Exercising at home can be just as successful as training at a gym if you know what you’re doing. There are all types of home exercise equipment out on the market and every one of them claims to be answers to your prayers.
The truth is, all exercise equipment is not created equal. Some can provide great variation in your training program whilst others are quite limiting. Knowing the difference before you purchase anything can save you plenty of time and money.
The equipment you buy will depend greatly on what your goals are. If you need to lose weight then you need a cardiovascular fitness program, to build muscle you need a resistance training program, and to tone your muscles you may need a combination of these.
This type of equipment includes bikes, treadmills, cross-trainers, and step machines. This is the best piece of equipment to buy if your goal is to lose weight or increase fitness. Many people are hesitant to buy cardio equipment because of the price. If this is a concern consider leasing. You should also look at garage sales, auction sites (e.g., eBay), and your local newspaper as there are always bargains to be found.
One thing to remember when you buy cardio equipment is that you get what you pay for. If something is really cheap, then chances are it won’t last long.
Weight training equipment is probably the most diverse of all home exercise equipment. It can be used for building muscle, weight loss, muscle toning, and injury rehabilitation. The best thing about weights is they last forever. Buy them today and your kids could still be using them in 20 years time.
The best weight training equipment to buy is a bench, adjustable barbell, and adjustable dumbbells. Most benches have many attachments that will not only add support but also much more variety. The adjustable barbells and dumbbells mean that you don’t have to buy hand weights or bars at every weight interval (e.g., 5 kg, 10 kg, 12.5 kg, etc). You just buy the plates and change the weight as you change the exercise.
Swiss Ball / Fitball
These have been used throughout Europe by physiotherapists since 1960 but have currently become the latest fitness fad. They provide great variety in your program, but they should never be the only piece of equipment you buy. If you want to strengthen your abdominal they are great, but if you want to lose your tummy then you’re better off sticking to cardiovascular training.
This is probably the greatest tool you have and the better it is the less money you’ll need to spend. Use the things you have at your disposal. If you have stairs or a yard that is on a slope use those for extra cardio training. Household items such as chairs, tables, and handrailings can also be used for extra variety. If you’re not sure, buy a book or get a personal trainer to come over to your house and design a circuit using only what you have available.
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