By Jane Blanchard
Before you just start throwing exercise equipment into your garage and calling it a home gym, you need to assess what you have and what you need. For a home gym to be the most effective place to workout, you need equipment that you can use to work your entire body.
- Cardio Equipment
To burn fat, you want exercise equipment that gives your cardiovascular system a workout. Choose your favorite means of increasing your heart rate for this. If you don’t like running, don’t put a treadmill in your home gym. Consider an elliptical trainer or stationary bike instead. Make sure that you have plenty of room to use your equipment without hitting anything. The amount of floor space will depend on what type of cardio machine you use. Here is a guide on the best elliptical machines in case you need it.
Burning off fat with a treadmill or other cardio machine is not enough for a total body workout. Many people go to gyms to take advantage of the numerous weight machines, but home gyms or freeweights can get you a similar workout without leaving the house. Make sure that you have a variety of weights. This will give you enough equipment to slowly increase the weights you use as you get stronger. If you have a large, loud unit, you might consider placing it on the ground floor or in a basement where there is extra reinforcement of the flooring beneath. This will also reduce the noise other people hear from the machine during use.
- Floor Mats
If you plan on doing yoga, pushups, situps or other floor exercises, you need comfortable mats on the floor. Some people prefer roll-up mats, but you can also opt to lay foam tiles on the floor of your home gym to reduce the impact on your joints, make it more comfortable for anything you do on the floor and reduce the sound from jumping around in your home gym.
A mirror is an essential part of any home gym but not for vanity purposes. If you choose to workout alone, you will need a mirror so you can watch your form. Improper form when lifting weights or using a cardio machine may lessen the effectiveness of the exercises or lead to injury. Find a mirror that is large enough to show your whole body as you workout.
Commercial gyms have TVs to help keep your mind occupied as you exercise, so why not put one in your home gym? The television can also be used to follow along with workout DVDs. Mount it using specially designed wall brackets that will hold the TV in place even as the walls vibrate slightly from the use of the exercise equipment in the room.
If the only thing standing between you and a home gym is a plan, you now have no excuses left. Get started on creating the home gym of your dreams.
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