Resistance Home Gyms: Lifting Your Body Weight … and More
Resistance home gyms allow you to achieve total body workouts using an amazing variety of exercises that hit the major core muscles as well as the supportive muscle groups. Resistance training involves the use of weights, bands, or cable home gyms, or even the weight of one’s own body, to stimulate the muscle’s response and gain strength. Training muscles in this manner will also help to improve bone density and physical endurance, prevent injuries, aid in weight loss, and a slew of other health benefits.
What Types of Resistance Home Gyms are Available?
For this type of strength training, you can start with no equipment and literally use your own body weight to perform exercises such as chin-ups, push-ups, wall sits, lunges, and burpees. However, using exercise equipment has been shown to produce results more quickly than using no equipment at all. If you feel you won’t be motivated to stick to a fitness regime sans equipment, here are a few types of affordable resistance home gyms:
Resistance Bands are the least expensive training tool you can buy. One band will cost about $20 but it’s best to spend a bit more and get a set such as the AeroSling Elite Bodyweight Trainer ($189) or the Bodylastics home gym system ($50-$130) which includes 3 to 5 bands in light, medium, and heavy tension tubing plus interchangeable handles, ankle straps, and door anchors. You can stand on the middle of the resistance band to perform bicep curls, upright rows, calf raises, and butt blasters; or wrap the band around a solid object and do chest presses, crossovers, rows, and more. In all, you can do anywhere from 65 to 100 home gym exercises with resistance bands and get a full body workout.
A machine system that uses cables or rods will cost a lot more than resistance bands, but these types of home gyms are very popular and highly effective. One of the best examples of a Power Rods style system is the Bowflex home gym. The flexing rods (which are sometimes called bands) are what provide the resistance. They utilize pull exercises to provide all the core lifts (chest press, curls, extensions, lat pulls, etc), and the units give you the option of adding on an accessory for leg presses and extensions
Resistance home gyms that use Weight Plates (also known as plate loaded or fixed stack systems) are the type of multi-purpose units you have probably seen and used at a local health club. Smith machines and power racks where you can press a plate-loaded bar within a cage-like apparatus, and multi-station gyms that use fixed metal stacks with pins, are examples of this type of system.
A Leverage Plate-Loaded Machine is a close kin to the weight plates machine but they are much safer. Powertec created the first leverage machine, which uses a lever arm attached to the machine. You simply load plates on the lever arm as if it were a barbell.
A Variety of Versatile Work Stations
Your choice of a resistance type home gym will depend on your individual fitness goals, budget, and space available in your home, as well as considerations for ergonomics and personal safety if you plan to lift heavy weights while alone. As you will see from the examples of resistance home gyms listed here, you can spend as little as $50 and start with heavy bands, or opt to spend from $500 to $2,000 on a system that uses rods or weight stacks.