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November 20, 2018

What pieces of functional fitness equipment should your dream home or garage gym include?

When it comes to building a home gym, it’s important to start with basic equipment that will serve a number of different functions. After all, gym equipment with multiple uses is a great way to reach and maintain your fitness goals. So when it comes to fitness equipment, which ones are best for getting the most bang for your buck in regards to your workout and weight training?

The top 10 pieces of function fitness equipment you should include in your home gym are:

  1. A barbell
  2. Bumper plates
  3. Kettlebells
  4. Medicine ball/ slam ball
  5. Squat rack
  6. Bench (flat or adjustable)
  7. Speed rope
  8. Resistance bands
  9. Massage ball
  10. Foam roller

#1: Barbell

If you want to get strong, you’ll want to have a barbell handy. Not only is it the key piece of fitness equipment used in the big strength training sports like powerlifting and weightlifting, but it’s a vital tool in the top compound lifts you see in the weight training world today.

If you’re not trying to correct particular imbalances throughout your body, if you’re new to the strength training world, or you’ve been strength training for years -- having a barbell is key.

#2: Bumper Plates

What is a barbell without bumper plates to go with it? But not just any bumper plates will do.

Why do we say that?

Well, if you start researching “best plates to buy for your garage gym” you’ll quickly realize there are many different options to choose from. However, bumper plates are the go-to’s. Bumper plates can be dropped, plopped, moved around and used in almost any exercise without any real concern of damage or distress.

#3: Kettlebells

Who needs big machines at the gym when you have kettlebells? Perhaps one of the most underestimated pieces of fitness equipment you see out there today, kettlebells are a great way to increase strength and power. Kettlebells give you ability to perform explosive, powerful, compound lifts without any of the fuss that comes with big, bulky equipment.

Not only are they compact and functional, but they can provide an unlimited amount of exercises that can be powerful movements or fun cardio to switch it up from that dreadful treadmill.

#4: Medicine Ball (or Slam Ball)

Like the kettlebell, a medicine ball slam is a great addition to any workout routine to develop power, strength, and speed. Not only does it work a large variety of muscles (including triceps, shoulders, abs, traps, back, glutes, quads, etc) but increases your heart rate extremely fasting, proving to be a great calorie burner.

#5: Squat Rack

A squat rack (or power rack) is an extremely important tool in developing bigger lifts like the squat and bench. However, that’s not all it’s used for. The squat rack is a great way to train safely if you’re exercising alone and you can go heavier than you would usually be able to on machines, dumbbells or kettlebells. The squat rack is more than just for squatting. Some other exercises you can perform with the help of a squat rack include: front squat, barbell lunge, bent over row, good mornings, overhead press, push press and even shrugs.

#6: Bench

Having a bench (flat or adjustable) within the comfort of your own home gym or garage gym allows for an unlimited amount of exercises. There’s no doubt that having a bench, rack and some plates is key in the development of a strong chest and upper body. Mainly because there are so many muscles in your upper body that get worked when you do a traditional press or incline bench press. Performing the bench press can also increase your bone health, joint health and increase your pushing power.

#7: Speed Rope

Speed ropes are another compact tool that can be often underestimated. Using a speed rope can improve your coordination, agility, footwork, quickness, endurance, motor function and motor patterns. Using this fun piece of cardio equipment can also improve the elasticity and resiliency of the lower muscles of your leg.

While running the treadmill or staying on the elliptical for 30+ minutes a day can be one of the more boring parts of your day, jumping rope keeps cardio fun and exciting.

#8: Resistance Bands

Resistance bands work your muscles just like weights do. While these bands are a great workout tool to take on the go, their value doesn’t end there. Resistance bands are cost effective, giving you the best workout for your buck. They’re also capable of providing a full-body workout, adding a ton of variety to your exercise routine, adding resistance to bigger compound lifts like the squat, deadlift or bench and they’re a great addition to your accessory lifts to add into your warm up or cool down.

#9: Massage Ball

Feeling a little too fatigued from all the workouts you’re doing in your new home gym? Having a massage ball or lacrosse ball can really come in handy when you don’t have time to get a massage and need a quick fix for those knotted up muscles.

#10: Foam Roller

Foam rollers, you see these guys everywhere. Most active individuals keep one within their homes regardless -- but why? Foam rollers are affordable and necessary. Foam rolling before and after your workout or exercise routine helps prevent injury, decrease recovery time, breaks up scar tissue, improves mobility and flexibility, helps get rid of built up lactic acid and saves you money and time from the massage therapist.

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