Do you need fancy gym equipment to get a good weight-training workout? No. Several people have asked me this recently and it may be because I often talk about mixing your routine up in the gym. Also, for various reasons I don’t work out at home. But the truth is you can get the same results at home using some basic equipment.
It’s really simple to work out at home. You don’t have to worry about workout clothes, driving, or paying for a membership. The equipment is minimal and inexpensive. You can work out whenever you want. So if you’re ready to get started, take a look at what you need.
Have Fun with Bands
I often suggest using cable and FreeMotion machines because they’re so versatile, but you can get the same results using bands (also called tubes). Bands are made of elastic, stretchy latex that you can attach to doors, place under a bench, and stand on to perform exercises.
Bands come in different levels of resistance which are indicated by different colors. It’s best to buy several in different colors to use for different exercises. Many bands have handles, and you can also buy ankle cuffs and door attachments for some. You can buy them anywhere – I’ve seen them at sports stores and even electronics and drug stores.
- Use the same good form as you would with other exercises.
- Anchor your bands on smooth surfaces to avoid wearing them down. Popping bands are painful bands!
Be Friends with Dumbbells
You do not have to use dumbbells as part of your home workout, but you may enjoy them more than or as much as resistance bands. You need to experiment with both to see which you prefer. I suggest that you have both types of resistance on hand in case you don’t like the way bands feel for a certain exercise or vice versa. Remember that versatility will prevent boredom!
If you are a beginner and need to buy three- and five-pound weights, know that you will only be using these for a couple of months. After that you will need to buy a pair of heavier weights (eights and tens). You need to keep increasing the weight or your muscles will hit a plateau and you will not see further results.
Go to Bodybuilding.com and select a muscle group. Then filter for dumbbells under “Equipment.”
- Use good form and avoid swaying your body during exercises.
- Pick up dumbbells carefully to avoid straining your lower back.
Mat, Bench, Stability Ball
You need a surface on which to exercise – I don’t know how else to put it! A basic weight bench is versatile and great to have. But you don’t have to have one. You do need a place to do chest presses, for example, and a stability ball can fill in nicely. Not only that, but a stability (or Swiss) ball forces you to use your core for balance on many exercises. You can use it in place of a bench in some cases, but not all.
Why do you need a mat? Because carpet gets in your nose. A mat is softer on your knees and head. And it (hopefully) provides a nonskid surface on which to place your weights and exercise.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your equipment and check out the exercise database links above. You will see muscles on that beautiful body before long.