Home Exercise Equipment: A Guide for Beginners
Planning to start working out at home? No matter what your fitness goal, exercise equipment can help you achieve it faster. Workout apparatus help apply external load on your muscles that eventually enhances strength and conditioning. Use this beginner’s guide to invest in some and start exercising today.
1. Better control: Using an equipment controls the path of motion and the amount of force needed to strengthen the muscles for an efficient and safe workout.
2. Better resistance: For those who want to gain muscle, bodyweight exercises are not enough. You would need external resistance. Using equipment enables you to improve strength and achieve the goal.
3. Achieve goals faster: Equipment helps enhance the workout experience and get faster results. For instance, doing barbell squats will help you progress better than doing just squats.
Now that you know the benefits of using exercise equipment, which one will work the best for you?
If you are planning on working out at home, it is better to invest in some basic gym equipment. And don’t fret about which one to pick. Here’s help.
Also read: Strength Training for Women: Let’s Bust Some Myths
It’s an elastic band used for strength training exercises. You can target specific groups of muscles by adding resistance for greater impact — think chest presses, bent-over rows, squats, lunges, adduction, abduction and rotations. Easily available, resistance bands are easy to carry and come in a variety of colors, types and prices. Some common types of resistance bands include power resistance bands, tube resistance bands, mini resistance bands, light therapy resistance bands and figure eight bands.
Suspension trainers assist in sculpting muscles and improves strength, balance, flexibility, and joint stability. It works on the principle of working out against your bodyweight to achieve fitness goals.
Skipping rope is the most common exercise equipment. It not only burns calories, but also gets your heart rate up and improves coordination skills. And the best part? You can skip anywhere.
Exercise ball is made of soft elastic, has a diameter of 35 to 85cm, and is filled with air. It is used in strength exercises, athletic training, and weightlifting. You need to use mainly your abdominal and back muscles to stabilize the ball, which makes them stronger over time.
Medicine ball weighs between 1 and 10kg and helps with a wide range of exercises. It improves coordination and balance, strengthens lower limbs and the core. Exercises such as rotational lunges, woodchops and overhead ball slams are best performed using this ball.
Kettlebell is a black cannonball with a cast-iron handle. It helps improve core strength and stability. It can be used in performing dynamic movements such as unilateral arm movement. Exercises with a kettlebell help increase your heart rate, burn fat, and tone your muscles. It also helps in building your posterior chain strength which is strengthening all your back muscles. For beginners, men can start with a weight of 10 to 12kg, while women can start with 6 to 8kg.
Bosu ball is an exercise ball cut in half, which is inflated on one side and flat on the other. It provides you with an unstable workout surface, and ensures all the muscles are engaged in maintaining balance. Using the bosu ball makes your workout challenging and adds variety to the routine.
Balance disc is an inflated plastic or rubber cushion, which is about 13 to 14 inches in diameter. It has one smooth side while the other is knobby. Exercising on a balance disc helps you improve your core and limb muscles.
Exercise stepper is a tool that helps mimic the movement of climbing stairs or hills. It has a height of 8 to 10 inches, and mainly targets lower body muscles such as thighs, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It is also used in aerobic training, and is thus, very effective for cardiovascular fitness.
Pull-up bars are a great tool to strengthen your core and back muscles. It can be used to do pull-ups, knee to elbow raises, hanging leg raises and chin-ups, which work on the whole body.
Sliders are tools with an unstable surface that require you to maintain balance and thus, engage your muscles throughout the workout. It challenges your body and improves your ability to perform exercises like slider mountain climber and slider plank jack.
Dumbbells are a great workout equipment for home based exercise. It helps you build muscle allowing greater range of motion, improves muscle force and flexibility, promotes coordination of muscles and joints, boosts metabolic rates and decreases the chance of injury. You can invest in adjustable dumbbells to change weights as per your preference.
You need a strict exercise routine to make best use of your equipment. Combine this with healthy food, maintenance of a log, and checking daily progress, and you’d be on your way to achieving your fitness goals.
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3. Some of the top dumbbells to consider. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-dumbbells (accessed Feb 18, 2021).