Four Small In-Home Exercise Equipment Guidelines

Small in-home exercise equipment may add variety and challenge to your in-home exercise program and, when well designed, is a wonderful compliment to your health club/studio programs.  Determining what equipment to purchase for your in-home use, however, takes a little bit of detective work.  To assist you in this due diligence, consider the following four guidelines regarding this equipment which includes how accessible it will be, the simplicity of set up and break down, how useable the equipment will be specifically for your purposes and ensuring that expert directions are included for safe and effective use.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Accessibility

  • Ask yourself if you have a viable location to store the small equipment so that it is readily accessible for your use.  
  • If you have to move heaven and earth to set it up and break it down, you may not tend to use it.  
  • The equipment, such as steps, dumbbells, resistive tubing, stability balls, BOSU balance trainers, foam rollers, kettlebells, Strongboards, sandbags, etc., should be stored in a safe environment specifically recommended for that type of equipment.  And, that you may access it from and return it to the storage space easily. (*Note:  resistive tubing should not be stored in a box with heavy dumbbells as it may tear the tubing; stability balls/BOSU balance trainers should not be stored where punctures are possible).
  • Do not permit small children and pets to play with the equipment.  Most small equipment is not particularly safe for children/pets, but additionally, you want it in good condition for your use at all times.

Simple Set Up and Break Down

  • Once you have access to the equipment, you want it to be simple to set up and break down.
  • It should only take approximately five-ten minutes to set up and break down an 8-10 station circuit format with small equipment.  One of the ideal aspects of small equipment is that it is portable.  Therefore, if it takes much longer than that, you are unlikely to pull the equipment out consistently.
  • Also, if it is too time consuming to set up, you may leave it set up and unless you have a bona fide designated workout space where the equipment is left undisturbed, this is not recommended.  
  • Small equipment will last longer if it is put away and, again, stored properly.  Plus, you will know exactly where it is so you may grab it and get busy working out.

Useable

  • Determining if the equipment is useable for your purposes is also critical.  For example, if you are working on stability and have yet to stabilize on terra firma, purchasing a stability ball may be premature.  Yes, there are many uses for stability balls, but a more useable purchase might be resistive tubing which may be anchored and encourages core stability from the floor first.

Direction

  • Does the small equipment come with top quality direction and instruction via a DVD or YouTube video which will demonstrate the proper set up, use and break down of the equipment?  If not, unless you are currently utilizing the same equipment with a certified, qualified personal trainer or group exercise instructor, and have mastered the use of that same equipment, you might want to delay purchasing until you have done so.

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