Home gym equipment is expensive but will give you a great deal of flexibility. These machines (like the familiar Soloflex and Bowflex) allow you to perform health club quality exercises like squats, presses, curls and pulldowns on a single device. Most allow great adaptability in varying the weight and type of exercises, but often need to be set up for each exercise, disrupting the fluidity of the workout. If you invest in a home gym, consider working with a personal trainer the first few times you use the machine. This will optimize exercise benefits and minimize injury.
Workout bench, incline bench, barbells, hand weights (dumbbells), weight sets and weight benches are less expensive ways to get all the benefits of resistance training without the high cost of a home gym. With this simple equipment, you can also simulate many health club exercises like squats, presses and curls. An incline bench adds the benefit of performing exercises in a semi-recumbent position. Barbells are long metal poles to which weights are attached at either end. Barbells can be used standing or while reclined on a bench. Dumbbells are individual hand held weights that can be used in an alternating motion. Dumbbells come in various weights – from as little as 2 lb. to as much as 20 lb. Using barbells and dumbbells often uses concepts of “sets” and “reps” (repetitions). For example, you would curl a hand weight in toward your body 10 times, rest, then curl another 10 times, rest and curl another 10 times. This would be defined as 3 sets of 10 reps. For basic body building, benches, barbells and dumbbells are hard to beat and highly affordable.
Abdominal exercisers kick the standard sit-up or crunch up a notch or two because they help hold the body in the optimum position to perform these exercises. Consider an ab exerciser if the more traditional forms of exercise don’t seem to be working. One simple ab exerciser is a wheel or series of wheels with handles on the axles. You kneel and roll the device out ahead of you while keeping your back straight. It allows the abdominal to be isolated, causing an effective extension and contraction of the abdominal muscles. Priced at well under $100, an ab exerciser might be an interesting gadget to add to your personal fitness routines.
Conclusion: Buy the best you can afford
You may be tempted to buy discount exercise equipment, but try to resist the temptation. Visit a reputable gym and try out their high-end machines. The smooth action and fluid operation of a quality piece of physical fitness equipment will make your workout at home enjoyable and beneficial. Cheap treadmills and home gyms are very often inferior in durability and workmanship and ultimately not much of a bargain. A good source of information on these products is the Internet. Just type “elliptical trainer” into any reliable search engine and a wealth of information will be returned to you, including reviews, pricing and makes/models available. Beware of equipment with a short warranty. That inexpensive treadmill with the 30 day warranty should send up all kinds of red flags. Fitness is a lifelong endeavor. Your fitness equipment should support that endeavor with reliable operation and quality components. Don’t settle for anything less.