Where Should You Start With Your Home Gym?
Dr. Dunaway's Top 5 Purchases
Look, your home gym doesn’t need to look like GloboGym. You don’t need a full rack of dumbbells, squat rack, treadmill, and a personal trainer following you around to get great benefits of improved strength, flexibility, and an injury resistant body! You can have a great home gym for less than a few hundred dollars, plus you don’t need a huge space!
Here would be my go-to purchases if I were starting a home gym.
*Side note: don't pay premium for name brand stuff when it's only you using it. These brand names may be beneficial from a durability standpoint in a high traffic gym, but personal equipment doesn't get near that much wear and tear. Knock off brands will still get the desired training effect!
1) Pull up bar – This would be my very first purchase. Every time you walk by, simply do 1-3 pull ups and you’ll start to notice your shoulder health and strength increase. “But I can’t even do a pull up!” – doesn’t matter. The main thing I use my pull up bar for is to hang. Hanging everyday will prevent impingement issues, tendonitis, Labral injuries, and really any shoulder issue. Pull-ups can also be assisted with the bands I’ll discuss later.
Estimated Cost = $20
2) Suspension Trainer – I probably use this piece of equipment most often when rehabbing knee and back patients. Not only can you do strengthening drills like push-ups and rows, but you can also use these to enhance your stretches, and most importantly, help you balance when retraining squatting and hinging patterns. This is also a great tool to help build up strength to do that pull up!
Estimated Cost = $37
3) Resistance Bands – the most versatile bands are the 41” looped resistant bands. Once you have the bands, all you need is an anchor point such as a door knob or pull-up bar! These will be your best piece of equipment for core training, challenging balance, assisting in your mobility work, and is probably the safest entry point to resistance training.
Estimated cost = 10$ -25$ for single band or $50 package of several varying resistance.
4) Kettlebell - This is one of the most versatile pieces of strengthening/rehab equipment. It can be used to improve coordination, power, top end strength, aid in mobility, used in self myofascial release, and is also used at ChiroStrength as a major rehab tool. My favorite application is using the bell to load the major squat, hinge, push, pull, and carry patterns in a safe manner. You can do much more with these kettlebells than just swing them around, which is what most people associate them with. I suggest starting with a light 8kg - 16kg kettlebell to start with.
Estimated cost 20$ - $75 depending on the size
5) Foam Roller – When muscles get tight, they restrict proper blood flow which is necessary for recovery and rebuilding muscles. Simply rolling or performing static compression around tight, tender tissues will be a good start to any recovery program. Self myofascial release can be a deep and confusing subject, so don't go down that rabbit hole at first. Start with a traditional foam roller, and get into a routine of rolling tight muscles on your off day. Plain and Simple.
Estimated Cost $20
To be fair, each of these pieces of equipment would be best utilized with some simple coaching, and before diving into a training program it’s best to get some guidance from a trusted professional. However, a little uncertainty shouldn’t stop you from starting your independent fitness journey! YOU are the one who is destined to live out the rest of your life in the body you currently have, for better or for worse. Seriously considering these purchases will be a great step in the direction of making that life full of confidence and much less pain!
For more information on treatment or online coaching for sustainable exercise and pain relief, visit www.ChiroStrength.com or call the office 931-321-1414 to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dunaway.