Working out can be much easier if you don’t need to slog to a fitness center every time you feel like exercising. Unfortunately, exercise equipment is often quite bulky, eliminating much of it from consideration for the typical home gym. But by selecting the right gear for you from the list below, you can build a home gym that will fit in virtually any space.
The giant exercise bikes you see at the gym probably would be a bad fit for your home, but luckily many companies make stationary cycles designed for home use. Some even fold up, making them easy to store in a corner or a closet. And if you like instructions during your workouts, cycling classes are available on DVD and online.
Folding Weight Benches
Like exercise bikes, gym-dwelling weight benches are often quite bulky. Home models are a different story, though. With a bit of shopping around, you can get a small-but-sturdy home weight bench which folds into numerous lifting positions. Certain models even fold completely flat for storage, meaning you can slide them under a bed or prop them against a wall when not in use.
Resistance bands are typically made of latex and work by making the user exert effort to stretch them. You secure them–perhaps by placing them under bench, or even under your feet–and then pull to perform various exercises. In fact, you can perform a full body workout with resistance bands–not bad for something that’s so space-efficient you can throw it in a suitcase.
Adjustable Dumbbells and Barbells
While a full set of individual dumbbells can be quite the space eater, you can economize this equipment by instead using adjustable dumbbells. Some companies offer pre-made sets; for instance, the Powerblock 9.0 dumbbells adjust from 1 kg to 22.5 kg per hand, with numerous increments in between, meaning you don’t need to keep any extra dumbbells around in that range.
Another option is to buy standalone dumbbell handles and add individually bought plates as you move up in strength. You can also use those same plates on longer barbells for different exercises.
Door-mounted Pull-up Bars
Men’s Fitness called the pull-up “the king of upper-body movements,” but you don’t need to go to the gym to access this royalty. Portable pull-up bars can turn virtually any doorway into an exercise station. Some models anchor to the interior edges of a doorway, while others grip the frame. An added bonus is that many pull-up bars travel well on road trips.
As with any facet of working out, you should consider your current fitness level, your goals, and your budget before investing in any of this gear. Just know that concerns about space shouldn’t deter you from building your own home gym.