Want to start a home gym? From mats to dumbells, here are the top 5 home workout essentials for beginners who want a great workout at home.
This list is for anyone who doesn’t have much space to work with but still wants to get a great workout done at home.
Workout mats are great. Whether you have wooden flooring or carpet I would definitely recommend getting a mat. If you have hard flooring it acts as a bit of a shock absorber so you don’t have to land directly on the hard surface. It also keeps you from sweating on the floor which will make it slippery and might cause injury. While your carpet may act as a shock absorber as well it is still a good idea to have a mat so you don’t end up getting sweat stains on it. Mats are also very handy when you have dumbbells. You can put the dumbbells on the mat which will protect your floor or carpet from scuff marks. I bought my mat about 3 years ago for £19.95 and it is probably one of my best investments.
If you are looking to build some muscles investing in a set of dumbells is a no-brainer. There are many options out there from solid dumbbells to adjustables. You might even want to look into getting a Bowflex. Bowflex is an adjustable dumbbell set that lets you change your weight by just twisting a dial. Two downsides for me are the fact that they can be a bit expensive and they are a bit bulky as well but it is a great space saver.
Next up is normal solid dumbbells. These are great but as your strength increases you will have to buy new sets and that can get a bit expensive and take up a lot of space. Lastly, it’s the adjustable dumbbells. My personal favorite. You can easily go up and down in weight by just adding or taking off the weighted discs. You don’t have to send all the money at once. Start off with one set and then you can buy extra discs and bars as you progress. I currently have two sets just so I don’t have to constantly change weights but with just two sets my weight range is 2 kgs to 30 kgs per dumbbell. They are easily stackable and can be taken apart and stored away.
Pull-ups are great for upper-body workouts. By just changing your hand placement you can hit most muscles in your upper body. Here are the three pull-up bar options I’ve come across. Door frame mount.
These are great. They just hook into your door frame and you are good to go. Some even have differently positioned handgrips so you can easily go from chin up to pull up to wide grip pull-ups. Unfortunately, they don’t fit in all doorways as I recently discovered. Due to the design of our apartment, I am unable to mount mine.
That leads me to the telescopic doorway pull-up bar. These extend and essentially wedge into the doorframe. They are handy but it does limit which pull-ups you can do and personally, I’m always a bit afraid that it might come loose mid-pull-up. Then you have the free-standing pull-up bar systems created by companies such as Pull Up Max. These are great and can easily be adjusted to allow you to do dips and many other exercises. They are also easily disassembled for storage. Compared to the two-door frame options the free stand-bars can be a lot more expensive.
Resistance bands are great space savers and you can mimic most movements you would do with dumbbells or a pull-up bar. They can even assist you with your pull-ups when you are getting started. They are also handy to take with you during your travels. Although you can change the resistance by the placement of your feet or by moving further away if you have it attached to a door, it is still a good idea to get a few bands with different resistance levels. I recommend getting a heavy, medium, or light band just to give yourself more options. Make sure it comes with a door attachment.
No, I do not have a personal trainer in my closet ready to pop out whenever I want to train. What I do have is access to a library of workout programs designed by world-class personal trainers specifically for working out at home. You can call it the “Netflix for home workouts”.
There are loads of workout videos and exercise ideas on YouTube. Some are great and some aren’t, but what you won’t get on YouTube is full access to complete programs, and nutrition plans and access to an online community of people doing the same workouts as you. Enter, Beachbody on Demand.
As a beginner, I had no clue what I was doing but by following a structured workout designed to push me to improve and a personal trainer guiding me every step of the way I couldn’t go wrong. I still use the same workout platform for my workouts and I’ve completed quite a few now.