The fitness equipment that you choose for your home will depend on your workouts, budget and the space available.
Cardio equipment is a staple of most fitness routines. Even if you enjoy outdoor activities like biking or running, cardio equipment is a great alternative when the weather isn’t cooperating. It also provides specific workouts and data tracking to help keep you on track. There are several major types of cardio equipment, including treadmills, upright and recumbent bikes, cross trainers, and rowers.
Size: One of the biggest determining factors in selecting equipment is the footprint. Treadmills often take up the largest amount of space, followed by cross-trainers. Indoor cycles and rowers tend to have smaller footprints.
Mobility and storage: Another important factor is the ability to move and store fitness equipment. Some treadmills can be folded up when not in use, significantly decreasing the need for dedicated space. Rowers are easy to move and can be stored upright in a corner or even a tall closet. These features are great to have if you are limited on space.
Entertainment: Some cardio pieces offer limited entertainment options, while others are the equivalent of a smart TV with workout programming, apps, workout tracking and more. Choose the specific workout entertainment experience that fits your workout routine.
Comfort & convenience: Many products have additional features outside of what’s offered in the console or workout programming. Quality treadmills offer features like shock absorption to reduce impact on the joints. Automatic stop, side platforms to step on and off, hand rails, and noise reduction features are all important if multiple users will be exercising on the equipment.
There are several different types of equipment available for strength training in a home environment, each
offering their own benefits. Your fitness goals, preferred method of training, and available space will determine
which options are best for you.
CMDAP: Cable motion dual adjustable pulleys are a great option that combine some excellent features of both home gym systems and free weights. CMDAPs utilize two cable pulleys tethered to a weight stack, which means that resistance is easily selectable and is built into the product. The cables allow you to define your own motion paths, so you can perform a wide array of exercises for a total body workout. CMDAPs tend to have a larger footprint than most offerings and require more ceiling height. A CMDAP also requires plenty of open space around the equipment to perform exercises.
Home Gym Systems: Home gyms provide significant exercise variety and are designed to save space. Resistance is built into the machine. Home gyms provide an experience like selectorized machines used in health clubs with fixed paths of motion that are meant to isolate specific muscle groups.
Smith Machines: Provide versatility and allow you to perform many of the exercises that can be done on a rack, but in a design that is ideal if you’re working out alone. Smith machines have a bar incorporated into the equipment, but weight plates are necessary for resistance and a bench is also crucial for expanding exercise options.
Dumbbells: Free weights provide complete control of your motion pattern. Having a set or two of dumbbells is a recommendation for any home gym since they are small and relatively easy to store.
Racks: Incredibly versatile and offer you the ability to utilize major compound lifts for strength and functional training. Racks are great for those that want to train with free weights, but consider the additional purchase of a bar and weight plates needed for this option. A bench is also another component if you are building your home gym around a rack. Racks are also configurable and provide the ability to add on a multitude of accessories for additional exercises and training techniques.