In the last few years, the face of fitness has changed a great deal. We’ve seen a move away from very static, single-joint movements like the bicep curl and a move towards more adventurous and engaging forms of training. These include things like kettlebell training, TRX (suspension training), Indian club training, weighted stretching, squatting, dead-lifting and more.
These types of exercises effectively allow us to use our body in the way it was intended: by using all of our muscles together rather than in an isolated fashion. The result is that we produce more growth hormone and testosterone (triggering greater muscle growth) and that we build a more stable and functional body.
The problem is that this type of training often doesn’t extend to the home gym. It’s not easy to fit a squat rack in your front room… so what can you do?
Here are some items that will allow you to build an awesome, functional and unique home gym that might be a little different from the other gym bros…
The first thing you need to make your home workouts more functional is a kettlebell. This will immediately challenge you more by providing a more dynamic workout and by moving the center of gravity in unpredictable ways.
What’s more, is that kettlebell training allows you to perform movements like squats, dead-lifts and more that you couldn’t train on your own otherwise.
Here is a simple tool that everyone can use in order to train and that not enough people have in their home. Parallel bars usually cost about $40 and allow you to perform dips, hand stands, planche, inverted push ups, neutral grip pull ups and much more. They’re fun, easy to store and build incredibly dynamic strength.
Gymnastic rings can be used for many of the same exercises as parallel bars. The big difference is that you have to balance them and hold them steady while you train. They cost a lot less than TRX and have the added bonus of letting you perform dips too, so they are far superior in that sense.
Indian Clubs are the lesser-known little brothers of kettlebells. These let you train with similarly unconventional shapes and another uneven center of gravity, this time using a tool that looks a fair bit like a bowling pin! Grab onto the end and swing, push, lunge and generally sword fight an invisible opponent. That’s a fun way to build strength!
If you want to make any movement more challenging, more functional and more interesting then simply perform it while standing on a balance board. This will force you to balance while also moving the weight, which is much more challenging for your entire body.
A rope can be used for all manner of exercises. One of the simplest ways to train with it is to hang it over a pull up bar and then perform neutral grip pull ups with it. This will build grip strength as well as allowing you to train your biceps and lats. Otherwise, you can perform rows or even wrap it around your weights and pick them up that way!