Home Gym Essentials For 2022
Lockdown forced a lot of people across the country to swap the gym for home workouts – and for many people, there’s no looking back! Convenient, hassle-free and cheaper in the long run, there are many benefits to kitting out your very own home gym. But where to start?
To help you decide, here at FitKit UK, we’ve made a list of the home gym essentials you need for both cardio and strength training.
Table of contents:
What do I need for a home gym?
What are your goals?
Ultimately, the main thing you need to ask yourself when you create a home gym is what your priorities are. The items you need in a home gym will depend on your fitness goals.
Do you want to do a lot of cardio in your home gym workouts? Is building muscle your primary goal? Or do you want a mix of both? Determining this first will help you decide what you need for a home gym.
Machines or home gym weight sets?
You also need to decide if you want to keep your home workouts to free weights and HIIT workouts or if you want to invest in one or more machines. Or both! Key factors to consider here are space in your home and how far your budget can stretch.
For this reason, we’ve included both free weights and machines in our list of top home gym essentials.
Home gym free weights essentials
Home gym weight sets: dumbbells or kettlebells
If you want to focus on toning up and building muscle without machines, you’ll need home gym weight sets.
The main thing you need to choose here is whether you prefer dumbbells or kettlebells. Both types of free weights can be used for similar, if not the same, strength training exercises and have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Some people find dumbbells easier to use, while kettlebells require a bit more technique. Dumbbells are great for isolation exercises, but kettlebells have the upper hand for improving core strength and balance. It ultimately comes down to your personal preference and the types of exercises you like to do.
Whichever you prefer, either kettlebells or dumbbells are your first home gym essentials. A great bonus is that, though primarily designed for building and toning muscle, these free weights will also get your lungs and heart working too, helping improve your overall cardiovascular health.
Home gym exercise mat
Often your home gym workouts may require you to lie or kneel in position on the floor – and trust us; this is much more comfortable on an exercise mat!
Whether you have hardwood floors or carpet, an exercise mat will make a big difference to your comfort, will cushion your joints and can also prevent slips and injuries. Plus, that extra bit of cushioning may soften the sound of your workouts for your downstairs neighbours.
Home gym bench
In a home free weights area, a home gym bench is also a great bit of equipment. An adjustable weight bench is designed to help you position your body to best target specific muscle groups and get the most from your weight training. They’re fantastic for stabilising your body during dumbbell workouts and can be used with barbells, too, with the addition of a rack.
Gym benches are extremely versatile and multifunctional; not only are they good for weight training, but you can also use them for exercises like tricep dips, step-ups and crunches to add variety to your workouts.
Tip: Opt for a foldable bench you can move out of the way when it’s not in use.
Best home gym machines
Home use strength machines
Home gym rack
Our tip when it comes to home use strength machines is to opt for ones with multiple functions. Not only does this give you more for your money, but it’ll be most efficient for saving space at home.
For this reason, an adaptable home gym rack is our top choice when it comes to essential home use strength machines.
Offering multiple functions in one, a home gym rack is a great investment. Known as power racks, this bit of equipment is hugely versatile and can be used for all kinds of strength training barbell-based exercises.
Designed with horizontal adjustable bars, power racks essential ‘spot’ you during your workouts and ensure you can lift heavy weights safely, so they’re great for individual home use. They’re commonly used for squatting but can also facilitate bench and shoulder presses, chin dips, deadlifts and more.
Best for: Versatile strength training and building muscle
Cardio machines for home use
Home gym treadmill
If your goal is improving your general fitness and stamina, a treadmill is one of the best cardio options you can choose for home gym workouts. Treadmills are a go-to for many people when it comes to cardio, and for good reason. They’re a really popular option for home gyms because they’re easy to use – even for beginners – and are fantastic for your cardiovascular health.
They’re also extremely convenient. If you’re not a fan of running outside, hopping on the treadmill is a great alternative that burns calories quickly and gives you a rush of feel-good endorphins.
Best for: Cardio workouts and improving endurance
Home gym rowing machine
Fantastic for toning as well as cardio, a rowing machine is a great option for a home gym if you’re looking for something that ticks both boxes. The many benefits of rowing machines make them a common home gym staple. Rowing will strengthen and tone up all your muscle groups at once while raising your heart rate and burning fat. If you don’t want to buy several different home gym machines, a rowing machine is the best all-rounder.
Best for: Combining cardio with muscle toning
Home exercise bike
Another good cardio option for home use is an exercise bike. Both recumbent and studio exercise bikes are smaller than a treadmill or a cross trainer, so will take up less room in your home.
A home exercise bike is a great way to tone up your legs while burning calories and getting your blood pumping. Plus, their low-impact movement is kinder to the joints than a treadmill and may be more suitable if you have an injury.
Best for: Low-impact cardio
Easily bored? The good news is that nowadays, cardio machines for home use include features such as Bluetooth, LCD displays and built-in apps that make workouts much more enjoyable.
Home gym workout equipment at FitKit UK
Whether you’re looking for free weights or top of the range machines at an affordable price, you can find both here at FitKit UK. Check out the full range of home gym workout equipment today to find the right equipment for your home gym workouts.
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