We all know daily life was harder in the days before technology when most jobs involved physical labor. We’ll give the people of that era one thing, though: they got their workouts at work. They didn’t have to find the time and equipment to work out on top of a full-time job.
A lack of time is a common roadblock for working out, but space is a frequent issue too. You save time if you can work out at home rather than driving to the gym. What if your home doesn’t have space for a well-formed gym, though?
Say no more. Check out these great home gym accessories that make the most out of small spaces.
Crunches and sit-ups only do so much for your core. When you want to step it up, an ab toning wheel is an easy next step.
An ab wheel has one wheel in the center with a handle on each side. To use it, you get into a plank-like position but keep your knees on the floor.
With straight arms, you put a hand on each handle and push the wheel forward and backward. This makes your core do the work of raising and lowering your body.
Resistance bands are a staple of any home gym and for good reason. Bands take up far less space than dumbbells do.
Resistance bands are more adaptable than dumbbells are too. You can always adjust the tension by folding the bands, winding them around your hands, stepping further from the anchor point, and so on. Unlike dumbbells, you can use resistance bands for leg workouts too.
Pull-up bars are great for those who want to continue building upper body strength when they have a solid foundation of strength already. These bars are easy to mount on almost any doorway.
Make sure you get a pull-up bar that uses the pressure of your own gravity to press against the wall. When you choose the pull-up bars that aren’t as well-made, they can come crashing down mid-workout.
As a bonus, get a pull-up bar with knobs that serve as anchors for your resistance bands when you do certain exercises.
You’ve probably seen a workout ball — a large inflatable ball you sit on or lay on for various exercises. A balance trainer looks like the top half of this ball with a flat surface on the bottom.
Using a balance trainer is simple. You stand on it and try to keep your balance. This improves your balance while also working your legs and your core. You can use it to add more difficulty to other exercises too.
There are other balance trainers that look like boards with a ball on the bottom, among other options. They all have the same purpose, though. Plus, they’re economical as you can find many of them among the Target clearance selection.
With any type of workout, your form is critical. It allows you to target the right muscle groups and get the most from each move. Proper form also lowers your chance for injuries.
When you mount a mirror on your home gym’s wall, it takes up no space but it lets you watch and optimize your form. If you use videos for your workouts, mount the mirror next to the video so you can compare your form to the instructor.
For most of us, jump ropes remind us of the days of elementary school physical education classes. Make no mistake, though, they make for a great workout.
An inexpensive jump rope is easy to stash in a drawer or storage bin. Still, it gives you a great cardio workout, especially as part of the HIIT workout technique.
Exercise bikes make for great workouts, but they take up too much space. Why not just get the nuts and bolts?
Think of an exercise peddler as an exercise bike in which you supply the seat. The peddler includes the peddles as well as the electronic display that tracks your speed, distance, calories burned, and other statistics. Most models let you adjust the resistance on the peddles too.
Not only does this take up minimal space, but it’s more customizable. You can use it as an upright bike if your chair is taller. If the chair is lower to the ground, you have a recumbent bike. Each one targets different muscle groups.
Yoga is one of the most underrated workouts around. It’s a tremendous way to build muscle strength using your own body weight. At the same time, it builds balance and flexibility while adding a stress-relieving element of meditation.
A yoga mag is a great use of space because it helps with other types of workouts too. It’s a great mat for crunches, sit-ups, planks, and other exercises that take you to the ground.
An aerobic step is exactly what it sounds like: a simple step. Many of them have adjustable heights and you can use them for an aerobic workout of any intensity.
A step takes up little space but it can offer a great high-intensity interval. While some home workout enthusiasts try to do the same exercises on their staircases, the aerobic step offers a wider, flatter surface so it has a lower risk for injuries. These steps have traction on top too so you’re less likely to slip.
The Best Home Gym Accessories for Small Spaces
Not all of us have a full, expansive room to serve as a home gym. Your health deserves to be a top priority no matter how little space you have. The home gym accessories on this list give you the benefit of a versatile home gym even in a small studio apartment.
For more great health tips, check out more articles on our blog.