When you have a goal of getting in shape, don’t think that you need to be at a gym in order to do so. Although being in a gym is ideal, it may not be possible for everyone, especially during the time we’re living in right now.
Luckily, you can still get in shape and maintain your fitness by building your own home gym with some basic equipment. Let’s go over what’s ideal to use for your home gym, what the benefits of each are for you to get and stay in shape:
1. Your Body
Bodyweight exercises have a place in any and every workout routine. No matter what your fitness levels are, bodyweight training is beneficial and effective.
Exercises such as pushups, chin-ups, squats, lunges, jumps, and plank variations are incredible at building strength, increasing muscular endurance, improving your athleticism, stability, and balance.
Bodyweight training also builds relative strength. Being strong and moving big weight is great and all, but you also want to have the strength relative to your bodyweight. What good is benching 400+lbs if you can’t perform a single pushup or a proper lunge?
Bodyweight exercises gives you feedback on how you’re progressing with your physique. If you’re on a bulk and have been gaining weight, your performance on pushups and chin-ups will reflect whether or not you’re gaining any extra fat.
If you’re gaining weight and the amount of reps you’re doing is staying the same or increasing? Awesome, you’re building muscle and improving your muscular endurance. If not, then you’re probably gaining too much fat.
And if you’ve been sitting all day in front of the computer, I would recommend taking breaks and doing some bodyweight movements in between.
Do 10 reps of the following exercises:
2. Resistance Bands
One of my other favorite pieces of exercise equipment to use are resistance bands. They’re small, compact, and you can perform a wide variety of exercises with them. Even though bodyweight training is great, you’re limited to the amount of exercises and muscles you can target directly.
Resistance bands are great because they allow you to target all different muscle groups, and the resistance feels completely different than using your bodyweight or any weights. You can also use bands to add resistance to other exercises as well, such as pushups, squats, presses, and rows with weight, making them more difficult.
When working out at home, bands are a great piece of equipment to use. When selecting which ones to get, I recommend compact resistance bands and loop resistance bands.
Compared to barbells, dumbbells are a much better tool for in-home workouts. They take up less space and you can do more movements with them.The difference between a barbell and dumbbell is that a barbell is a long straight bar which you can load plates on. With dumbbells, think of them as a short barbell and you can hold them with one hand, and they’re usually fixed weights.
Depending on some exercises, dumbbells can be also way more challenging than their barbell counterparts. I love using dumbbells because of their versatility. You can do unilateral movements, load bodyweight exercises, and can chain together an awesome fat loss circuit with just a single dumbbell.
4. Jump Rope
One of the easiest tools you can use to improve your cardio and conditioning. It’s low impact, burns fat, and you can do it from anywhere.
The reason why I love the jump rope as a conditioning tool is because it’s so effective in improving your cardio. It’s a great way to warm up before your workouts, getting your body core temperature up, and increasing your blood flow beforehand. Jumping rope at the end of your workouts can also provide a nice fat burn effect to top things off.
Another benefit of jumping rope is the improved coordination and athleticism. As we continue to age, we lose both of those things. By jumping rope and performing the different types of moves, you can maintain and improve your coordination and athleticism.
Here are some ways you can jump:
Here’s a clip going over several movements you can do
If you’re trying to get in shape, don’t think you need to be in a gym. You can still get a great workout at home using your body, a set of bands, a set of dumbbells, and a jump rope. Simply focus on the basic movements and strive to improve each week. If you do so consistently, you’ll get in shape and have the body that you want.
Tim Liu is an online fitness and nutrition coach who helps busy people lose fat and build muscle without having to live in the gym. You can find him on his website at www.timliufitness.com and on Instagram at timliufitness.