The New Year is almost upon us and a lot of people are going to be writing their resolution to get in better shape this year.
Or… if you’re reading this at some other point in the year, perhaps you’re looking for items to fill a home gym.
Either way, this article serves to provide you with some helpful suggestions of gym/resistance equipment that will be most useful and allow you to have some variety in your beginning stages of training.
Everything can be purchased in installments so you don’t break the bank to start off with.
The pieces of equipment are listed in order of what I would prioritize a true beginner to purchase for their home gym.
It starts off with resistance bands, and then goes into a piece of equipment that will allow you to train using your bodyweight followed by assistance bands that’ll help you progress. From there, we discuss some free weight options and recovery tools.
This list isn’t conclusive by any means. It’s simply filled with practical options for beginners looking to get started on their journey.
It also keeps in mind that most people are looking to maximize a tiny area of space.
So, let’s get started.
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1. Whatafit Resistance Bands Set
Resistance band training is perfect for all levels of fitness in one way or another.
For beginners of all shapes and sizes, it allows you to have an opportunity to train all sorts of movement patterns from the comfort of your own home.
For more advanced lifters who travel frequently, it gives you an easy to pack toolkit to crush a workout anywhere.
The Whatafit resistance bands linked also come with handles, door anchors, and ankle straps. This gives you the ability to perform a number of exercises that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to at home if you were only using body weight exercises.
With the handles and bands alone you’re able to perform a large variety of exercises: squats, shoulder presses, bent over rows, banded push ups, shoulder raise variations, curls, tricep kickbacks, etc.
When you add in the door anchor, it’ll give you the opportunity to perform chest flys, chest presses, tricep extensions, rows, and lat pull downs.
The ankle cuff allows you to perform exercises that target the glutes, abductors and adductors as well.
All-in-all, for a beginner making a single purchase, you’re allowing yourself to get in full body workouts with a slight resistance that’s perfect for building a foundation prior to transitioning into a gym membership.
2. Sportsroyals Power Tower
The second recommendation for a home gym is the Power Tower. You get a lot from the resistance bands, you really do.
But at some point, you might get bored performing the same banded exercises – you might also not be personally ready to make the move to the gym.
A Power Tower is another affordable piece of equipment that will allow you to begin to maximize your potential in bodyweight training. It’s not portable by any means and will definitely take up a lot more space than your resistance bands will.
But, it will give you the capability to train 2 of the best upper body building exercises ever – pull ups and dips.
With pull ups and dips alone, you can build an impressive upper body. Throw in the fact that you have the resistance bands to add accessory movements too and you’re going to be making impressive lean muscle gains.
It doesn’t stop there with the Power Tower though. You also allow yourself an opportunity to perform exercises that will target the lower abs like the leg raise and knee tuck. Both of which will take you a long way to building an impressive and strong core.
3. Intey Pull Up Assistance Bands
This suggestion goes hand-in-hand with the Power Tower.
Most people, especially beginners, won’t be able to perform unassisted bodyweight pull ups and/or dips.
This collection of assistance bands will help aid you as you progress to performing your full unassisted pullup or dip. Pair them with a workout program focused on helping you progress to being able to accomplish this goal with other exercises such as scapulae retractions, eccentric only variations, and assisted variations.
They can also be highly useful in a variety of stretching and stabilization exercises.
And while assistance bands do differ from resistance bands on what they allow you to do, they can also be used in a lot of similar ways to help provide you with a challenging resistance training routine.
4. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
So, you’ve progressed from resistance bands and bodyweight training and now you want to add in free weight training. My recommendation for a home gym are the PowerBlock dumbbells.
These dumbbells save so much space as one set of PowerBlocks can range from anywhere between 5-50lbs and even up to 90lbs with the expansion kits.
Adding dumbbells into your home gym repertoire at this point is going to give you a lot of variety and can even serve as a form of progression from your band resisted exercises.
We’ve got a lot of excellent dumbbell only programs on the website too that you can check out and progress with utilizing these dumbbells. I’d suggest starting off with the 3 Day Full Body Dumbbell Only Workout and then moving onto the others in the series from there.
5. Body Power Adjustable Bench
If you’re investing into the dumbbells to provide a new source of resistance into your at-home workouts, you’ll probably want to snag an adjustable bench while you’re add it to further increase the exercise variety you have at your disposal.
What’s cool about Body Power’s adjustable bench is that you get plenty of different degrees in which you can utilize the bench. It even allows for a slight decline, which is rather unheard of for most adjustable benches.
For the dumbbell only programs mentioned above, you might want to snag this along with your dumbbells.
Obviously, if you weren’t interested in starting off with resistance bands pairing the PowerBlocks with Body Power’s adjustable bench wouldn’t be a bad place to start off your fitness journey either. You’ll be able to make a lot of gains and have a lot of variety with both from the start.
6. Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat
Now we get into some of the recovery tools. Yoga’s not for everyone, but everyone would benefit from performing some mobility/flexibility work.
Doing that on the floor provides its own set of challenges. You’re going to want to be comfortable while you are on the ground (unless you’re into unnecessary pain). This Gaiam Essentials Yoga Mat is perfect whether you’re looking to do recovery work, prehab, yoga, or core work.
If you do decide to use it for Yoga, the thickness of the pad will aid in creating a sense of instability which will allow you to work on your balance as well.
At the end of the day, it’s a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment you can purchase for your home gym that is also very versatile based on what you individually enjoy doing. Use it to perform some core exercises or check out YouTube for some beginner at-home yoga routines.
7. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Lastly, and sticking to the final theme of recovery tools, we have the TriggerPoint GRID foam roller.
Foam rolling can be inserted into your at-home workouts either before or after your training. A lot of people do it as part of their warm ups and plenty of people do it during their cool-down as well.
I love this thing, personally. For a foam roller, it’s got a variety of textures for you to experiment with as you roll out different muscles to find what works and feels best for you.
It also comes with online instructional videos if you’ve never foam rolled before (which, if you haven’t, you’re probably going to be shocked by how painful it is at first. Stick with it. It gets better).
The pieces of equipment listed within this article will help a lot of beginner lifters establish significant baseline fitness while filling their homes with relatively easy-to-store and practical tools to utilize.
If you’re looking to start your fitness journey at home, consider investing in a few of these. Start off with what you deem most useful for your goals and expand from there to incorporate a variety of exercises into your repertoire.
If you have any questions or alternative suggestions, please feel free to leave us a comment in the comments section below!