The Best Home Gyms for Your Workouts

Home fitness gyms are quite popular for people who want the benefits of a good workout without having to leave home to get it. The best home gyms on the market are durable, reliable, constructed with quality parts and materials, and most importantly, meet your specific fitness and workout needs.

Three Types of Home Gyms

There are three basic types of home gym:

o Machine

o Free weight

o Plate loaded machine

Each type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and each is suited to different workout needs and styles. Determining the best home gyms for your consideration requires some research and information gathering to narrow the list to a few you can try out in person.

Let's take a look at each of these in turn.

About Machine Home Gyms

Machine home gyms are constructed of a single steel frame. Attached to this frame are different types of training equipment that work different parts of the body with different motions and exercises.

Machine home gyms generally fall into three categories:

Traditional - This is the most common type of machine home gym. It contains multiple stations and functions, such as a lat pull down, leg extension and leg curl, press, and bench. Most also have an adjustable weight stack and may also have a low row station, too.

Power rod - This category uses flexible rods to create resistance and weight load during your workout. The rods are of varying stiffness and thus create various levels of resistance. The most well known power rod home gym is the Bowflex brand.

Gravity resistance - This category of machine home gyms is typically lightweight, portable, and of somewhat questionable quality. The machine has a metal frame that is adjustable, and a gliding bench or board that holds your body during exercises. The weight of your body creates the resistance, as you pull on cables to glide yourself up and down various inclines and in various positions.

About Free Weight Home Gyms

A free weight home gym consists of several separate pieces of equipment that are not attached together in any way. The pieces are used in different combinations and different frequencies to achieve training goals. Weights are added, dropped or adjusted by hand, using whichever bar you have selected for a particular exercise.

Free weight home gyms generally fall into three categories:

Traditional - This is the most common category and considered by many to be the best home gyms for multi-purpose workouts. The specific components may vary, but usually include at least one barbell, two dumbbells, a variety of weight plates, a bench and rack, and collars to prevent weight plates from falling.

Power rack - This category is generally for home gyms that focus on heavy exercises. The power rack itself is free standing and holds the barbell. The user adjusts the height of the rack so that he or she squats slightly to place the barbell across the top of the back, then stands up straight and moves back to commence the exercise. When the exercise is complete, the user simply moves forward again and places the barbell back in the rack.

Power cage - This category of equipment is used in much the same manner as a power rack, but with a slight difference. The power cage has rectangular sides for holding the barbell, which means the user cannot move as far forward or backward as they can with power rack equipment.

About Plate Loaded Machine Home Gyms

A plate loaded machine home gym combines elements of both a free weight home gym and a standard machine home gym. It may have several stations and functions like a machine home gym, but instead of having a standard weight stack it requires you to add and subtract weight by hand, just like with a free weight home gym.