements are a great way to take your normal exercises to the next level to keep seeing results. Turn normal split squats or lunges into jump lunges, or take to the air with a few vertical jump squats. You can also add in a few new exercises like box jumps or clap push-ups as suitable alternatives to traditional moves.
Think unilaterally: When common exercises like squats require less effort to perform during home workouts, it’s time to think unilaterally – one-sided exercise that is. Bulgarian split squats, pistol squats, one-arm pull-ups, Romanian deadlifts, single-leg calf raises, one-arm push-ups, and single-arm kettlebell presses are all great ways to make common exercises more difficult. They will also incorporate more stabiliser muscles and require greater core stabilisation. These benefits make unilateral exercise the go-to option to keep making progress at home.