Essential Exercise Equipment No Home Gym Should Be Without

You've probably heard the stories. Many people who sign up for gym memberships end up wasting their money as they don't go often enough or at all. One of the main reasons is that it's just not convenient to go, as half of gym members reported, according to CreditDonkey.

An increasing number of people are creating gyms at home, in part due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. While it takes an initial investment, in the long run, you'll probably come out ahead financially not having to pay those monthly or yearly fees. To set it up right, you'll want to be sure and include these essentials. 

A Quality Cardio Machine 

You need at least one quality cardio machine, like a treadmill or an exercise bike. While they aren't cheap, as many people buy them and end up using them as coat racks or stowing them away in the garage, you might find one for a bargain on Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, NextDoor, in the classified section of your local paper, or at a yard sale. If you want something new, you might find some relatively affordable options discounted further at special events like post-holiday sales.

Jump Rope

If you need time to save or are waiting for a deal on the right piece of cardio equipment, a jump rope is a cheap alternative in the meantime. It's an excellent cardiovascular workout; in fact, after a few jumps, you might start wondering how you did it throughout recess as a kid. It burns a ton of calories while helping to improve heart health, coordination, bone density, and more.

Indoor Punching Bag

You don't have to be a boxer to take advantage of an indoor punching bag. The muscles in your upper body, including your shoulders, chest, arms, and back, as well as your core and your legs, are all engaged in a punching bag session. It's an extremely effective full-body workout.

Hand Weights

Hand weights are inexpensive while allowing for a wide range of exercises. For a faster metabolism and an overall fit body, strength training of any type is a must for your fitness routine. They can obviously be used to build strength and tone muscles, strengthening your arms, shoulders, and entire upper body, but you can even use them to boost cardio fitness in multiple ways. For example, you might perform paddling motions while stepping in place. 

You'll want to get various sizes, or if you have limited space, buy adjustable dumbbells with the ability to go light, moderate, or heavy. 

Resistance Bands

Cheap and versatile while taking up very little space, resistance bands are surprisingly effective for both upper- and lower-body training as well as enhancing joint mobility and improving flexibility. They're available in a wide range of levels, from very light to heavy, and can even be used for a full-body workout that targets every muscle group. 

Weight Bench

A weight bench is important for using free weights as it will allow you to change positions and maintain proper form. 

Flooring or Mats

If you're setting up your home gym on a hard floor, a mat or multiple mats is necessary. Another option, depending on the space, is to install cushioned flooring throughout. Either way, it will allow you to decrease the odds of an injury when performing intense exercises as they provide cushioning. 

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