How to create your home gym

This article is dedicated to all those who prefer to achieve their fitness goals at home rather than go to the gym. If space and budget are crucial, you can always use accessories that are small in size but have great fitness potential. If  size is not an issue, then you are spoilt for choice as far as fitness equipment is concerned.  So what pieces of home gym equipment are essential when creating a home gym?

The musts of physical exercise

Before we talk about specific tools, let us take a step back. Although confused by many, 'physical activity' and 'exercise' are different concepts: by the former we mean any form of movement, while by the latter we refer to a more structured activity, performed for specific purposes. If you want to lose weight, define your abdominals or more generally be in shape, the right intervention is targeted.

Effective exercise consists of three core activities: aerobics, strength and flexibility. A 360-degree workout includes all of them, to varying degrees depending on your goals.

Broadly speaking, the benefits of aerobic work are the reduction of body fat (when combined with proper diet), blood pressure and cholesterol, and the increase of overall endurance and metabolism. In addition to this low-intensity and long-lasting activity, the psychological state can also benefit thanks to the stimulus continuously offered, during a race or a long ride, to the neurotransmitters of the "good mood", namely serotonin and norepinephrine.  Even the night's rest will tend to improve over time.

Strength training contributes to the overall functionality of your body and improves your posture. In addition, the muscles are very important shock absorbers able to absorb stress while protecting the skeletal and joint structures from the risk of trauma. Other significant benefits are for the heart system and peripheral blood circulation.

Last but not least, work on flexibility, which allows us to perform all our daily movements with naturalness and fluidity, but also to slow down the natural aging of tendons, bones and muscles. Flexibility can be achieved through constant stretching exercises.
The complete workout therefore includes a proper mix of these three types of activities: moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise should be done 5 or more times a week, strength training 2-3 times and flexibility training almost every day. After this quick overview of the benefits of an ideal workout, we see which are the right tools to set up a home gym

Aerobic training equipment

The category of cardio-fitness equipment includes treadmills, exercise bikes, steppers, elliptical cross trainers, stair climbers and rowers. Before purchasing, it is advisable to check certain features of functionality, safety and performance. The investment will be safe and profitable if the implement meets a number of requirements, some of which are not always so obvious:

  • Safety: The product must be reliable and easy to use for all levels of users, whether beginners or advanced;
  • Sturdiness: If you want to exercise comfortably and above all without discomfort to the joints, the tool must be solid and stable but also silent and fluid in movement;
  • Heart rate control: optimal CPR (Constant Pulse Rate) strap to wear on the chest;
  • intelligent" display: allows the user to display heart rate, calories, effort level, elapsed time in real time and with immediacy;
  • Easy and intuitive adjustments: they make it easier to enter, position and set up the exercises without the need for stunts or uncomfortable movements;
  • Fitness test: the product is able to identify accurately and personally, the most suitable level of training;
  • Quality and assistance: Purchasing from a company that offers specialised advice and direct technical assistance, guarantees immediate answers and efficient support in the event of requests for information on use, advice on training and any malfunctions;
  • User manual: a guide to the characteristics and use of the product, easy to consult and available in the language of the country of purchase.

Strength training equipment

As far as muscle toning is concerned, the market offers are very varied, ranging from sophisticated multifunction equipment to the most essential benches on which to train with handlebars and barbells. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to perform strength exercises on tools that, offering a guided movement and a safe posture, avoid performing the movements incorrectly. With some practice you can switch to using cable machines, which leave more freedom of movement, and free weights. However, it is important to be guided by the following criteria when selecting the equipment:

    • Height and load adjustments must be easily adaptable to the characteristics of the trainee;
    • The equipment must be solid and stable even with high loads; or in multi-purpose implements, the load must move smoothly without friction;
    • The seats must be ergonomic and comfortable;
    • We recommend the purchase of tools that guarantee specialised advice by telephone or via the Internet on personalised training programmes and direct technical assistance in the event of breakdowns;
    • The user manual , which is easy to consult in the language of your country, should be accompanied by a multimedia medium explaining the correct execution of the exercises.

Stretching equipment

In addition to the availability of products suitable for "passive" and/or guided stretching, there is a considerable quantity of free body accessories that help to perform stretching exercises in complete safety, adding a touch of creativity and fun. ... What criteria should be used to choose between professional mats, rollers, balls to improve balance and coordination, elastic mats to increase muscle extension and medicine balls? For a qualitative and functional evaluation of these accessories, it must be ensured that:

  • Products created with odourless and inert materials, developed with technologies that allow the functional properties to be maintained even after innumerable use cycles;
  • They are perfectly adaptable to the individual structural characteristics, such as height and weight, without compromising their quality;
  • Allow a large number of exercises to be performed for all muscles and joints of the body;
  • Are practical and easy to transport so that they can be used at any time and in any place, respecting the environment in which you find yourself;
  • Are easy to use and are accompanied by clear user manuals with precise descriptions and illustrative photos, in order to make full use of their potential and to do so correctly.

The digital home gym

The trend of those who love to keep fit is increasingly linked to Wellness on the go, which is to pursue their goals of fitness and wellness wherever you are, with the support of related equipment and various applications for fitness. Often those who choose the gym also train at home and go out for a ride on the hill, because the concept of movement is a "circular" concept: the more you move the more you want to do it.
Nowadays, special apps allow, for example, to replicate one's favourite outdoor courses indoors or organize real challenges on athletics tarmac or water. Thanks to the training programs accessible from any device we can train at home as if we were accompanied by a real personal trainer. In this way, by using video, chat and other digital services, we can be sure to do "the right exercise at the right time" and achieve our wellness goals.
Now it's up to you: at home, in the gym, indoors. With tools or with a free body, in silence or to the sound of one's own music, alone or surrounded by an enthralling group of people. It doesn't matter where and how, the important thing is to move because movement is health and movement is life.

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