In the modern world, we spend most of our time sitting. We sit at work and sit in the car on the way home. And once we get home, we mostly sit and watch TV. But, as a species, we need a little more activity than that to stay healthy.
Going to a gym is an option, but it is time-consuming and expensive. Set up your own gym at home, and keeping fit will be easy and convenient.
The Best Chart
|Total Gym XLS Trainer||4.6||$$$$$+|
|Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym||4.5||$$$$$|
|Bowflex Blaze Home Gym||4.5||$$$$$+|
|Weider Ultimate Body Works||4.4||$$|
|Weider Power Tower||4.2||$$|
|Stamina 1690 Power Tower||4.6||$|
|Thane Total Flex Home Gym||4.6||$$$|
|Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym||4.6||$$$$$+|
|Total Gym 1100||4.4||$$|
Exercising can be intimidating, and buying a home gym even more so. Choose from one of these top ten options, and you’ll be sure to get a quality work out.
What Is A Home Gym And Why Do You Need One?
A home gym is exactly what it sounds like; a space in your home, for example, a spare bedroom or in a garage, which is used to exercise. There could be a large selection of equipment, or just an empty space with some hand weights, depending on your workout. Even just shoving aside your coffee table and doing some push-ups can be a good start. There are also a number of options on the market that are all-in-one machines, meant to allow a full range of exercises without a needing several different sets of equipment.
A home gym may be increasingly necessary. One-third of U.S. adults are obese. That means they don’t just have a few extra pounds here and there but are significantly overweight. This has all sorts of consequences, including shortened lifespan and increased likelihood of cancer or stroke. If nothing else, overweight Americans paid nearly $1500 more per year in health expenses.
It’s not hard to understand how this happens. Modern life seems designed to feed us unhealthy food and keep us from exercising. And, while many of us pay for gym memberships and commit to going, more often than not there is little time and energy left for that commitment. With a home gym, excuses get harder to make. You don’t have to go anywhere, and while getting equipment might be expensive up front, it is usually cheaper in the long run. With a home gym, the control is entirely in your hands.
Advantages of a Good Home Gym
A home gym can be tailored to your specific needs, and while places like Anytime Fitness or the local Y will have equipment for just about every exercise you can imagine, you’ll often be paying for a whole bunch of stuff you’ll never use. If you’re into yoga or Pilates, you can get just the equipment you need for those exercises. Likewise, if you’re interested in building muscle, or working on your flexibility, there are specific exercises and equipment that can help.
The other major advantage of a home gym, of course, is that it’s in your home. You work out when you want, and don’t have to go anywhere to do so. And you don’t have to worry about putting on a show. Going to a gym can be intimidating for many reasons, but one of the major reasons people flake out is that they have to exercise in front of other people, many of whom will be in better shape and look like they know what they’re doing. Your home gym is a private place where you can focus completely on your workout.
Home Gym Basics
A good place to start when assembling your gym can be two or three dumbbells of weights you are likely to use the most often. Many modern exercise and fitness experts recommend an exercise plan focused on flexibility and range of motion instead of creating pure muscle bulk, so it might be worth investing in a stability ball or something similar. Other equipment that might be useful can include some resistance bands or even a pull-up bar. A simple jump rope is a great way to work on cardio in a small space.
If you have a little more money to spend, a ‘home gym’ machine might be worth the investment, as it will allow you to do a whole range of exercises that would be difficult to do with just hand weights. It can take a little practice to get used to these machines, but hard work will always pay off.
How to Fine the Best Home Gym For Me
A home gym machine can often be the best way to go. When considering which one to get, there are a couple factors to keep in mind.
- Some machines try to cram as many options in as possible. However, there is always a limit, and understanding what exercises you can do with a particular machine is extremely important when choosing the right one for you. A tower machine will focus on using your own body weight, and will be most useful for things like pull-ups and leg lifts. A resistance machine may be able to provide a wider range of exercises, focusing on building strength.
- Home gym machines come in a few different sizes, and it is important to match what you have available to the machine you get. A tower machine will take up less floor space but require a higher ceiling. Something with a bench or which uses weights will need more room while a machine that uses resistance instead will need less room. Some machines fold up and can be put away.
- There’s no getting around it. Everything costs money, and while in the long term a machine will be less than a gym membership, they can be an expensive investment up front. Luckily there is a wide array of machines in a number of price ranges.
Home Gym Prices
A new home gym machine can start at about a hundred bucks, and go up from there. Essentially you can spend as much money as you want on a home gym. A basic tower gym will usually be the cheapest, at around $100, though more complex ones can be more expensive. A bench machine with no weights or resistance bands that uses your own body weight will be between $150 and $200 dollars. Adding weights and resistance bands will add to the cost. A gym quality machine can cost thousands of dollars. As a rule, the more moving parts a machine has, the more expensive it will be.
What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?
The Total Gym XLS Trainer is the top of the Total Gym line of machines. It includes all the attachments as well as a number of other upgrades. It is a solid, good machine, and a whole bunch of different exercises are possible with it. Folding it up and moving it can be a challenge, as it is heavy and large. The machine also uses your own body weight to provide resistance, so there is an upper limit to the resistance it provides. With those few caveats, it is a good machine that can give you a good workout.
The PR1000 is the base Bowflex model that uses their Power Rod resistance system. It is important to recognize that the rod resistance system does not work quite like a weight resistance system. If used too fast, it will not provide much of a workout. Slowing down and focusing on the specific muscle group is essential to get the most out of the machine. It folds up a little bit, but otherwise it takes up quite a bit of space. It works great and is a good machine for the cost.
The Stamina Power Tower is a simple, straightforward exercise machine. It has no moving parts but has a pull-up bar, and a few other handles that allow for tricep dips, pushups, sit-ups, and a variety of other exercises. The exercises will all depend on your own bodyweight, as there are no weights or other methods of adding resistance to the machine. It is a solid machine, but stability can be an issue. Adding a few weights to the bottom of the machine is a simple fix. It is a sturdy, inexpensive exercise machine.
The Weider Ultimate Body Works is similar to the Total Gym, in that it uses pulleys and a sliding bench to allow you to do a variety of different exercises. This allows you to use your body weight to add resistance to the exercises. The Weider machine also comes with a few resistance bands, which allow you to add 50 pounds of resistance to the workouts. The machine telescopes in and out to save space. Actually pushing it in and out can be a bit of a chore. There are also fewer weight options than with the similar Total Gym. It is easy to put together and is otherwise sturdy and solid.
This machine uses a number of resistance bands, along with a pulley system to allow a number of different exercises. It’s important to understand that resistance bands do not work like weights. The resistance is not consistent, being greater as it reaches the full extension. As a result, it can seem like you’re not getting a real workout. Slow, focused motions work better. The machine folds up small, allowing it to be stored easily, and at just over 50 pounds it’s actually fairly light for an exercise machine. It comes already mostly assembled and is a pretty sturdy piece of equipment.
A home gym is a great investment. Using one for regular exercise will mean a healthier, fitter life for you.