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What you need in your home gym

If you are looking to keep fit and build muscle, but don't want the expense of joining your local health club a home gym could be the answer. Perhaps, you are already a member of a local gym, but are considering a lower-cost alternative. Building your own gym is quite simple and assuming you have the space, there is no reason why you should not be able to achieve a full body work-out in the privacy of your home. Here are some suggestions for home gym equipment that will put you on the road to fitness, without having to set foot outside your door.

Weight Bench

For many of the main lifts, including the shoulder press, bench press and dumbbell fly you are going to need a weight bench. Many benches will have a leg developer attached for hamstring curls and leg extensions. A good home gym bench should also have various level settings, allowing for different inclines.

Free Weights

A good set of weights are required for strengthening and toning muscles. Weight plates come in either standard or Olympic sizes. For beginners to resistance training, one hundred pounds, (45 kilograms) should be enough, for both men and women. You will also need a straight bar of the same size. There are a variety of other bars to consider for exercising different muscle groups; dumbbell bars for isolating those arm muscles in addition to rowing bars, curl bars and even ropes.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells should be around 5 to 40 pounds, (2 to 18 kilograms) depending on your strength or heavy enough for you to do 10 to 15 bicep curls. You should be able to manage many other exercises at this weight including fly presses, rows and shoulder presses.

Pull-up Bar

A pull-up bar allows you to target your back muscles and biceps using your own body weight. To perform pull-ups and chin-ups you will need to set the bar at a height where you grab hold of it with your arms outstretched over your head. From this position you can also work you abs by doing hanging leg raises. Portable pull-up bars are available with multiple grips that can also be used as a push-up bar.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are possibly the most convenient piece of equipment in your home gym. They enable you to work your muscles from any angle and can replicate most exercises requiring weights. They are also effective as a replacement for a rowing machine or for doing lateral pull-downs.

Skipping Rope

Despite its school playground image, the skipping rope is a very effective piece of cardiovascular exercise equipment and ideal for the home gym. It is a very inexpensive compared with treadmills and elliptical machines and requires far less space. 

If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself, a home gym just might be the answer. It offers a convenient way to exercise in the comfort of your home, without the expense of costly memberships and travel to and from the health club. Another advantage is you are less likely to pick up infections, such as athlete's foot that can be associated with sharing gym equipment and locker rooms. With time at a premium in the 21st century, a home-gym could be a faster, more convenient solution to getting fit.