If it’s time to take your home workout to the next level, you might be wondering exactly where to start. When you’re ready to upgrade your at-home gym, it can be easy to dive straight into looking at products, and even get swept up with the latest trends. But if you take a minute to think about your needs (and constraints), you’ll be better off in the long run and end up with the equipment that you’ll actually make the most of.
So, before you start adding to your cart, here’s a run-down on how to make sure you buy the best fitness equipment for your home workouts.
Take a moment to personalise your needs
Think about your goals
It might sound obvious, but ensuring that you’re familiar with your fitness goals is a great place to start. What you want to achieve with your exercise will point you in vastly different directions when it comes to buying equipment. For example, if weight loss is your goal, then cardio equipment and machines are your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re looking to build muscle mass, then strength training equipment will be more appropriate. If you want to improve flexibility or do exercise that is gentle on injuries, you might only require a yoga set-up. Consider writing out your goals so they’re always front and centre when you’re browsing equipment.
What kind of exercise do you gravitate to?
Once you’ve identified your goals, also consider what kind of exercise you actually enjoy doing. Do you love hitting your cardio goals with a walk or run on the treadmill? Or do you prefer pushing yourself to hit that next rep in strength training? Finding out what exercise you love is incredibly important – you’ll be much more motivated to actually do it if it’s something you take pleasure in. There’s no point investing in something you ultimately don’t gel with because it will likely be a struggle, and you’ll probably end up not using it as much.
There are so many options out there when it comes to exercise equipment, you’re sure to find something that aligns with both your fitness goal and the type of exercise you enjoy.
Consider the option of virtual coaching
Another consideration is whether you might benefit from coaching. Whilst working out at home comes with many advantages, one challenge is keeping yourself motivated. If you’re someone who foresees struggles with self-motivation, there are plenty of fitness equipment options that incorporate virtual coaching to help keep you accountable, from treadmills to bikes, elliptical crossfit trainers and rowing machines. Alternatively, if you’re using weights or other equipment, a subscription to a relevant workout app can give you similar support. Research shows that this kind of technology really is effective when it comes to increasing motivation.
Take stock of your space
Once you’ve determined your fitness objectives, space is another important consideration.
Some people have a spare room or garage just waiting to be filled with exercise equipment, others will have to get a little more creative when it comes to decking out their home gym. The type of equipment you want to buy will determine how much space you need. For example, if you’re looking to do something like yoga you’ll require a lot less space than if you’re buying a workout machine. When it comes to the latter, you’ll generally need at least 2m2, although some machines will require more room when in operation.
If space is an issue, you might want to consider buying equipment that can be easily stored away. Consider the spaces that are used least in your house, or whether an unlikely space might actually do the trick, like under a staircase. It might not immediately jump to mind, but outdoor areas like a balcony or deck can also work well, and you can purchase a weather-proof storage box to store your equipment when you’re not using it.
Other things to consider include ceiling height (and whether there is a ceiling fan), which may restrict your overhead movement, as well as ventilation. If possible, choose a space that has good airflow to avoid the area taking on a musty smell.
Be realistic about budget
Buying equipment for home workouts can be an overwhelming task, especially with all the options out there and the range of prices, from the hundreds to the thousands. But the flipside is that there are plenty of options for every budget, and even at a lower price point you can still find great quality equipment (you may just be sacrificing some of the extra features). This is the case even when it comes to machines like treadmills and bikes, which are typically more expensive.
If you’re just starting out, or returning to fitness after a break, consider beginning with a more economic option. That way you can get back into the habit of exercising and work out what you do and don’t like before spending more money.
Now, with your fitness goals, space and budget requirements in mind, go forth and find the best equipment suited to your needs – and enjoy!