Best Home Fitness Equipment | Fitness Equipment Worth Buying

by fitness journalist

Basement workouts have become the norm for many. Here’s how to stock your space on the cheap.

At the gym, you’re probably used to seeing an entire weight rack filled with dumbbells. But most people benefit from having three weight choices, says certified running coach and fitness trainer Kourtney Thomas, C.S.C.S. Purchase weights you consider to be light, medium, and heavy.

“That’s unique to each individual, of course, but most folks will be able to at least gauge a starting point and buy those three,” she says.

When choosing a light weight, pick an amount that you could easily do 20 or even 30 reps with. For a medium weight, you should be able to do 10 to r2 reps, and heavy weight would be seven to 10 reps.

Whether you’re going traditional or adjustable, another advantage is that they’re usually inexpensive, she says. Light neoprene hand weights tend to be about $5 to $10 each new, and go up from there. But you can often find gently used options at secondhand fitness stores.

For the cheapest, most versatile, and most portable option possible, it’s pretty tough to beat resistance bands, according to trainer Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S. Also, she says, they may have been in limited supply in early spring, but are now widely available again.

In terms of brands, she suggests SPRI, which she calls the “gold standard in the industry” because they’re durable and withstand extended use. Whether going with this brand or another, look for one that offers a door anchor, which is essential when doing pulling exercises. You can also use resistance bands with handles, and use one handle as an anchor.

“If I were to make a list of my top five pieces of equipment for effective home workouts, the TRX would be my first, second, and third choice,” says personal trainer Ramsey Bergeron, C.P.T. “Requiring nothing more than a doorway to lock the anchor in and a few feet of space, you can work out literally any muscle group at any fitness level.”

One of these suspension trainers does tend to look like a gimmick, similar to any kind of core-workout abs builder, Bergeron admits. But it’s worth the hype.

When COVID-19 hit and he moved workouts to a nearby park and then his backyard, he often found himself taking only the TRX since it was all he needed. He even makes his clients take them on trips.

Talk about a cheap-but-essential option: Runner’s World Coach Jess Movold says your mindset is the most important element to bring to a home workout space.

“This is your most valuable piece of equipment,” she says. “With a strong mind and the right attitude, you can attack any workout and make it effective.”

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