Basic Home Exercise Equipment Recommendations
Please read the entire Basic Home Exercise Equipment Recommendations because there are some choices. You will be surprised that you can literally replace an entire gym in one corner of your house. You don’t need much to get a far superior workout then you could get with 80% of the exercise equipment in the gym!
While you can buy less expensive exercise balls it is highly recommended that you purchase a high quality burst resistance ball. Burst resistance means that it will not rapidly deflate if accidentally punctured. The Duraball Pros are recommended for exercise because they have a burst rating of 1,100 pounds. If you need to save money buy a less expensive ball for sitting and a more expensive ball for exercise. I’ve had my Duraball Pro for 8 years now and it’s still as good as the day I bought it. I included some less expensive options as well. To buy a ball for sitting (office work, etc.) buy one size larger then your exercise ball and keep it slightly deflated. Be sure to follow the inflation directions when buying a Duraball Pro to ensure years of use. You have to inflate part way (80%) for 24 hours BEFORE you fill it up all the way. Failure to do this step may limit the life of your investment.
|Your Height||Under 4’8||4’8-5’3||5’4-5’10||5’10-6’4|
|*Ball Size||45 cm||55 cm||65cm||75 cm|
*For Sitting get one size larger and don’t fully inflate
Exercise Mat, Foam Roll, Tubing
Some additional items we will be using in your program include an exercise mat (or yoga mat), a self massaging foam roll and tubing. If you are concerned about space you can purchase a shorter length Foam Roll but I prefer the versatility of the longer Foam Rolls. For tubing I want you to get a minimum of the GoFit Extreme Pro Gym tubing set. This is a perfect starting set that will give us many options. Its not mandatory but I would also recommend getting some heavier weight tubing to go with your tubing set although it is not neccessary and we can always get them later. The kit comes with 20, 30, and 40 lbs. tubes. So if you think you might want some heavier sets purchase 50 and above remember that we can combine the 20+30+40 to equal 90 lbs of strength. If you decide to wait we can always purchase heavier tubing later on as you get stronger.
Options for Dumbbells
Dumbbells are a must for our exercise programs. I recommend starting with a 3, 5, 8, and 10 lbs dumbbell set. This goes for the experienced exerciser as well as a beginning exerciser. The light weights are incredibly important for strengthening complete range of motions and working to create balance and neurological control as well as helping the body recover from injury. You may even choose to purchase a 1 lb. set as well, and in fact, I would prefer you did. I’ve included both an iron set and a neoprene set. What you choose depends on your personal choice. I also included some heavier weight dumbbells below. If you decide to go with the adjustable sets you can get by with purchasing a couple of the 3 lbs. separate dumbbells in addition to these adjustable weight dumbbells since the adjustable weights include 5 and up. Power Block goes in 3 lbs increments and would be a best option because you can have from 3 up to 24 pounds in one small area and they are easy and quick to adjust the amount of weight you use.
Heat Rate Monitors (Do NOT skip this section)
These are a MUST for your cardio workouts. Heart rate monitoring is simply the best way to ensure your getting the right intensity to your workouts.
Heart rate monitors will ensure you don’t over-train which can cause you to slide backwards in your health and body while wasting time and making you work harder then will benefit you. This is actually VERY common with new exercisers especially when highly motivated. Sometimes less is more.
They also ensure your not under-doing your workout. As your fitness level increases your heart rate will lower for the same pace signaling that its time to pick up your pace. This is a good sign meaning you are becoming MORE efficient which also means you will start burning fewer calories for the same amount of work. If you don’t increase your pace when this happens you will start to lose the calorie burn you had when you started. This is a very common cause of a slowing of fat loss and another good reason to monitor your heat rate.
Heart rate monitors are also self adjusting. If your coming down with something or you didn’t get good enough sleep the night before your heart rate will be elevated which means you will need to lower your pace.
As you can see Heart Rate Monitors ensure you get the most out of your workout!
I usually recommend a Polar Heart Rate Monitor because they often work with the cardio equipment in most gyms. That means you can use the polar strap and see your heart rate directly on the cardio machine screen without holding on to the machine. Holding on the machine can be incredibly detrimental to your movement mechanics when running or using stair steppers. Elliptical machines are okay to hold on because that is how they are designed and they create the natural back and forth movement of your upper body. Your arms are meant to swing side to side uninhibited creating what is known as reciprocal movement. Reciprocal movement happens when the motion on one side of the body sets up a follow on movement on the other side of the body.
I don’t recommend that you order an expensive heart rate monitor since most additional functions such as helping you to plan a workout are typically designed with the endurance athlete in mind.
If general fitness or weight loss is your goal this can actually be detrimental to your progress as too much cardio can reduce important muscle tone gains that are important for maintaining and increasing your metabolism. This means increased burning of calories even when you are at rest! Muscle takes energy to maintain. This is in fact a huge key to weight loss and is a big reason some people do a ton of cardio yet never seem to lose weight.
There are other reason to purchase a more expensive model such as some smart phone and computer apps have a ton of interesting options such as fitbit which can even monitor your sleep. These options will be up to you and if you want help making your decision please feel free to email or text me your concerns before you buy.
Remember that I will create a full heart rate program based off of your resting heart rate so you won’t need that function nor have to worry about overdoing your cardio. Of course if you are an endurance athlete then these programs can be highly beneficial to you.
I included a polar strap for two reasons. One the newer Polar models are not marketed mainly as heart rate monitors and as such they DO NOT come with them packaged with the product like they used to. If you purchase the A300 you are going to need to get the H7 strap as well. Having the chest strap is necessary since the chest strap actually measures the electrical output of your heart and is therefore VERY accurate. The second reason is that you can purchase the strap without the monitor if you are planning on doing all your cardio on a cardio machine that can read a Polar strap. You can just purchase the strap instead of the monitor. But I would recommend going with the Polar FT4 in that case since it comes WITH a strap and in fact this is a few dollars cheaper.
I’ve include some of the features of the A300 below in case you would like to know more. No need to read that part if you’re not going to purchase it.
Polar A300 (from Amazon)
- Provides everyday feedback to guide you towards a more active lifestyle, Tracks daily activity, calories, steps and distance covered, Vibrating inactivity alerts help you keep moving throughout the day
- Syncs with free Polar Flow app and web service for additional workout planning, motivation and guidance
- Compatible with H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor for continuous, accurate heart rate, Sold separately, not included, Powerful, rechargeable battery lasts up to four weeks, Easily charges with simple plug and play USB
- Automatically tracks your sleep time and quality, Get a better understanding of your sleep patterns and how they affect your activity levels
- Changeable wristband, Six additional vibrantly colored wristbands are sold separately, Fully waterproof for swimming
You may be shocked but that’s it! You really don’t need a lot of equipment to do a full body workout routine. These are the bare essentials for your home gym. Below are some additional items I highly recommend as well. These can always be purchased later on in your program.
Additional Exercise Equipment
The VERY next item I recommend is the BOSU! BOSU stands for BOth Sides Up. Don’t buy another item before this one. This item can greatly extend your exercise potential. Included below are both the normal and heavy weight BOSU. I included the heavy weight because it is stronger and burst resistant which means it can better handle jumping which is incredibly fun on a BOSU!
You may NOT need this so that’s why both are below.
The TRX suspension trainer is the second additional item you should consider. The TRX can be used nearly anywhere and provides a challenging full body workout that uses the entire body. It’s a great way to strengthen your core as well as integrate your core with your extremities.
The Pullup Bar at first look may not seem like a good option for many people since many people do not have th body structure for full body weight pull-ups. However since most people do not want to buy an expensive overhead cable machine for their home based gym. There are ways to use stools to reduce the amount of force you have to overcome and I can coach you on this. You will need a stool of the right size to give you the support you will need.
The Lebert Equalizer might be the third or forth additional item you should purchase. These bars are compact, low weight and gives additional options for pulling exercises as well as dips and pushups.
Kettlebells can be incredibly challenging and a ton of FUN! They are very reactive and can hit your muscles in a way not challenged by traditional exercises. They are very beneficial for anyone wanting more power.
The Gliding disks are yet another way to create novel forces in the body. I chose this brand because they are dual sided and work both on hardwood and on carpeted surfaces. With these two little disks you can create a workout that will challenge your core and give any gym machine a run for it’s money with how intense they can be. Buy these if you DARE! Lol.
Mini Loop Bands may be a part of your initial exercise program as they are incredible at challenging lateral hip and shoulder stability.
Balance is extremely challenging to the nervous system which greatly enhances overall strength and coordination. These are some of my favorite options.
The Fitter First Pro is expensive and not really necessary so I just threw that one in because it really is a fun workout!