Just because it gets a little cold or wet outside doesn’t mean you have to retire to your couch or grow a new love handle with each latte. There’s always the gym, but getting there can be a struggle all on its own. If you’re considering building a home gym, indoor fitness gear is a good place to start.
You’ll need more than just weights to keep fit, though. Cardio is a must, and being able to track your progress is just as important and easy to do. Even the scale can help manage your exercise profile. Here’s what you need to reach the next level of physical fitness without leaving the warmth of your house.
Not every piece of fitness equipment has to connect to the cloud. Bowflex’s home gym is a solid setup for the house that offers a variety of exercises. With an angled lat bar and a leg extension, no part of your body is left out. The multiple pulley system means no changing cables for different workouts, or having a hassle while keeping your heart rate up during your routine.
The Bowflex is about as compact as a full home gym gets, but it’s still a hefty beast. It takes up an 8-by-6-foot area and weighs in at 185 pounds. Unless you have a really large living room, you’re going to want to put this behemoth in its own dedicated space.
Withings Body Cardio
Scales can do so much more than draw attention to how many milkshakes you’ve had in the past month. This offering by Withings is more than a scale; it can tell you BMI, lean and fat mass, and even heart rate, in addition to the expected poundage. It connects to an iOS or Android app via Bluetooth as well.
Once connected, you change and track your body measurements and progress via the Web or app. The scale is not just for one person, either — you can add as many as eight people to the mix. Step on the scale barefoot, and it recognizes you based on weight. For users who weigh nearly the same, the scale will show an image of possible users and let you choose a profile with a subtle shift in weight. The Web and app versions of the Withings Body Cardio display your goals, graph your weight and mass changes, and showcase heart rate and air quality. A recent update added local weather forecasts, step counting, and — probably most important — the freedom to change the data display order. With this wealth of features, the Withings Body Cardio is a good bookend for any daily workout regimen.
Wahoo Kickr Snap
This is one of the best options for a trainer that keeps your wheels on. It uses a high-inertia flywheel to turn your bike into a trainer, so it’s a good option if you still want to ride your bike outside. The Kickr Snap connects to Wahoo, Zwift, Velo, and a slew of other fitness apps available from the App Store and Google Play.
You can also control the resistance and check your measurements using your PC or Mac, along with your iOS or Android device. If you use Wahoo Fitness, the app brings together your data from external runs and lets you send data to Strava, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Garmin Connect, Nike+, and more. This includes data from an external heart rate monitor.
ProSource Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar
The classic pull-up bar is a tried-and-true staple of any home fitness routine. As the product’s name would suggest, the ProSource Multi-Grip allows for an array of gripping positions for a more complete workout. You can start with a basic shoulder-width grip for a solid back workout or go with a wider grip to better isolate your latissimus dorsi. Even a simple straight-armed hang from the bar can increase wrist strength and decompress your spine.
More ways to get your fitness on at home:
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
Rowing machines are a great way to combine both your cardiovascular and strength-training workout regimens. The Stamina Body Trac Glider is one of the best rowing machines on the market. This unit allows you to workout your entire body through a complex series of movements. You can increase or decrease the resistance to better suit your strength or training level needs. Rowing workouts are also impact-free, making them ideal for individuals with joint pain or discomfort.
If spinning is your thing but the trip to the gym is not, the Peloton bike could be a good match for you. While you can watch rides via your tablet or phone on other bikes, the Peloton setup makes that whole process easier, and lands you a seat in some of the most exclusive spinning classes in New York City (well, a virtual seat, via a built-in touchscreen). Purchasing the bike does require a year’s subscription to Peloton online classes, though, which you can connect to and stream using Wi-Fi. Each class comes with leaderboards, and if you want, you can chime in using the built-in mic and headphone connection. The subscription is also good for unlimited access, meaning you can have multiple accounts for everyone in your home. The bike even touts ANT+ connectivity for third-party monitors, so you can use that heart rate band you already have or grab one from Peloton.
The NordicTrack C630 was designed for tablets and features a cradle to hold one. The company’s treadmill is a good choice for fitness fanatics who use iFit, the fitness platform with its own wearables and training programs. The C630 is iFit integrated, meaning you can download routes that shuffle you through the virtual streets using Google Street View. Moreover, it features an incline function that will automatically adjust to match the terrain. Keep in mind an iFit premium membership is 10 bucks a month or $100 a year.
PowerBlock Elite 90
No gym would be complete without a set of dumbbells. The PowerBlock Elite 90 are a stackable set that let you add or take away weight with a u-pin, so you can go for as little as five or as much as 90 pounds. The weights are conveniently color-coded to help you see how much you’re lifting at a glance. Their compact and logical design allows you to stack them neatly in the corner when not in use.
Xbox with Kinect and fitness games
It may seem silly, but fitness games can actually be fun and get you fit. There are a few options for virtual athletic training out there, but the most versatile are the Wii U with Wii Fit and the Xbox One with Kinect. Nike+ for the Xbox One uses the Kinect’s motion-sensing abilities to track your movement, and though the graphics aren’t the most polished, it links to the Nike online community. If you already have an Xbox One, it’s a pretty inexpensive fitness option, considering new games typically run for less than $60. Xbox Fitness lets you create a goal-based workout plan, pick from a roster of famous trainers, and exercise to improve your numbers. Leaderboards add to the gamification of a good workout. Just make sure you have the TV set up in a big, open space with a high ceiling.
Trigger Point Grid X Roller
After really rough workouts, some personal trainers recommend using a foam roller to stretch out tight muscles and prevent soreness. They’re also used for physical therapy. Frankly, Trigger Point makes some of the best. The Grid X is dense enough to stretch quads, hams, lats, back, and calves, and some of the tougher, larger muscles. Best of all, it’s easy to pack away, considering it measures a mere 5 inches wide and 13 inches long.
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This article was originally published on December 6, 2015 and updated on February 20, 2017, by Dallon Adams to include the ProSource Multi-Grip Bar and the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine.
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