5 Home Gym Gadgets That Really Work!
Rowers, spinning bikes, stair steppers, elliptical machines: when it comes to gym equipment, you’ll never run out of options. The problem is choosing the right one for your fitness needs without breaking the bank. These five gadgets definitely give you the best value for your money.
Anyone who’s tried to get in shape has faced one hard truth: gym equipment doesn’t come cheap. A decent treadmill rarely costs under $800, and an elliptical trainer will set you back over $1000. A complete home gym can easily cost you thousands. How do you make sure you get your money’s worth?
The key is to remember that more isn’t necessarily better. True, there’s no such thing as an all-in-one machine, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy one of everything. You just have to know which ones you need and which ones you can do without. Find something that will suit your fitness needs without costing you an arm and leg. It’s easier than you think—here are five practical gadgets you can start with.
There’s a good reason why this remains the most popular fitness machine. It’s hands down the best way to work up your cardio, whether you’re a leisurely walker or a marathon runner. You can even work in some leg training by cranking up the tension. Look for one with a decent range of speeds, tensions, and inclines. You don’t need a fully programmable machine, as long as it adjusts to your changing fitness needs.
Invest in a good set of weights for strength training and muscle toning. Dumbbells don’t cost much per piece, but buying a range of weights can be expensive. To find the right set, start with the weight you’re most comfortable with and get the next two pairs in two-pound increments.
If you’re the DIY type, you can also build your own dumbbells at home. Take a pair of heavy-duty dowels and use concrete-filled containers (such as paint buckets or coffee cans) as the weights. You can also simply lift large water bottles or soup cans.
3. Jump rope
This is probably one of the most versatile toys around. A good quality jump rope will take care of your cardio, work your leg muscles, and even tone up your core. A half hour on the rope can burn a whopping 650 calories! Plus you can easily stash them in your bag—perfect for sneaking in a quick workout on the go.
For a more intense workout, get a weighted rope. These ropes are made of solid rubber or leather, giving them more air resistance. Often, the handles are also weighted, so it works your arm muscles as well. Make sure it’s the right length for you: when folded in half, it should equal the distance from the floor to your armpits.
At the end of the day, resistance training is really just about resistance. That means anything that can create tension—say a big rubber band—can be turned into an exercise machine. Besides the changeable tension levels, there isn’t much difference between a $10 resistance band and a $1000 rowing machine. Want to save even more? Look around your garage for a large elastic band, or use the inner tube of a bicycle tire. To increase resistance, simply add more bands.
Fitness boxing is a great way to relieve stress, improve your balance, and get in some muscle toning. Set up a body punching bag in a well-ventilated area (intense workout can leave you gasping for breath) and make sure there are no exposed metal parts. If you can’t afford a professional quality bag, fill a heavy-duty canvas duffel with playground sand and hang it from your ceiling. If you have some extra room, set up a small speed bag too—it’s great for upper arm toning.