Looking to build muscle, but gyms are closed due to coronavirus? Or maybe a gym membership is just too expensive. Whatever your case may be, you can improve your physique and fitness at home with a minor investment. In this article, Ken Inoue, a Torrance-based personal trainer who wants to help individuals achieve their ideal fitness level despite access to traditional exercise settings, discusses the equipment you will need (and not need) to set up a basic home gym that is sure to hit every muscle group effectively.
The No-Equipment Strategy
Looking for a workout routine that is entirely void of additional equipment? You're in luck. It turns out you can perform a pretty comprehensive total-body workout without additional weights or equipment.
Be warned, however, this strategy takes real dedication and thought. Certain muscle groups are easily reachable through home workouts, such as the chest, legs, and abdominals. Performing different types of pushups and various squats and lunges can hit the big muscles as well as the little ones, ensuring that you aren't missing any regions of your body. Abdominal workouts tend to be inherently equipment-free; just make sure you're switching up your ab routine (including the obliques!) to get that six-pack you're looking for.
Other muscle groups, such as the shoulders and back, are tougher to reach without equipment. You'll have to come up with inventive shoulder and back exercises to target specific muscle groups. Installing a simple pullup bar can go a long way, but you can find ways around it if you are dead-set on the no equipment approach.
For cardio, go on a run, take a bike ride, or get your heart rate up through useful activities like burpees or jumping jacks.
When building an in-home workout space, efficiency is key. You don't want to spend tons of money on sets of weights and heavy-duty equipment; it's just not necessary. Instead, consolidate your equipment with tools that can hit multiple muscle groups for a versatile in-home gym experience.
A great place to start is with resistance bands. Resistance bands can be anchored in various places (including your own body) and work most of the major muscle groups. They are also relatively cheap, making them an excellent option for those on a budget.
For cardiovascular training, investing in a treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bike, or stair-stepper can deliver real long-term value. You'll want to spend some real-time thinking about which of these machines is most conducive to the style of workout you like to engage in, as these larger pieces of equipment can be expensive. Try looking around for second-hand equipment if you don't need all the newer models' bells and whistles.
You can have an awesome total body workout without a gym membership. For very little money, you can hit every muscle group and engage in high-intensity cardiovascular training in the comfort of your own home. No matter your reason for avoiding the gym, take some time to develop an at-home workout routine that works for you!
About Ken Inoue
Ken Inoue, originally from Torrance, California, is a certified personal trainer. As a life-long surfer, he learned how to embrace the laid back So-Cal vibes in tandem with a vigorous yet rewarding exercise routine from a young age. A firm believer in finding multiple paths to fitness, Mr. Inoue tailors exercise plans to the individual to create accessible, motivating, and efficient sessions with balanced results. In light of 2020, this has proved especially important in curating digital fitness regimens that clients can sink their teeth into at home with little to no equipment.
In his spare time, Ken Inoue enjoys exploring new restaurants focused on a well-balanced diet via Los Angeles takeout, practicing a mindful yoga flow, catching a wave along the Southern California coast, and socializing with friends and family in Torrance, health protocols permitting, of course.