Optimize Your Resistance Gains In Your Home Gym With These Affordable Exercise Gear

Optimize Your Resistance Gains In Your Home Gym With These Affordable Exercise Gear
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Based on mid-2022 estimates, the average home gym costs $2000 to build, according to HomeAdvisor. More and more people are opting to set up home gyms, most likely to fit with new hybrid or remote work lifestyles. But while that figure factors in renovation costs, high exercise equipment prices are also involved in driving up the average. Demand for equipment rose further from its previous sharp rise in 2021, going from $13.81 billion in market size to $15.13 billion. But putting together an effective home gym doesn’t need to be so pricey, especially if your goal is to increase your resistance gains or to lose weight (which, by the way, don’t have to be mutually exclusive either). Here are the best, most affordable pieces of home gym gear that will take your resistance training to the next level.
Adjustable Weight Dumbbells 
These pieces of equipment are what most people think of when they hear the word “weights.” Straightforward and simple, they’re a staple of the vast majority of resistance training routines. The act of picking up a dumbbell and curling your arm while holding it is almost second nature to just about everyone. This tried and true formula makes it one of the best resistance training tools we have at our disposal to this day.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Adjustable weight dumbbells give you all of the weight levels you could ever need in a single package. This should clear up a ton of space in your home gym, and not to mention save you a huge chunk of money. A single dumbbell averages at around $2 per pound these days, and as you go up the weight ladder that figure compounds fast. Not to mention you also have to get a rack to store all of your dumbbells. 
Sandbags That can Double as Kettlebells 
In the olden days, one of the main ways people got fit was by carrying hundreds of pounds of material daily, whether it be lumber, grain, meat, or whatever it is that needed to be transported. Sandbags let you incorporate that kind of strenuous exertion into your daily workout. They’re a staple of the functional fitness philosophy, which is centered around preparing the body to use physical strength in practical applications.
The great thing about sandbags is their versatility. You can use them as weights, as punching bags, or even as kettlebells. Some sandbags were designed to be compatible with most workouts you can do with kettlebells, giving you an inexpensive alternative with some nifty perks. For one thing, the sand shifts around as you move the sandbag, forcing your different muscle groups to work harder so they can adapt to the changing weight. For another, you can very easily just add more sand to the sandbag, and it’ll be just like having a heavier kettlebell, without the hefty price tag.
Resistance or Exercise Bands 
Like many other greats in the world of exercise equipment, resistance bands keep it as simple as can be, while still being incredibly versatile and effective. Also called exercise bands, resistance bands give you a balanced workout by supplying resistance in two directions. As a result, you end up enjoying consistent, even gains without having to be too hard on your joints.
The thing that resistance bands have over other classic exercise equipment like dumbbells is their ability to give you a comprehensive full-body workout. But much like dumbbells, many equipment manufacturers have built upon the inherent versatility of exercise bands. Several brands now offer adjustable exercise bands that allow you to change the resistance instantly. Other exercise bands, on the other hand, simply raise the material strength to allow for more contortion, and therefore more creative workouts, while reducing the overall resistance you need to overcome.
Stability-Building Exercise Balls 
To most outside observers, exercise balls are reserved for yoga classes. But the exercise ball hides vital workout potential that anyone serious about resistance training shouldn’t ignore: developing the stability muscles. An exercise ball may not be as heavy as using a bench, but the size and shape of it involves more of your muscles to keep your body steady while doing each rep. These are your stability muscles, and you’ll be thanking yourself for working on these when you sustain an injury or get older.
Suspension Training Systems 
These usually involve a set of straps that let you suspend your body, much like a resistance band. But unlike exercise bands, suspension systems don’t offer as much resistance. However, they do make up for it with the capability to drastically enhance basic exercises.
Fully suspended, even something as simple as shifting your weight puts a lot of muscles to work, thanks to gravity. By ever so slightly contorting your body even more, you can add more tension to your muscles, improving the gains you can achieve with even the simplest of exercises. But even better is their ability to let you combine exercises for maximum efficiency. Examples of this include the chest press to fallout and the pushup pike. 
Athletic Jump Rope 
A champion of efficient cardio exercise, the humble jump rope can also be a brilliant go-to for warming up for resistance training. There are tons of variations out there that will let you develop strength while getting some extra cardio in too. And best of all, jump ropes are cheap and portable, letting you boost your resistance workouts without needing to buy a bulky and pricey stationary bike or rowing machine. 
Many athletic jump ropes are also geared towards strength training. Such jump ropes are available in several different designs and styles to suit every taste and preference. Some are weighted all throughout, while some let you add weights yourself, similar to an adjustable dumbbell. Weights turn an athletic jump rope from a warmup tool to a full on addition to your resistance routine.
Your workout is only going to be as good as your discipline and willpower. Any money you spend is only going to add ergonomics. These simple pieces of workout gear prove that neither equipment size nor price has any bearing on training effectiveness.

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Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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