essential equipment for fitnessSome days are jam packed with work, activities and functions that it’s difficult to squeeze in some self care, and while it’s great to visit the gym for a workout, sometimes having the equipment at home is a great benefit. One of the reasons I love having some fitness equipment at home is that it encourages my kids to join in as well. Home gyms come in all shapes and sizes from some basic weights and a cardio machine to a full home gym with all the bells and whistles. Whatever sized space you have available for a workout, there’s the right strength training equipment to help keep you fit.

Weights & Medicine Balls

Dumbbell rackWhen it comes to strength training having a variety of weights and medicine balls will allow you to get a great full body workout at home, and since they also come in all shapes and sizes you’ll be able to find the right style to suit your fitness needs.

The dumbbell style has been around for decades and can be purchased in weighted pairs, as a set with a variety of weights and they even come in an adjustable option. If you don’t have a lot of space to spare for a dumbbell set with rack, an adjustable set is the way to go. They look like two huge dumbbells but have a unique dial style feature which allows you to adjust them to your desired weight.

I love using medicine balls in my workouts. They’re easier on the hands as you’re not gripping a handle tightly during your workout and they’re amazing for a partner workout as well. They also come in different weights and are gentler on your floors if accidentally dropped during a workout.

Weight Benches

Bowflex 5 1S stowable benchIt’s possible to get a great full body workout at home with minimal equipment and if you can squeeze in a weight bench, I would highly recommend an adjustable one. Weight benches with adjustable angles and an adjustable seat, they’re versatile and will give your body the support it needs and help you keep the correct form during a workout.

If you use the weight bench as a platform you can increase the difficulty of step-ups, push-ups, an abdominal workout or burpees. They also come in a variety of sizes with some having a space saving design and a built-in leg extension.

Resistance Bands

Resistance loop bandsResistance bands are one piece of workout equipment that is for anyone and everyone due to the fact that they come in a variety of levels of resistance and are low impact on the joints by putting more focus on the muscles being used. They are available in different styles such as loop bands, bands with handles, bands with ankle straps and removable anchors for doors etc. The resistance you experience when using them requires a level of balance which means your core is engaged and over time your strength, coordination and balance will improve.

Resistance bands take up minimal space which means they’re perfect for at home and to take with you if you’re traveling, and you won’t need a lot of space to get in a great workout if you’re staying in a hotel.

Stability Balls

Stott Pilates Stability BallAnother multi-purpose and functional piece of fitness equipment is a stability ball but due to their shape and often size, they may not work for anyone with space constraints. Alternatively, the mini size doesn’t take up a lot of space and their job is to create an unstable base of support which causes your muscles to activate and stabilize. The larger size stability balls help improve your strength and balance when used as an accessory during a workout and can also function as an office chair alternative.

Stability balls also come is a self balancing style which means they are dome shaped with a flat bottom and can be used dome side or flat side up. Seeing as they’re half the size of a regular stability ball, they take up much less space for storage. Incorporate them into your workout or use them for stretching before or after a workout, and to get the most out of them, find one with the elastic strings to take you from beginners to intermediate level with ease.

Aerobic Steps

Prime Selection 3 level aerobic stepperIf you’re looking to amp up your cardio or aerobic game, consider incorporating steps into your fitness routine. They’re an amazing way to burn calories, increase your cardio health and build muscle. Typically, they’re made out of a sturdy and durable plastic with risers to adjust their height. They’re great for HIIT, crossfit, intervals and bootcamp style workouts as well.

Aerobic steps can also be used during weight training and are an amazing addition to increase your balance, coordination, agility and the difficulty level for squats. Using an aerobic stepper during aerobics is low impact which makes them a great option for all fitness levels young and old.

Home Gyms

Weider Home GymShould space allow, a home gym would be an amazing addition to any home. This is where you’ll be able to get a full body workout or have the option to rotate through upper and lower body workouts day by day.

Some typical cable and pulley stations available in a home gym are a high pulley system to target your back muscles with a wide lat bar to adjust your grip to target different muscles, a low pulley system lets you work your biceps, deltoids, forearms and triceps with a wide variety of exercises and a chest fly station will help you build your chest and shoulder muscles. Having a home gym including a 4-roll leg developer allows you to target your hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The weight stack on the machine makes a home gym user friendly for all fitness levels as you can start at the lowest weight and increase as your body gets stronger.

There are also some great accessory pieces like different handles and straps to customize your workout and offer more exercise options.

With all the different fitness equipment options on the market these days it sure makes it easy to find a few key pieces to help you increase your fitness level right in the comfort of your own home. This is beneficial for anyone who leads a busy lifestyle, who gets intimidated in a busy gym setting or for anyone who wants to get the whole family involved in health and wellness.

You can find a large variety of strength training equipment options at Best Buy Online.

Main image: www.tdlfitness.com.