HEALTH & FITNESS ARTICLES
Your Personal Fitness Plan
Setting Up a Gym at HomeSetting up a Home Gym
When choosing the area to set up your Home Gym, consider traffic flow, safety, the fitness equipment you want to include and whether you will want to expand your Home Gym in the future. You should also determine the amount of space available in the area, since this will determine what type of fitness equipment you can accomodate in your fitness training area.
Your Home Gym should include components for weight training as well as cardiovascular and flexibility training. Make sure the fitness equipment you purchase is appropriate to your interests and current and future fitness goals and training level. Also, make sure you factor in the ever changing fitness levels you will reach throughout the life of your fitness training programs.
Lets Visit some fitness equipment that you should consider when getting ready to plan out the set up of your Gym at Home.
DumbbellsDumbbells are probably one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment you should consider purchasing for a Home Gym.
Start with at least 5 pairs of dumbbells of varying weight instead of buying only one pair and using them for all your fitness exercises.
Dumbbell RackUsing a dumbbell rack to store your dumbbells can help you save space and keep your workout area organized and make it easier for you to retreive your dumbbells during your Weight Training programs.
If space is limited, consider a vertical rather than a horizontal rack, since the vertical rack takes up alot less space.
You can also purchase adjustable dumbbells, such as a PowerBlock or SelectTech, where both allow you to easily add and remove weight. To select the amount of weight you want to lift, you insert a pin into a hole or turn a dial to select the weight you want.
When you remove the dumbbell from the block, the dumbbell will contain only the amount of weight you selected.
BarBellsBarbells are also a great addition that provides additional flexibility into your fitness training programs, since they allow you to lift heavier weights and vary your fitness training workouts.
You can purchase barbells with fixed weights, but barbells that consist of a bar that you can add weight plates to are more flexible and practical. There are different types of bars available, such as a standard bar or Olympic bar. A standard bar can vary in length from 5 to 7 feet, weighs around 20 pounds and is perfect for Home Gym use. An Olympic bar, which is about 7 feet in length and weights about 45 pounds, is usually used when working your larger muscle groups, such as your legs, back and chest.
The Olympic bar is also available in a shorter version which range from 5 to 6 feet in length and weight about 35 pounds. The shorter Olympic bar is usually used when working smaller muscle groups, such as shoulders, biceps and triceps. The bar you may use depends on the amount of weight you want to lift.
Plates for barbells are available in weights of 2.5 pounds to 45 pounds and can be stored on a weight tree that you can also purchase separately. You should also purchase collars that you can place on the ends of the bar to prevent the weights from slipping off during your lifts.
MirrorA mirror used in your fitness training weight program allows you to watch your form and technique, which is especially important when lifting free weights. You should use a full length mirror large enough to show your entire body. If the mirror stands to the floor, be careful about placing dumbbells or barbells where they can roll into the mirror and damage it.
Weight BenchA good quality flat bench or adjustable bench that can be converted from flat to a vertical position that incorporate different degrees of incline are also a great addition to any Home Gym. Before making your purchasing decision, inspect the bench carefully and test it in as many ways as you can by sitting or lying on the bench and adjusting the incline to make sure the mechanism works properly and is easy to use.
Fitness BandsFitness Bands or exercise tubing are an inexpensive way to help vary your workouts and also provide you an exercise medium that can be taken on the road with you when you travel for business or pleasure.
Exercise tubing is especially useful if you are short on space and cannot afford either the cost of free weight equipment or the area it takes up. While exercise bands will not give you the same results as good quality weight training, fitness bands are great for toning and defining your muscles.
Exercise BallExercise balls are a great low cost and effective tool in your fitness training program. They are large balls that are inflatable and that can be used for a variety of fitness training exercises, including weight training and stretching. You can use an exercise ball as a replacement to your flat bench to add more challenge and variety to your fitness training programs and really help add a new difficulty level to your overall training.
Using an exercise ball helps improve your stability and balance by strengthening your core muscles, which include your lower back and abdominal muscles as well as engaging alot of your small stabilizer muscles.
Cardio EquipmentAny good quality Home Gym setup should include some form of Cardiovascular equipment, as long as the space in your fitness training area allows it. You can purchase many of the cardiovascular machines used in your local gym to use in your Home Gym as well as some less expensive home gym versions.
Some popular cardiovascular machines include treadmills, stationary bikes, stair climbers, elliptical crosstrainers and rowing machines. If you do not have space in your Home Gym for a cardiovascular machine, you can still get your cardio in with a good workout by jumping rope, fast walking or even a run in the park.
Exercise MatAn exercise mat helps provide support and a cushioning effect between your body and the floor to make floor exercises, such as abdominal crunches and stretching, more comfortable to complete. Unlike a towel or blanket, an exercise mat will not bunch up and most mats can be folded and stored in a corner or closet. When choosing an exercise mat, select one that is thick enough to protect your knees from digging into the floor when performing kneeling exercises and long enough to fit your entire body on the mat.
Equipment MatEquipment mats are usually placed beneath you exercise equipment to keep the equipment not only in place but to also protect the flooring or carpet that the equipment rests on. Mats are especially useful for cardiovascular equipment, such as treadmills or elliptical machines.
Mats help reduce vibrations that can wear down equipment and prevents dust and fibers from the floor or carpet from getting into any of the mechanical parts of your exercise equipment. You can also place a mat in the area where you lift free weights to protect your floor from accidents, such as a dropped free weight.
Make sure the frame and seats are sturdy and the pads are thick and durable. Try out the machine to ensure that moving parts, such as the weight stack, move smoothly, the machine adjusts easily to fit your body type and is comfortable and easy to use.