• Matthew Langford

Top 5 Pieces of Exercise Equipment Everyone should Own

There are any number of pieces of gym equipment you can own. Some of them obvious, some of them gimmicky and some of them just downright weird. In this post, I will go through the pieces of equipment that I would use in a home gym/recommend to my clients when deciding what to buy.

The first thing, however, is to understand the criteria to which I am using to decide this equipment. I am mainly looking at equipment that can be used across a broad range of exercises, something that is portable/easy to store. Lastly, I am looking at something that you can be creative with to a degree. As you can imagine while it would be awesome to have a home leg press, it doesn't quite make it's way on to the list (darn it!) So without further ado, let's jump into this list.

1.Dumbbells (adjustable is a bonus)

These are at the top of my list, although this list is in no particular order. Anyone who exercises will know what a dumbbell is and for a good reason. With a dumbbell, you can pretty much work any part of your body. You can use dumbbells with presses, rows, squats, deadlifts, pullovers, Russian twists...most things. They are a lot easier to store than a barbell too. If you get a pair of adjustable dumbbells then as long as you have the plates, you can increase the weight which makes them far more cost-effective than most other pieces of equipment as well. As well as this, you can also get creative with the exercises and make it fun. Do some curls, flip up to presses and you have yourself a push/pull superset. So if there is only one piece of equipment you buy after this post, make it some dumbbells.

2.Resistance bands

These are another piece of incredibly versatile equipment that can be paired with a pull-up bar (see below), any vertical pole or just while you are standing to achieve most exercises. The bands are great too because they have weight ranges rather than set weights. For example, a small band could cover 10-20kg worth of weight while a larger one might cover 60-80kg. You can combine two bands for an even greater effect. They are also often cheaper than dumbbells and more readily available because people don't know how to use them effectively. Bands in this regards can also mean the resistance tubes you may see for sale as well. Either is good. They are probably a tie for most portable and easy store on this list as well. So if you learn how to use the bands, then these will be an invaluable piece of gear!

3.Medicine Ball

This one makes it on the list more for it's nice to have/fun factor than it's versatility. While you can use it for a wide range of exercises, the main exercises that it is used for are fun to do. Think passing partner exercises, Russian twists, catch/squat/pass drills and making push-ups harder. It is a more Instagram worthy piece of equipment if you want to go that route. Coupled with the rest of the equipment on this list, it rounds out a perfect home gym. Great for core exercises, portability and fun factor.

4.Pull up bar.

I mentioned this one before, it is a fantastic piece of equipment and paired with the resistance bands you can do almost any back/pull exercise around. By itself, you will be getting access to what is, in my opinion, one of the best pieces of equipment to have. You can work your chest and triceps by pushing on the ground, but there are few ways to train your back. With a pull-up bar, you can train you back in one of the most effective ways as well as get access to some insane core exercises as well. Couple this with the resistance bands and even the dumbbells/medicine ball in some cases, and you can perform some insanely effective workouts. If you can't do a pull-up yet that is what the bands are for, wrap some of those around, and you have yourself an assisted pull up. A pull-up bar would most likely be my second biggest recommendation behind a solid set of dumbbells.

5.A decent pair of shoes

That's right one of the most common and yet often an overlooked piece of gear. If you like jogging or even walking, then you'll want some good kicks. We don't usually replace our shoes either so you want something that will last and keep its quality. If you are out on a jog and all the foam or gel in your shoe is compressed, then I can only imagine the jarring effect it will be having on knees and joints. Also comfort when it comes to training is something you want to strive for. If your workout isn't enjoyable and you have blisters after each session, then there is not much incentive to continue is there? For these, I recommend shopping a sale and doing your research on what shoe suits you best.

There you have it; these are the pieces of equipment I recommend and how I would help anyone set up a well rounded and successful home gym. If you are looking into a home gym and don't know where to start, then now you do.

If you like this blog post and can use some help in this department, then head on over to the Instagram page @conquesthealthandfitness and follow for training and nutrition advice.

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