Home workouts are great. They’re accessible, quick, and low maintenance. They definitely help us fit fitness into our hectic lifestyles.
But let’s face it. Gyms offer so much more that we can never fully replicate from home. A pair of dumbbells and a resistance band only get us so far.
To develop full-body strength and fitness, it helps to have heavy weights and a huge variety of equipment to get involved with.
So, when you start exploring all your options for your workout when you walk out onto that gym floor, here’s where we’d suggest spending some time.
Yes, barbells are great for lifting heavy weights. They are crucial to developing strength with core exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench presses.
But if that’s not your thing, then don’t think there’s no need for a barbell in your routine. Most gyms offer both small, fixed barbells for lighter weights and ones you can adjust yourself with weight plates. So, there’s always going to be a load that you can lift.
Barbells are an excellent tool for balanced exercises that work both sides of the body. Unlike using dumbbells, you don’t have to coordinate each side’s movement individually, and by placing a barbell across the shoulders or grasping it with each hand, you can move your limbs together and develop well-rounded strength and muscle growth.
Full body barbell workout:
1. Back squats
2. Bulgarian split squats
4. Bent over rows
5. Chest press
6. Standing overhead press
Usually tucked away in the corner of the room, the landmine is an understated piece of kit. But it lets you do the most popular exercises and loads the muscles differently, helping you develop and build muscle fibres that might not have been targeted when doing it with dumbbells.
The landmine is a great way to vary your usual workout routine and offers a new challenge to the body.
1. Landmine squat
2. Split stance row
3. Landmine single leg deadlift
4. Two-handed shoulder press
5. Single arm chest press
Most people avoid the cables because they’re not sure what to do with them. Lots of wires, lots of handles, lots of fuss.
But the cables are arguably the most versatile piece of equipment in the gym. Any upper body workout should use the cables in some capacity, so it’s more than worth getting to grips with how they work. You can do push and pull exercises with them, meaning they can successfully work the arms, shoulders, chest, and back.
All you need is a little list of exercises to try out, and you’ll soon be a cable convert.
Upper body cable workout:
1. Face pull
2. Bent over row
3. Cable chest fly
4. Tricep pulldown
5. Reverse curls
6. Lateral raise
7. Frontal raise
Rowing is arguably one of the most intense cardiovascular workouts because it involves moving the whole body, not just the legs. You can also add resistance, meaning it conditions the muscles all at the same time.
Rowing alone can be pretty dull, but incorporating this machine into an interval or circuit style workout is a genius way to make sure you get a full-body blast from your time in the gym.
Who knew that one simple bit of kit could be so effective? The box offers several different exercises that can be sewn together to create an intense and explosive workout. Ideal for plyometrics and unilateral work, centring your training around the box can give you a varied workout that’s different from what you’re usually used to.
1. Incline/decline push-ups
2. Bulgarian split squats
3. Box jumps
4. Single leg step downs
5. Tricep dips
6. Raised glute bridges
7. Burpee box jumps
There aren’t many times you’re able to slam something down onto the floor without dealing with some awkward consequences. Medicine ball slams not only develop full-body explosive strength and power, but they’re also a great way to get any aggression out.
On top of that, you can also use this weighty ball to do Russian twists, wall sits, lunges with a rotation, overhead presses, and woodchops. A medicine ball is an excellent alternative for those that struggle to grip a pair of dumbbells for too long without their hands hurting.
Medicine ball workout:
1. Medicine ball slams
2. Medicine ball thruster
3. Rolling push-ups
4. Lunge with rotation
5. Russian twists
7. Wall sit
Unlike the others in this list, there’s only one exercise you can do with this machine. But, the lat pulldown is one of the most effective ways to work the major muscle group in the back. The Latissimus Dorsi are a huge pair of triangular-shaped muscles that make up most of your upper back.
It’s pretty hard to target this muscle group, and dumbbells alone don’t usually do the trick. The lat pulldown is the single most effective way to engage this muscle group and build its strength.