Gym Equipment and Workout Accessories for Beginners
If exercising is new to you, fitness equipment is more than likely a foreign language. You probably aren’t sure how to use it or what body part it strengthens. Does this sound correct? If so, you’re in the right place. At Fitness Specialists, our goal to educate you about fitness equipment and provide you with everything you need to set up your home gym. Let us help you reach your health and fitness goals by becoming your go-to fitness gurus you can trust. Let’s get started!
There’s no doubt about it; starting an exercise program, if foreign to you, can be a daunting experience. Whether you’ve decided the gym isn’t for you or it’s all too intimidating for you to handle, a home gym may be your best bet for a relaxing, yet muscle crushing experience. However, how do you even go about purchasing equipment if you aren’t sure what the machines are used for? How does all of our stuff work? What is it? And most importantly, what muscles does it strengthen?
There are a couple of different types of fitness equipment that you will want in your home gym - machines and free weights.
The most basic form of workout equipment are free weights. The name “free weights” was given to this type of equipment because they are not attached to pulleys, weight stacks, cables or pins. Instead, free weights consist of weight plates, barbells and dumbbells.
A barbell is a commonly used piece of fitness equipment that can be purchased between 4 and 7 feet long. All barbell exercises are performed with to hands on the bar, whether that’s doing a barbell curl, an overhead press or a back squat, two hands will always be wrapped around the barbell. Depending on what types of movements you’d like to complete, you will need different lengths of barbells. Olympic barbells, usually 7 feet long and can hold up to 1,000 pounds, are mostly used for movements including back squat, front squat, deadlift, snatch, press and clean and jerk. If you want to complete those movements, we recommend an Olympic barbell. If you’re looking for a smaller barbell to complete bodybuilding style movements, a barbell between 4 to 6 feet may be the option for you. When choosing a barbell for your home gym, keep in mind the space you have available.
Dumbbells are often described as very short barbells with fixed weight attached to each end. Usually 10 to 15 inches long, a dumbbell is available in 5-pound increments. If you have the space, you can purchase an entire set of dumbbells; however, for a home gym, adjustable dumbbells are a great choice. Not only will adjustable dumbbells get the job done, but they’ll save space which many home gyms are in dire need of.
If you purchase a barbell, you’ll need weight plates. Weight plates can be purchased in different sizes, including 2.5 to 100-pound plates. Weight plates are typically made of iron, but can be purchased in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your style of lifting. For example, Olympic lifting plates may be made out of iron but have a rubber coating on the outside in order to allow for dropping.
EZ Curl Bar
The EZ curl bar was invented to be used for strengthening and toning triceps and biceps. It’s much shorter than a traditional barbell and has angled hand placements to keep your wrists comfortable while you curl the weight. The angles are also useful if you’d like to target different muscles within the arm area. Additionally, the angles of the EZ curl bar take the stress off of your wrists in comparison to a traditional barbell.
A triceps bar is perfect for someone who loves triceps extensions. This bar is short and has two parallel hand placements to allow for triceps targeting; however, even though this piece of fitness equipment is called a trip bar doesn’t mean you can’t use it to target other muscles. The triceps bar is often used to work the biceps and shoulders.
The most common piece of fitness equipment you’ll see is a bench. A bench can be used for a variety of workout exercises, and there are multiple benches to choose from, including flat, incline and decline. Additionally, some benches have build-on racks for bench press or dumbbell exercises. However, a bench can be used for ab exercises, leg exercises and more.
Cables and Pulleys
If you have the space, a cables and pulleys machines may be perfect for your home gym setup. An adjustable cable and pulley system is a great asset to your home gym because there are hundreds of workouts you can complete. All you have to do is purchase multiple accessories, including handles or ankle straps, in order to complete them. This piece of fitness equipment is commonly known as a Cable Cross Over Machine; however, it can be used for leg, arm, shoulder, bicep, ab and back strengthening movements.
Cardio equipment is popular and for a good reason. When the weather turns nasty, there’s a chance you won’t be going outside. How else are you supposed to get your cardio in? A cardio machine is a great asset to any home gym, and it can be used as the perfect warm up or cool down tool. Utilize cardio equipment to burn fat, increase endurance and so much more. Cardio machines include bikes, ellipticals, treadmills and rowing machines.