Whether you’re a seasoned fitness specialist or just starting out on your journey towards a healthy lifestyle, it’s never too late to start developing your home gym. In our busy modern age, it can be difficult to find time to get to the gym, particularly if it’s more than 15 minutes away. Home gyms are the perfect solution to this, providing a workout setting that you can’t avoid because it’s right on your doorstep.
The only challenge with developing a home gym is deciding on the best equipment for your needs and goals. Everyone has a different body with different needs and achieving your fitness objectives can be massively affected by the equipment and exercises at your disposal. With that in mind, it makes sense to do plenty of research into what exercises work best for your desired body shape – from there you can start picking out the different equipment you need.
If your goals require a good dose of cardio, there are plenty of home gym options available. Whilst variety is always good, that variation also presents you with a decision of what works best for your needs or preferences. To help you out, we have put together this short analysis of five cardio essentials worth considering for your home gym. You may not need all of the different options, but learning about them all to you is the best way to make an informed decision.
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Starting simple, spinning bikes are an incredibly versatile home gym addition which assists in developing a host of different muscle groups. Depending on how disciplined you are, the tension your work too and any other specifications on your spinning bike, it’s possible to work your entire lower body during a cycling session on an indoor bike. Additionally, if you get up off your seat you can even fit in some core working as you battle to stay balanced whilst in motion – an excellent win-win.
Spinning bikes require little preparation to use effectively and can burn fat extremely well if you know what you’re doing. Combined with a well-chosen diet, you are sure to see fitness success with this choice of cardio equipment.
For extra value, consider investing in a recorded spinning session. Listening and doing a spinning class at home will massively increase the value of your workout, particularly because we can tend to be lazy and cut classes short.
From standard to unconventional, vibration plates are a fairly modern addition to the home gym equipment repertoire and whilst not strictly cardio gear, they make this list due to the benefits they offer. Vibration plates are designed to challenge your muscles by stimulating them at an incredibly high frequency, helping develop toned muscles and forcing you to work harder as you balance.
There are two common methods to use vibration plates. You can use it during exercises like lunges and squats to optimise muscle development. This is the most beneficial way from a development perspective and depending on your exercise of choice, you can quickly get your heart rate up as you do in traditional cardio activities.
Alternatively, you can opt for using the vibration plate as a recovery tool. By simply standing on the plate for a short period post-workout, you can combat lactic acid build-up and reduce aches and pains – a particularly beneficial use for those who struggle to function with the aching they experience.
Treadmills are another cardio staple and for good reason. They are effective, simple and can be placed almost anywhere – perfect for a slowly developing home gym. Additionally, their innate popularity has made them easy to obtain at a cheap price, too. Efficiently refurbished treadmills are often surprisingly affordable, which is why the treadmill tends to be the first piece of cardio equipment people add to their gym spaces.
From a workout perspective, treadmills allow for both long-distance running and short, sprint-based workouts in the comfort of your own home. In particular, the presence of a treadmill can often be incredibly helpful for cooldowns, HIIT sessions and circuits, where different speed settings and inclines can seamlessly incorporate themselves into your workout plan.
In short, whatever your goals, a treadmill will likely be able to help achieve them.
Stair mills or steppers are significantly less common to find in home gyms, which is surprising considering the host of benefits they offer. Whilst traditional treadmills offer inclines, stair mills exercise your muscles differently due to the act of having to step higher to reach the next level. Even at a moderate speed, this is an incredibly challenging exercise that quickly gets your heart rate up and your legs working.
Similar to treadmills, stair mills are great due to their versatility. You can incorporate stepping exercises into a range of different workouts, alternating from endurance challenges to high-intensity stepping sprints. A great choice for almost any home gym.
Finally, we have the rowing machine. A common sight in the gym, rowing machines aren’t always the first piece of cardio equipment to cross your mind but they are definitely one of the most effective choices.
Rowing machines break the common cardio machine mould by working the upper body as well as the lower body and doing a good job of it at that. Almost your whole body is effectively worked when rowing, which is why it remains a sport that requires such high levels of fitness.
In your home gym, a rowing machine can arguably be considered an entire workout of its own – perfect for adding variation to your weekly schedule or regime. Though it’s important to consider the frequency and length of your workout based on your fitness objectives.
These five cardio essentials aren’t the only pieces of equipment worth considering for your home gym, but they are a great starting point if you want to take your fitness seriously. As always, research your body type’s needs in line with your fitness goals before making a purchase, as everyone needs something different.