Best Gym Equipment for the Home or Business – 2017 Edition

You’ve always wanted to build your own gym but never took that initiative to do all the research. Well I did. I searched all around for the best equipment to put in your own gym. It may be a personal gym, commercial gym, or a gym for your company. Whatever the reason, I have made the ultimate guide to making this gym your own and as personalized as possible. I have taken quality and price into consideration to give you the best value items for your gym.

I did not rank the items in each category. The reason being that this is an all-inclusive list, and everyone has different plans, goals, and uses for the equipment. However, I did not put any items in these lists that I do not recommend. If I came across items that I have used in the past and were good but not great, I left them out. And since prices are constantly changing, I did factor this into the value, but I did not add each price to the lists.

Without further ado, here is the list of the top products to use when building your own gym.

Dumbbells

BalanceFrom BF-D358 Dumbbell Set with Stand (20 lb set or 32 lb set)

  • Comes with 3 pairs of dumbbells (3-lb, 5-lb, and 8-lb)
  • Material is coated cast iron
  • Comes with stand

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Takes up very little space, can put on a desk or table
  • Sticky grip

Cons:

  • The stand is not extremely durable
  • Limited weight options (but still great for therapy and stability training)

 

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells 40, 50, 52.5 , 60, 105 to 200 lbs

  • Comes in your choice of 40 lb, 50 lb, 52.5 lb, 60 lb, or 105 lb
  • Cast iron weight plates
  • Plates fit standard 1.15-inch bar
  • Threaded ends with star-lock collars

Pros:

  • Easy to use and store
  • Great for personal gyms

Cons:

  • Not good for multi-person gyms, as there are only two dumbbell bars

 

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)

  • Dumbbells adjust from 5 to 52.5 lb
  • 15 sets of weights all on one pair of dumbbells

Pros:

  • Quick switching of the weight plates
  • Takes up little space
  • Two year warranty

Cons:

  • Limited to 52.5 lb per dumbbell
  • Dropping the dumbbells may cause chips or breaks
  • Dumbbells must be put back in exact angle in which they were taken out (if we want to talk about first world problems here)

 

PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

  • Your choice of 50-, 70-, and 90-pound set
  • Weight range of 5-70 lb
  • Replaces 22 different dumbbell pairs or the equivalent of 1575 lb of free weights

Pros:

  • Expansion sets make for easy weight changes
  • Takes up little space

Cons:

  • Not extremely high quality
  • Not the quickest transferring weights, as they sometimes stick together

 

Cap Barbell Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set, 150-Pound

  • Set of dumbbells (5 to 25 pounds)
  • Comes with 20-inch rack for storage
  • Made with cast iron

Pros:

  • High quality weights
  • Dumbbells similar to most public gyms

Cons:

  • Rack doesn’t fit all dumbbell pairs

 

Body Solid GDR363-RFWS Dumbbell Rack with Rubber Dumbbells

  • Pairs from 5-lbs to 50-lbs in increments of 5 (ex. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc.)
  • Comes with mat and rack that fits all dumbbells
  • Cast Iron heads with steel inserts

Pros:

  • Excellent customer reviews
  • Great quality
  • Quality rack with mat

Cons:

  • Smell is pretty bad (make sure you have something to clean them right when they arrive)

 

Heavy Duty Dumbbell Set with Rack 5-70 lbs Pairs

  • Heavy duty dumbbells
  • Solid dumbbell rack
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 14 dumbbell pairs (5-70 lb)

Pros:

  • High quality and heavy duty
  • Large and stable rack with floor mat

Cons:

  • The rack is big enough for all of the weights, but they are very tightly squeezed

 

Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbells, Superior Quality with Low Odor and Fully Knurled Handle

  • Sold as a single dumbbell
  • Straight knurled handle
  • Chrome plated handle with rubber coated weights

Pros:

  • Low odor (compared to other brands)
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Fully knurled handle (as opposed to semi knurled)

Cons:

  • Handle is flat (but that’s not always a bad thing)

 

Squat racks

Yaheetech 2pcs Adjustable Rack Standard Solid Steel Squat Stands Barbell Free Press Bench

  • Carbon steel construction
  • 390 lb maximum load
  • Fully adjustable placement

Pros:

  • Sturdy and strong build
  • Adjustable placements

Cons:

  • Little bit of wiggle room in between metal and bar holders

 

Cap Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand

  • Steel construction
  • Pull-up bar and adjustable barbell holder
  • Can be used for squatting or bench press
  • 300 lb limit

Pros:

  • Solid frame
  • Adjustable heights

Cons:

  • Supposed clicking sound when doing pull-ups
  • 300 lb limit

 

Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage

  • Steel frame construction
  • Pull-up bar + squat and bench rack holder
  • 800 lb weight capacity

Pros:

  • Very well built and stable
  • Multi-use
  • 800 lb capacity

Cons:

  • As long as all the hardware comes with it and there are no cracks, there aren’t any cons

 

Titan Fitness T-3 Series fold Back Power Rack 21.5″ Deep Laser Cut Wall Mount

  • Squat and barbell rack wall mount
  • Foldable to conserve space

Pros:

  • Heavy duty, well built
  • Easy installation

Cons:

  • Unknown maximum capacity

 

Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack Olympic Cage with Lat Pull Attachment

  • Solid steel chrome construction
  • 17 variable heights for bar supports
  • Comes with cable machine for pull downs and bicep curls

Pros:

  • 3-in-1 (pull-up, barbell support, cable machine
  • Excellent quality
  • Foam utility bar to lean against

Cons:

  • Nothing

 

Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage With or Without Lat Pull-Down Attachment

  • Maximum of 1500 lb real weight
  • Multi grip chin up/pull up bar (max capacity 600 lb)
  • Lat pull-down attachment available

Pros:

  • Very high quality
  • Multi-use

Cons:

  • Like most of these more expensive cages, the only negative is that sometimes they will show up missing small pieces or the frame will be slightly bent or cracked. The good thing, however, is that customer service is usually very good since they don’t want a butt-load of bad customer reviews.

 

Barbell (squatting or bench press)

Sunny Threaded Solid Chrome Barbell Bar (60-Inch)

  • 60″ solid chrome steel with threaded ends
  • Accommodates weight plates with 1-inch center holes
  • Holds up to 250 lb

Pros:

  • Great for beginner-intermediate

Cons:

  • Does not fit Olympic weights
  • Only holds 250 lb

 

Titan Fitness 60″ Barbell Solid 2″ Olympic Plates Weight Bar Bench Press Chrome

  • Chrome finish 60″ bar
  • 500 lb weight capacity
  • Holds Olympic size plates

Pros:

  • Outstanding quality for the price
  • 500 pound maximum capacity

Cons:

  • Not for the expert Olympic lifter

 

Body Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar

  • 7-foot chrome finish, Olympic bar
  • 30mm Dia at Grip, 51.5″ between collars
  • 600 lb capacity

Pros:

  • Great quality
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Slight bend using heavier weights
  • Chrome peels

 

XMark Fitness LUMBERJACK 7′ Olympic Bar, Chrome with Black Manganese Phosphate shaft, 28 mm grip

  • Black Manganese Phosphate construction
  • Pro-grip knurling
  • Brass bushings with “perfect” spin

Pros:

  • Great finish, doesn’t peel

Cons:

  • Collar does not spin freely

 

Rep Sabre Olympic Bar – 1000 lb Rated – Barbell for Cross-Training, Olympic Weightlifting, and Power Lifting

  • Zinc-coated Olympic barbell
  • Dual knurl markings (no center knurl)
  • 1000 lb maximum capacity

Pros:

  • Durable for Olympic movements
  • High customer satisfaction

Cons:

  • Nada

 

XMark Elite Series Ultimate Performance Commercial 7 ft. Olympic Bar with Needle Bearings, 1500 lb wgt capacity, Hard Chrome with Black Manganese Phosphate Shaft, 28mm grip (6 or 8 Needle Bearings)

  • Black Manganese Phosphate 28mm shaft
  • 1500 lb maximum capacity
  • Dual knurling, no center

Pros:

  • Long lasting
  • Great spin on collar

Cons:

  • Zilch

 

Collars for Barbell

Quick Release Pair of Locking 2″ Olympic Size Barbell Clamp Collar Great for Pro Training by Clout Fitness

  • Fits 2″ standard Olympic bars
  • Quick release, not easy to slide
  • Made of reinforced plastic (ABS)

Pros:

  • Excellent price and quality
  • Multiple color choices

Cons:

  • Loses grip (after A LOT of use)

 

CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Spring Clip Collars, Pair

  • Comes in a pair of 2
  • Made for 2″ bars
  • Comfortable handle grips

Pros:

  • Tight grip
  • Low price

Cons:

  • When new they are very tight, when used they are very loose

 

Weight plates

CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Plate

  • Choice of 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35, or 45 lb weight plate
  • Solid cast iron construction
  • Accommodates 2″ bars

Pros:

  • Durable (even the paint)
  • Easy to grip

Cons:

  • Some seem to require sanding on the inside of the hole to fit 2″ bars

 

CAP Barbell 300-Pound Olympic Set (Includes 7 Ft Bar)

  • 7 ft Olympic barbell + weights
  • 2 x 45 lb, 2 x 35 lb, 2 x 25 lb, 2 x 10 lb, and 2 x 2.5 lb weight plates
  • Spring collars are included

Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • Good quality weights

Cons:

  • Barbell tends to bend after heavy usage
  • Would not recommend for expert lifters

 

USA Sports 300 lb. Olympic Weight Set (Black Bar)

  • 7′ Olympic black barbell + weight plates
  • 2 x 45 lb, 2 x 35 lb, 2 x 25 lb, 2 x 10 lb, 4 x 5 lb, 2 x 2.5 lb plates
  • Comes with spring collars

Pros:

  • 600 lb weight capacity
  • Great knurling
  • Precise weights

Cons:

  • Slight bend caused with weights in excess of 500 lb

 

Xark’s TEXAS STAR Olympic Plate Weight Sets (365 lbs, 295 lbs, 255 lbs, 185 lbs, 155 lbs, 115 lbs, and many MORE)

  • Rubber coated, cast iron Olympic weight set
  • 15 different set options
  • Fit 2″ bars

Pros:

  • Highly recommend by reviews
  • Precisely measured weights
  • Grips well, fits well

Cons:

  • Not one

 

CAP Barbell Premium Bumper Plates, Black, Pair

  • Your choice of 2 x 10 lb, 2 x 15 lb, 2 x 25 lb, 2 x 35 lb, 2 x 45 lb, or bundle packs
  • Cast iron core, rubber outside
  • Durable and odorless
  • Fits standard 2″ Olympic bar

Pros:

  • Droppable (hence, “bumper” plates)
  • Great for a home gym

Cons:

  • Overuse can cause splitting from center

 

Premium Color Bumper Plate Solid Rubber with Steel Insert – Great for Crossfit Workouts

  • Designed for low bounce and high durability
  • Great for Crossfit
  • Your choice of pairs (10 lb, 15 lb, 25 lb, 35 lb, 45 lb)

Pros:

  • Minimal bounce
  • Heavy duty

Cons:

  • Cons nonexistent

 

Pull-up bars

Sportneer Pull Up Bar Doorway Chin Up Pullup Bar Multi-Grip Trainer Workout for Home Gym, Holds Up to 330 lbs

  • 12 different foam grip positions
  • Holds up to 330 lb
  • Fits in door frames

Pros:

  • Well built
  • Wide range of exercises

Cons:

  • Foam grips wear out

 

Maximiza Pull Up Bar – Doorway Pullup Bar / Chinup Bar with 3 Sets of Screw-in Door-Mounts

  • Made with chrome
  • For in between door posts
  • Holds up to 300 lb

Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Foam wears from use
  • Comes loose if you don’t periodically tighten

 

50″ Wall Mounted Chin Pull Up Bar Gym Workout Fitness Home Mount Fitness 500lbs

  • 500 lb maximum weight capacity
  • Heavy weight steel construction
  • Mounted on wall

Pros:

  • Stable (no loose bolts)
  • Solid as a rock

Cons:

  • Bigger than most people expect

 

Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar

  • Mounted from ceiling
  • High density foam grips

Pros:

  • Bolted to ceiling
  • Good distance from ceiling

Cons:

  • Reports of wrong brackets being shipped to customers

 

Stamina 1690 Power Tower

  • Multiple exercise stations
  • Push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, triceps dips, and more
  • Steel frame construction

Pros:

  • Free standing (no wall needed)
  • Heavy enough not to wobble while exercising

Cons:

  •   Slight wobble for heavier people or for back and forth movements (rather than up and down)

 

Body Champ Power Tower

  • Pull-ups, push-ups, triceps dips, knee-ups, leg raises
  • Heavy duty box-style cushions
  • Protective feet

Pros:

  • 4 different stations
  • Built well

Cons:

  • Make sure bolts are tight or it will shake a bit

 

Floor/mats

HemingWeigh Puzzle Exercise Mat EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles

  • Includes 6 foam tiles with border ends
  • Made from EVA foam
  • Covers 24 square feet
  • 1/2 inch thick

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Withstands at least 400 lbs

Cons:

  • Black coating rubs off after use

 

Supermats Solid Heavy Duty P.V.C. Mat for Home Gyms/Weightlifting Equipment (4-Feet x 6-Feet)

  • Tough, durable PVC material
  • Non-slip surface
  • Dampens vibration from dropping weights

Pros:

  • Won’t tear under heavy equipment
  • Flexible

Cons:

  • Thin, leaving not much padding

 

XMark Fitness XMat Ultra Thick Equipment Mat

  • Rugged equipment mat
  • 4′ x 6′; 1/2 inch thick, roughly 75 lb
  • Made of rubber

Pros:

  • Durable and tough

Cons:

  • Sheds tiny black particles

 

Cable machines

Powerline PLM180X Lat Machine

  • Free weight lat machine
  • Supports lat pull downs, triceps press downs, seated rows
  • Comes with wide-grip bar

Pros:

  • Strong frame
  • Great price for the quality

Cons:

  • Bushings seem to provide extra resistance

 

PowerLine PCCO90X Cable Crossover

  • Large diameter, high-resin top and bottom pulleys
  • 180 degree range of motion
  • Comes with (2) cable handles, (1) ankle strap
  • Chin-up handles, weight plates, and collars sold separately

Pros:

  • Smooth and quiet cables
  • Good price

Cons:

  • Tipsy if used from the side positions

 

Valor Fitness BD-61 Cable Crossover Station

  • Heavy duty steel
  • Multi-grip pull-up station
  • Lower and upper pulley station
  • 17 adjustable positions on each side

Pros:

  • Sturdy and doesn’t shake much
  • Smooth-actions pulleys

Cons:

  • Weight must be evenly distributed on main pulley
  • Cheap pulleys (but still hold up)

 

Body Solid Pro Clubline Cable Crossover

  • 12 different pulley positions
  • 180 degree pivoting pulleys
  • (2) 160 lb weight stacks

Pros:

  • Two separate stations
  • Very stable

Cons:

  • Heavy, which means it may be difficult to get the shipment into residential houses

 

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine with Dual 200 lb Weight Stacks, 19 Adjustments, and Accessory Package, XM-7626 (Gray or White)

  • (2) 200 lb weight stacks on each side
  • 19 different settings for the pulleys
  • Includes pull-up, chin-up bars

Pros:

  • Commercial quality
  • Upgradeable to 800 lb weight stacks

Cons:

  • None

 

XMark Fitness Triple Chrome Plated Cable Machine Attachments, Precision-Engineered Forged Steel Construction, Diamond Knurl-Textured Rubber Grips

  • Sold in 5 different bundles
  • Rows, pull-downs, single arm, press-downs, and triangle grip
  • Triple chrome plated and polished

Pros:

  • Metal built for heavy loads

Cons:

  •  Sub-par grips

 

Dip bars

Yaheetech Heavy Duty Dip Stand Parallel Bar Bicep Triceps Home Gym Dipping Station Dip Bar/Power Tower

  • Weight capacity 500 lb
  • Knurled to reduce slipping
  • Made from iron

Pros:

  • Strong product for the size

Cons:

  • No cross bar at top to keep bars tight and stable

 

Wacces Heavy Duty Functional Fitness Station Stabilizer Dip Bar

  • Your choice of black, orange, pink, red, or yellow
  • Supports up to 400 lb
  • Customizable width
Pros:
  • Simple to use
  • Portable
Cons:
  • Base is narrow

 

Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Fitness Station

  • 3 feet tall (good for users up to 6’5″)
  • Supports 350 lb
  • Good for rows as well as dips

Pros:

  • Easy assembly

Cons:

  • Less stable than others

 

The Original Lebert Fitness Equalizer

  • Supports up to 400 lb
  • Good for dips, rows, incline/decline push-ups
Pros:
  • Portable, stackable, storable
  • Customizable width
  • Stable (for those who have decent core strength)
  • Personal favorite
Cons:
  • Unstable (for those with poor core strength)

 

Ainfox Power Tower Strength Training Fitness Equipment Standing Pull Up Bar Gym Office

  • Made of oblate reinforced steel frame
  • Pull-up bar + triceps dip station
  • Adjustable height

Pros:

  • 550 lb max capacity (ehh, I’d say more like 350 to be safe)
  • Easy assembly

Cons:

  • Slight wobbly without mat

 

GoBeast Pull Up & Dip Station, Portable Steel Power Tower, Includes Carry Bag, Requires No Tools, Workout Inside or Out, Improve Core Stability With Body-weight workouts

  • Max user weight 240 lb
  • Adjustable to use it as a pull-up bar

Pros:

  • Quick setup and takedown
  • Easily adjust from dips to pull-ups
  • Light weight (portable)

Cons:

  • Non-curved pull-up bar
  • Slight wobble for pull-ups
  • Max weight only 240 lb

 

Treadmills

Merax JK1603E Easy Assembly Folding Electric Treadmill Motorized Running Machine

  • Foldable
  • Low noise motor
  • Multi-function display

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Very cheap

Cons:

  • Skinny width

 

AW 1100W Folding Electric Treadmill Portable Power Motorized Machine Running Jogging Gym Exercise Fitness

  • LCD display
  • Transportable and storable
  • Weight limit 220 lb

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Good quality

Cons:

  • No incline

 

Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill

  • Foldable
  • 9 built-in programs
  • 3 levels of incline

Pros:

  • Great quality
  • Easy functions and control

Cons:

  • Sub-par durability

 

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

  • Fold-up treadmill
  • Two-position incline
  • Comfortable cushioning

Pros:

  • Saves space
  • Thin/easy to fold up

Cons:

  • Loud

 

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

  • MP3 plugin
  • 20 built-in settings
  • Incline up to 10%

Pros:

  • 300 lb maximum weight
  • Quiet

Cons:

  • Delivery and set-up seems to be the real buggers

 

Nautilus 618 Treadmill

  • Heart rate chest strap, speakers, soft drop deck system, USB port included
  • 350 lb load capacity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 26 programs

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Comfortable walk/run (floor)

Cons:

  • Expensive

Bike machines

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

  • 13 display feedbacks
  • Goal tracking and data export
  • 29 programs, 4 user settings
  • Charging USB port

Pros:

  • Simple assembly with good instructions
  • Low noise
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Customer service

 

Schwinn MY16 230 Recumbent Bike

  • 20 different levels of resistance
  • USB port
  • 22 preset exercise programs

Pros:

  • Good quality, durability, and tracking systems
  • Smooth ride

Cons:

  • Only allows for 2 profiles

 

Innova XBR450 Folding Upright Bike with Backrest and iPad/Android Tablet Holder

  • Folds for easy storage
  • Weight capacity 250 lb
  • Dual flywheels with multi crank

Pros:

  • Seat adjusts horizontally and vertically
  • Quick assembly

Cons:

  • Lower durability

 

Exerpeutic WORKFIT 1000 Desk Station Folding Semi-Recumbent Exercise Bike

  • Folds up for storage
  • 8 levels of tension
  • 300 lb weight capacity

Pros:

  • Get work done while working out
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Starts making squeaking noises after decent amount of use (easy fix: tighten screws/bolts)

 

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse

  • 8 different workout levels
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • 5’3″ – 6’1″ users

Pros:

  • Folds up to save room
  • Comfortable
  • Very durable (besides pedals)

Cons:

  • Pedals are cheap quality

 

Resistance bands

Resistance Bands Set, Koncle Exercise Bands, Fitness Bands Include 5 Exercise Bands, Door Anchor, Foam Handles, Ankle Straps and Waterproof Carrying Case, for Resistance Training , Sports & Outdoors

  • 11 pieces (5 bands)
  • Anti-snap tube technology
  • D-ring buckles

Pros:

  • Very high rated reviews
  • Low “snap” rate

Cons:

  • None

 

Resistance Band Set – 5 Stackable Exercise Bands – Free Waterproof Carrying Case comes with Door Anchor Attachment, Legs Ankle Straps & Exercise Guide – Anti Snap – 100% Life Time Guarantee

  • Comes with 5 bands
  • Maximum equivalent of 150 lb
  • 4 exercise guide e-books

Pros:

  • Quality grips and attachments
  • Bands clearly labeled

Cons:

  •  Ankle straps are weak and unattach
  • Wears and tears quicker than others

 

Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set with Door Anchor, Ankle Strap, Exercise Chart, and Resistance Band

  • Produces up to 75 lb
  • Includes 5 different band resistance levels
  • Soft grip handles and metal clipping system

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Free replacements (to a point)

Cons:

  • Bands for only 90 days of use
  • Breakage

 

Resistance Bands – 11pc Set – With Door Anchor & Ankle Strap for Legs Workout & Carry Case – Heavy Duty Anti-Snap Technology – Bonus 20 Fat Burning Workouts Ebook

  • Anti-snap resistance band technology
  • 11 piece pro grade set
  • Multi-clip system for every fitness level

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Quality attachments

Cons:

  • Will snap after a lot of use (just like most other brands)

 

Reehut Single Resistance Band, Exercise Tube – With Door Anchor and Manual

  • Your choice of 2-4 lb, 4-6 lb, 10-12 lb, 15-20 lb, 25-30 lb, 30-35 lb, 45-50 lb, 70-75 lb bands
  • Eco-friendly natural latex
  • Comes with soft grip handles, door anchor, starter guide, and carrying case

Pros:

  • Your choice of resistance
  • Max resistance of 75 lb

Cons:

  • Handles snap

 

Muscle rollers

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos, Original (13-inch)

  • Patented design for superior, multi-density exterior construction over a rigid, hollow core
  • For athletes, therapists, coaches, trainers
  • Improved flexibility

Pros:

  • Very difficult to break down
  • Your choice of 4 colors
  • Variety of textures

Cons:

  • Only 13-inches long

 

j/fit 36″ Basic White Foam Roller

  • Soft, comfortable support
  • Full foam roller, 36 inches long

Pros:

  • Firm
  • Full foam roller (not just half)

Cons:

  • Wears down quicker than the previous product

 

Lacrosse Massage Ball :: Therapy Yoga Roller Balls for Deep Tissue, Trigger Point & Mayofascial Release :: Premium Quality Lacrosse Style Rubber Balls Best for Back & Foot Massage

  • Lacrosse balls to roll out tight muscles
  • Made of heavy-duty, high quality rubber
  • Used for sports physiotherapy, myofascial treatment, sports and more

Pros:

  • Comes with 3 balls
  • Excellent quality, durability, and customer service

Cons:

  • The only con is that there are no cons

Mirrors

Large Simple Rectangular Streamlined 1 Inch Beveled Wall Mirror | Premium Silver Backed Rectangle Mirrored Glass Panel Vanity, Bedroom, or Bathroom Hangs Horizontal & Vertical Frameless (24″W x 36″H)

  • Safe and easy install
  • Your choice of 4 different sizes
  • Exceptional quality mirrors

Pros:

  • A+ review rating
  • Slim and sleek

Cons:

  • None

 

Fab Glass and Mirror GM48x60 Activity Mirror Kit for Gym & Dance with Safety Backing, 48″ x 60″

  • Choose from 5 choices of sizes
  • Flat polished edge
  • DIY easy install mirror kit

Pros:

  • Great quality
  • Clear

Cons:

  • Shatterable (duh, it’s a mirror)

 

Troy System Rectangle Mira Safe Gym Mirror Kit, 1/4″ Thick Single Pack, 72″ L x 36″ L

  • Flat polish mirror
  • 72″ x 36″
  • Chrome finish

Pros:

  • Quality

Cons:

  • Shipping time a tad bit longer

 

Speakers

We already have a page dedicated to this. Check out our list of the best speakers to put in your gym here.


 

TVs

Samsung Electronics UN50MU6300 50-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

  • Your choice of 40″, 43″, 50″, 55″, 65″, or 75″ TV
  • 4k resolution
  • Smooth action on fast-moving content (motion rate: 120)

Pros:

  • Fantastic picture quality

Cons:

  • Software updates and issues

 

TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

  • 4k ultra HD picture quality
  • Roku smart tv
  • Your choice of 43″, 49″, 55″, or 65″

Pros:

  • Superb picture

Cons:

  • Software issues

Extras

TRX Training – Suspension Trainer Basic Kit + Door Anchor, Complete Full Body Workouts Kit for Home and on the Road

  • All inclusive package
  • Full-body trainer
  • Travel-size

Pros:

  • Quick, easy setup
  • Extreme durability

Cons:

  • Extra weight needed for intermediate-expert lifters

 

Jump Rope – Premium Quality – Best for Boxing MMA Fitness Training – Speed – Adjustable – Survival and Cross – Sold By FMS International Authorized Seller

  • Easy measuring and setup jump rope
  • Beginner, intermediate, and expert
  • Smooth air travel

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Light-weight

Cons:

  • Fasteners come off if not tightened
  • Stings on impact with skin (but hey, it’s good for us, right?)

 

More Extras

Yoga blocks


 

Yoga Mat


 

Medicine Balls


 

Ab roller


 

Yoga Ball


 

Kettlebells


 

 

If you have made it this far, I applaud you. I hope this helps you on your venture to creating the best gym possible.

Fitness easier.

quick easy stair workout

15 Minute Stair Workout: Build Agility and Endurance

If your knees are feeling some pain before, during, or after the workout, I will be coming out with a new post on hamstring stretches for knee pain. If you want to be notified when that comes out, subscribe to my email list, and I’ll let you know.

The stair workout is one of those all-time classics that never gets old. No matter how many times I do them, I am always panting for air after (and during). They are great for the lungs and our overall health. You can use them several different ways:

  1. Use the 15 minute stair workout as its own workout for the day.
  2. Use the quick stair workout as a warm-up to your normal routine.
  3. Add the stair exercises in between sets to your normal workout routine.
  4. Finish off with the stairs to use up all of your pent up energy.

However you do decide to use them, here are some quick tips before starting:

  1. Be soft on the knees. Land silently on the toes to prevent injuries. If you have knee problems, keep your feet as low to the ground as possible to limit impacts.
  2. Do these in athletic position. Here is athletic positioning from Stack.com if you need a reminder of what that is. Don’t let the knees go in front of the toes!
  3. Use your arms. What? Yes, your arms. Your whole body should be involved in this, including your arms and core.

The Workout

Perform each exercise for one minute. You have time for a five second break in between stair exercises if you want it. (If I were you, I’d skip that break and go all out!) Watch the video, and if you want any tips, take a look down below for each exercise.

 

Normal Stair Run

This is the warm-up, so don’t get cocky. If you aren’t loose, start at 25%. Then move up to 50% and work your way up to 100%. Remember to keep those feet soft and quiet while going up the stairs.

L-L-R-R Tap-ups

I actually really enjoy this one. It is a little difficult to explain, but really you are just walking up the stairs, except you are stepping twice with each step. Hopefully that makes sense. Take a look at the video if you want further clarification. On the second step, you should power yourself up. This should make all of your steps “taps” rather than hard steps.

Wide Steps

I know, I know, it looks a little funny. I think I missed a few steps in the video, as well. I was getting a little ahead of myself. Remember to use the arms, because this is a full body workout.

One Leg Hops

My one piece of advice for this one: be soft. Knees are not easily fixed. If you want, you can even walk down the stairs normal, but go up on one foot. You should feel it in your core if you are going at full speed.

L-R-L-R Tap-ups

I like to add some mental toughness into my workouts. This one takes some focus, as you have to really think about what you’re doing. If you are having trouble getting into a rhythm, try counting 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 as you step, it will help.

Two-Legged Hop

Use your core! Go straight up the stairs and not side to side for this one.

L-R Step-ups

Again, this one will work your mind as well as you body. Do your best to get the rhythm down before going at full speed.

Up-Up-Down Hops

Try to stay low to the ground, and get as many steps in as you can. I goof up on these all the time.

High Knee Tap-ups

Power your knees up to your chest, or close to it. Don’t over-arch your back to do this, however. Stay straight up.

Side-to-Side Two-Legged Hops

Now you can go side to side. Go as far as you can to the side. If you don’t have a lot of room on the sides, work with what you can.

Two-Legged Skip Hops

Pretty simple. Hop up as far as you can without hurting yourself. (Or hurt yourself and learn from it, which is what I like to do!)

Sideways Step-ups

Stay straight with your whole body, and don’t let your upper torso turn towards the top of the stairs.

Butt-Kick Step-ups

Only do these going up the stairs. If you do them down the stairs, your knees start to cave in too far, and your heels catch the stairs. It is also very dangerous, so I highly recommend walking down the stairs.

 

If you liked this workout, subscribe to my YouTube channel and to this website to be notified when new workouts come out that will help you become a better all around athlete. Here is what I have coming soon:

-Proper Posture for Athletes

-The Ultimate Home Gym 

-Types of Workouts

-Dynamic Warm-up Before Working Out

-Static Stretching After Working Out

-Hamstring Stretches for Knee Problems

should i switch up my workout routine

Switching Up Your Workout Routine to Be More Athletic

Let me ask you something. How often do you switch up your workout routine? Is it quite often or almost never? Or maybe you are the one who doesn’t workout long enough to have to switch up your workout routine. Whatever the case, find out why you should, who should, when and how often you should, and different ways to switch up your workout routine.

Reasons to switch up your workout routine

Quite frankly, it says it in the title. It makes you a better athlete. If you are doing the same thing over and over, every single day, you are not getting better. That is not an opinion, that is a fact. Now, I realize, you can improve on certain exercises, but we want to not just work the same parts of the muscles every single time.

Take the biceps (wait, biceps is singular?) for example. Please don’t think that I am saying that biceps are more important the other parts of the body. In fact, I will say it. They are not. I am just using them as an example.

If we are doing a dumbbell curl, we are working the just the biceps, right? Well, it depends on the type of dumbbell curl. There is normal (supinating) dumbbell curl, supinating inner curl, supinating outer curl, reverse grip curl, neutral curl, and so many more variations. Sean Nalewanyj has an easy-to-read diagram that shows you the difference between neutral and supinating. My point is that there are so many different ways and angles to go at muscles, that we must switch it up to challenge ourselves.

If you want to know, here is a basic explanation of how the muscles react to stress put on them, based on the general adaptation syndrome, by Plateaus.

  1. First, they are alarmed when we do new workouts. So, as a beginner, this is why you start gaining muscle so quickly. Your muscles have never been introduced to these exercises, so they increase because of intramuscular, intermusclar, and neural adaptations.
  2. Second, the muscles start to adapt and resist. They get used to the same workouts, and now the stress that is being put on them isn’t enough to cause much change. This usually happens over a long period of time. Switching up our routines and nutrition patterns can fight against this.
  3. The final stage of GAS (haha, I said “Gas”) is exhaustion. This is where the muscles in the body can no longer take it. If you have heard someone talking about overtraining, this is what they meant.  To combat exhaustion, add in a rest week. The frequency of the rest week varies, but the more advanced you are, the more often you should take them.

Isn’t that the goal, to challenge ourselves? That is what this whole website is about, improving and becoming the best athletes we can be. We can’t do that if we don’t try new things and try to excel at them.

Who should switch up routines?

Anyone who wants to improve or get better. Now I realize some people are not working out every single day, every single week, every single month. I realize some people have busy schedules and lots of other priorities. If you only workout once a week, you probably don’t need to switch up your routine very often. I do, however, suggest that you do more than one workout per week.

Something that I suggest to people is- rather than working out once a week for an hour, trying working out five times a week for 15 minutes each. I like consistency, and even though you may be consistently getting those workouts in once a week, I would still prefer you are exercising daily. This keeps your muscles active and ready, and it lets them know that they need to stay awake throughout the day.

Working out more frequently will also give us an opportunity to switch up our workout routines. Do more…more frequently.

When/how often should you switch workout routines?

A rule I try to live by is I usually go until I am bored of a workout set, and then go one more week. If I just give up when I am bored of a workout set, that doesn’t show much discipline. In most cases, I switch up the cycle once every two months. If you want to more often, more power to you.

You can also do the sneaker attack (I made that name up). This is where you sneak in a different exercise every workout you do. Let’s say you are on a “chest and back” day, and you usually go back and forth between chest flies and lat pull-downs. So now, instead of doing lat pull-downs, you decide to sneak in one arm dumbbell rows. Now you will be able to tell how that one specific workout reacts with your body the next couple of days, without having to try to figure out which exercise it was that did the damage.

Ways to switch up the routine (the good part)

Just remember, there are always ways to improve without adding more weight. Click To Tweet

Now that we have covered the basics, let us get into the good stuff. I have already given ya’ll (sorry, I visited Tennessee a week ago and brought back some bad habits) a few examples of how to switch up your workout routine, but here are some more, just for you.

Exercises (duh)

I mentioned this several times. I will also add that just adding weightlifting exercises IS NOT ENOUGH (sorry, was that too loud?). You can add so many unique and fun exercises into your workout plan. Here are some ideas, but not limited to:

Running, yoga, stretching, balance, coordination, dancing, bodyweight, rock climbing, swimming, hiking, and so many more.

If you want to learn more about training your whole body to become a better athlete, put your name on my email list. I will be writing about all of those. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, I took a screenshot of my future article list:
read articles for athletes

Sets/repititions

So, just because you switch up your exercises frequently, doesn’t mean you will automatically improve. Let’s say you have reached your new personal record. You can now squat 180 pounds! “Well,” you say, “it looks like my work with squats is done, what next?”

Wrong. you can still improve on the squats, even if you don’t want to increase weight. Let me repeat that. You can still improve on the squats, even if you have perfect form, without adding weight! Try doing more squats. Like 10? No. 15? No. 25? Okay, that will do. Or if you want, do 10 reps for five sets. Or maybe even 10 sets, doesn’t that sound like fun!

Just remember, there are always ways to improve without adding more weight.

Intensity

Sometimes, we need a gut check. Are you half-butting it in the gym? If so, pump up the intensity. Go into the gym with a positive attitude. Get off the sugar, and get on the leg press. So many different things can effect our attitudes, and in return, effecting our intensity.

I read a book once called “Success is Not an Accident”. It taught me so many lessons about habits and giving full effort. I highly recommend you read it. Or “Dare to Win”. Both are excellent reads.

Length of workouts

If you are crunched for time, this may be difficult. If not, why not give it a try. Instead of going in for the usual hour, try a 45 minute, high intensity workout. Or maybe try to make it for an hour and a half. If you really want a challenge, try to make it two hours. It will hurt, but boy will it feel good after!

Amount of days

And the final suggestion is to switch up the amount of days per week you workout. Usually, I don’t recommend to workout less days than you already are. I tell people to workout more days than they currently are.

Now, don’t do this every week, because rest days are important, but try going for seven days in a row. Do it not to be in better shape, but for discipline. If you can go for seven days in a row, you have just given yourself the confidence to go out and try new things at the gym. And maybe, just maybe, you will succeed the next time you try something new because you succeeded previously. That’s how the mind works. Use it to your advantage.

 

If you want even more ways to switch up your workout routine, check out Muscle and Strength’s list (I’m not affiliated with them. I just think it is a good list).

Here are 11 signs that you need to switch up your workout routine, according to fitness experts (wonderfully written by Bustle):

  1. Bored
  2. Not showing improvement
  3. Low on Energy
  4. Don’t feel challenged
  5. Focusing only on one thing
  6. Don’t feel motivated
  7. Notice imbalances
  8. Same muscles are always sore
  9. Never sore
  10. Nagging injuries
  11. Don’t see results

 

 

turn fitness into money

13 Ways to Turn Fitness into Money in 2017

If you are like me, an athlete with a lot of fitness knowledge, and are looking for ways to make money, you’ve come to the right place. I will show you how to turn your fitness knowledge into money.

I hope I am not repeating what others have already said a million times. I tried to come up with a unique list and truly hope I can help some of you earn some extra cash from your fitness and athletic experiences.

 

The Obvious

Personal trainer

This is one that I know is on most lists online. I figured that I couldn’t leave it out, though, since it is really a viable option for a lot of you. It does usually require training, especially if you want to be really, really successful (and I want you to be really, really successful). The average salary for a full-time personal trainer is about $50,000, and the more experienced and higher-end trainers can earn in the triple digits.

Training requirements will vary. Possible training and education needed in: nutrition, exercise physiology, kinesiology, injury prevention/healing, and others for more specific skill areas. If you have previous fitness experience, though, why not turn that into money?

Open a gym

This has been a dream of mine for years now. I love the idea of opening a gym, but the more I research it, the more I realize that it is quite a ways away. There are so many different options you can choose for locations, equipment, target market, size, and so on.

Looking at what a lot of other companies have done, it doesn’t make much sense for me to calculate the total price for you. I can tell you a range for what it might cost, but don’t get mad if it’s not as crystal clear as you would have liked.

Entrepreneur says that it can cost anywhere from $10,000-50,000 to open your own gym business. However, I have to think that this is on the much lower side. A $10,000 gym is basically an old warehouse that was given to you for free by your long lost relatives with hay bales as weights and a cornfield as the treadmill. Okay, maybe not that bad, but seriously, pretty close.

I would estimate that to make a profitable gym business, it will cost anywhere from $50,000-1,000,000. Now, I’m not saying this is out of pocket, but just realize that the investment of equipment and buildings that go into this are enormous, and you should not go into it light-hearted.

If you want to start, I’ve made some build your own gym lists. I’ll be writing up more of these in the coming months, so subscribe on the sidebar to be notified when those are published.

Speakers to Put in Your Gym

Dumbbell Sets to Put in Your Gym

Running Machines to Put in our Gym

Open a store 

Brick and mortars are failing, or at least compared to e-commerce stores. So, an e-commerce store is an option, but they are not easy. Here are some things you will have to decide before getting into the online shopping industry:

Distribution: Will you order the items before putting them for sale online or will you drop-ship? Drop-shipping is a safer route in most cases, because if you fail, you won’t have useless piles of inventory (but why start if you plan to fail, right?). Another downside to drop-shipping is that you have no way to quality inspect the products before they head out. You have to leave it up to the wholesalers, which I do not trust. And don’t even get me started with return shipping. Trust me, it is a pain.

Shipping is also not cheap, especially for a new company just starting out. This makes it difficult for new businesses because shipping non-bulk orders can drain the profit very quickly.

Niche: Finding your specific product area is critical to being successful in most cases. In some cases, if you are new to a certain market, being broad is okay. But I never recommend being broad. For example, if you are selling a new long-sleeve workout shirt, don’t just advertise as a long-sleeve workout shirt. Advertise as a long-sleeve workout shirt for athletes who want to lose sweat during workouts -OR- for guys who want to look fashionable while working out -OR- for girls who want to stay warm working out in the winter…etc. Be specific and be clear.

Competitive advantage: How will you stick out from your competitors? I have seen a lot of people who thought they could start an online clothing store. They bought a website, made a cheap design, looked on a wholesale website for a product, and started selling…or at least tried to start selling.

Their product was different from their competitors, but it was not better. Anyone can make a store that is different, but not everyone can make a store that is better. How will your store be better?

Start a website

This one goes along with the last idea, except there is so much more you can do here. You can blog, make videos, sell physical products/ebooks/training courses, and the choices are nearly endless. Just remember, if you decide this path, what makes you better than all of the rest of your competitors? Try GoDaddy, 1&1, Inmotion Hosting, or IX Hosting to begin. There’s a lot of tutorials on YouTube and such to learn how to make an excellent website.

 

The Not-so Obvious

Run competitions/contests/sports leagues

This can be fun and rewarding financially. It takes management and organizational skills to run smoothly and profitably. Here’s an example:

Bob wants to create a flag football league. Bob lives in an area near many colleges, so most of the college students are playing for the college’s intramural league. However, he notices that the graduated college students don’t have anywhere to play since they are out of school now.

“Perfect,” Bob says. Now that Bob has found a general location and target market, he just needs to crunch the numbers and see if there is profit.

Cost:

Football field rental = $30/hr (public park field) 180/week or 1800/season
Equipment (football, flags, cones) = $300
Referees = $20/game x2 = $50/game or 200/week or 2000/season

Revenue:

Team fees = $500/team (10 teams) = $5000

Profit:

$900/league

Remember, this is for only one league. If you want to manage more than one league (7 v. 7, 6 v. 6, co-ed, etc.), your profit will only increase from there. This is over 10 weeks, so $900 over 10 weeks is an extra $90 per week. $1800 is $180/wk, $2700 is $270/wk, and so on.

Ref sports games

There are leagues all over the place. Bigger cities are usually better since there are more teams and games going on. The great thing about this one is that the league doesn’t even have to be profitable for you to make money refereeing. You can referee for a non-profit organization and still make cash.

Looking on Indeed, refs usually make anywhere from $15-30 for flag football games. Youth and high school hockey refereeing tops out around $90/game. Organized high school and college games are usually the highest paying for non-professional level.

Create a sports drink (that tastes good AND is actually healthy)

Not to name anybody in particular (Powerade and Gatorade), but the big name sports drinks on the market today are not very good for you. They sure taste good, but the satisfaction of sugar in them outweighs the negatives. Yes, you are getting a little bit of electrolyte intake, which is critical for athletes, but why so much sugar? I usually drink these when I’m not working out because they are “healthier” than soda (or “pop” as we call it in Minnesota), but I may as well be drinking a Mountain Dew. Most popular sports drinks have about 21 grams of sugar per bottle, whereas popular soda drinks carry about 70+ grams of sugar. I’m not too worried about the calories because sugar is the thing that really drains athletes.

So this brings me to my point. If you are experimental and want to make a million/billion/trillion dollars, create a sports drink that athletes can feel good about drinking. Make something that will taste as good, if not better, than the popular brands out there, and make it without any of the added crud (sugar, artificial flavors/colors, sucralose, and more).

Create a training program

Not easy, but sure profitable if successful. You also are forced to get into shape in the process of creating the training program. Most successful programs are run by trusted sources.

P90X was created by Tony Horton, who had connections with 20th Century Fox. His clientele included Usher, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty. He also worked as an actor and comedian, giving him the perfect fit for the P90X role.

Jeff Cavaliere, creator of Athlean-X, didn’t just come from nowhere either. Before creating his workout program, he worked as a Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Training Coach for the New York Mets. He used that name to advertise his program and launch it into success.

In all of these popular workout programs, there is a face to the program. Someone who people recognize and trust. After all, customers are trusting them with their body image, which is very important these days.

Learn how to become unforgettable and become the new Tony Horton and Jeff Cavaliere:

Run a class

Go onto the YMCA or local gym website and see if they are hiring for class teachers. You obviously must know what you are doing before teaching, but if you have already taken classes for say, yoga, you know more than most people do.

Most likely, these places are going to pay hourly wage. I recommend starting at a gym, and then bringing the classes into your home or rent a place to hold them. This way you can earn a bigger piece of the pie, and you can run the class how you want.

Here’s a great way to learn how to teach yoga:

Create a product

If you have a great idea, start making a prototype. Once the prototype is complete, use it for a month and see how it holds up and if it would be worth paying for. Then find any flaws in the design and fix them. After flaws are fixed, locate your target market and ask them if they would spend money on your item. Actually let them use it if you want.

Once you are ready to start producing, you have to decide between a few options. You can produce the product yourself (very time consuming and expensive if you don’t have the materials and machines), find a manufacturer (usually you have to go out of country to find cheaper manufacturers), or sell the idea to a company (be careful not to give your idea to anyone until you know you can trust them).

Become a brand ambassador

There are lots of small companies out there who are looking for ways to advertise their business. If you are a well-known person in an area, find someone who sells clothing locally and ask if you can be a brand ambassador.

You can utilize YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to advertise for them. Remember, the better job you do for them, the better chance you will get paid more and find better promotional jobs. You may have to go out and advertise yourself. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t pay well at first, big money takes time. This is a great way to stay fit and make cash at the same time.

 

The More Obscure

Create gyms for people

Like I said, these are obscure ideas to turning your fitness goals into money. I think this is a great idea for someone who has been around the block a few times. If you know, or get to know, the industry and the pricing, find someone who needs gym equipment. Whether they are looking for a personal gym in their basement or are starting a local gym, you can help them find what they need. After getting their products ordered, set it up for them. Make them do as little work as possible. To turn it into money, work with the client to an agreed upon price. I would recommend a commission based on how much product you order and set up, or you could also work by the hour.

Start a hiking/camping service

What better way to make money then to spend a weekend camping? If you run it by yourself, you could be in for a big payday. Bring 15 people into the mountains for a weekend and charge $100/person. That’s $1500 in one weekend. Bring only five people, and that’s still $500 for a weekend.

Make sure you know the areas very well and are First Aid certified; liability can be an issue if you are not prepared.

Learn how to lead an expedition:

If you really want to turn fitness into money, it will take hard work. I really hope people aren’t looking at this list and wishing for an easy way to make bank. Making bank takes time and hard work. The harder you work and the better fitness experience you have, the quicker it will turn into money for you.

dance workout routine

Fun Dance Styles to Stay in Shape and Loose

Dancing has always been a no-no for me, mainly because I can’t do it. After trying out some of this stuff, though, it’s incredible how much it can help. If you do it seriously and with good intent, it can help in balance, agility, endurance, and more. A lot of these are also easier if you are flexible, which I have been in improving in.

So, here is the list. Some of them (or all of them) may be awkward or goofy to do in front of others. Maybe find a room where you can be alone and just go crazy, but not too crazy. These are in no particular order.

Charleston

The Charleston has some fun dance moves. This will help a lot with balance as you are going on one leg and in unusual stances a lot.

Swing

This how-to is very simple, but perfect for beginners. The point of this isn’t to be a professional after watching a two minute video. Find which dancing you like best and get better at it.

 

Ballet

Can you say calf muscles? Oh. My. Word. I highly recommend this ballet routine. It is an hour long, and if you do it full through and correctly, it will definitely feel like a workout.

Salsa

Zumba

I really like Zumba. You get your whole body into the workout, and it really gets your blood pumping.

Hip-hop

Hip-hop can be the most fun once you get good at it, in my opinion.

House Dance

Another one that takes great coordination and balance. It’s also a lot harder than it looks.

We do whatever it takes to become an all around better athlete. Click To Tweet

Those are the ones I liked the most. If you didn’t find one that you liked, there is a list of other ones down below. Even though you aren’t used to it or may not even like it, I recommend finding at least one of these that you enjoy and putting it into your workout routine once a week. At least give it a shot. Remember, we are building the ultimate athletic bodies here at Fitness Hideout. We do whatever it takes to become an all around better athlete.

Other Dance Styles:

West Coast Swing
Modern Jive
Line Dance
Hustle
Twist
Country Dance
Modern Dance
Chaconne
Minuet
Galliard
Conga Line
Shimmy
Hula
Polonaise
Cotillion
Melbourne Shuffle

Shoulder Flexibility for Throwing Sports

Having tight shoulders is never fun to play sports with. They seem to take forever to warm up, they are hard to use, and they seem to always get injured. Loosening them up in the right places can help fix any issues you may be having and bring about more pleasurable sports activities.

We don't just want to randomly stretch shoulder muscles Click To Tweet

They key here is becoming flexible, like I said, in the right places. We don’t just want to randomly stretch shoulder muscles because we could be doing more harm than good. Some of you may have tight shoulders all around, but most of you will have an imbalance in your muscles. I’m sure you have heard this before so I won’t go in detail, but basically our lifestyles are to blame for this. We sit too often, hunched over, which in return screws up our bodies. Our upper back becomes over-stretched and our chest becomes super tight. Thus, imbalanced.
4-

Before I get into the stretches and fixes, I will give a little of advice. If you sit at a computer for long periods of times, or even for not so long periods of times, I would recommend getting a standing desk. Standing while on the computer can do wonders for you and help fix your posture, which I will be writing an article on soon. They (whoever “they” is) are now making standing desks to fix this problem. Here is a cheaper one with a crank handle.

And here is my high recommendation, the deluxe version, which has an electric motor.

 

Be sure to warm up before stretching and exercising.

Stretches:

 

Hand Raises Against a Wall

Put your back against a wall with arms at a 90 degree angle, facing up. Your butt should be touching the wall, and do not over-arch your back. Raise your arms up against the wall, hold at the top for a few seconds, and come back down. You should be doing this for about a minute, and then the last rep you should hold for 30 seconds.

Clasped Hands Extension

Sit crisscross on the floor with your back straight up. Clasp your hands behind your back and straighten your elbows. Slowly move your hands upwards. Your shoulder blades should be squeezing together the further your hands go up.

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is one of the most common torn muscle in the shoulder. With a lot our shoulders somewhat out of place, our rotator cuff goes through motions that it really shouldn’t be going through. We need to be sure that it is loose and isn’t going to be damaged in our throwing motion.

 

Exercises:

 

So like I said earlier, we are not trying to become more flexible. Our goal is to become balanced. We have already talked about how to stretch out the tight muscles, but now we must tighten up/strengthen our “loose” or long muscles.

Push-up Plus

If you have never heard of these, you are missing out big time. I would almost recommend to scrap normal push-ups alone and put these in their place. It is so simple, yet so difficult at the same time. If you are doing these right, your push-ups should become much more difficult.

Start in push-up position, and go down and come back up like a a regular push-up. At the top of the movement, you add in an extra push from the shoulders. You should push down so your shoulders are now rounded at the top. This video shows the top of the movement. If you want, you can just do the top of the movement, but whichever way you choose, be sure to get a full extension at the top.

Dip Plus

This one is similar to the push-up plus. Find a dip bar. Perform a dip. At the top of the movement, extend…well here, just watch the video (skip to 12:45. If you have scapular winging, you may want to watch the whole video).

 

In the end, you really have to get to know your body. Know when and where you are most likely to get injured. Know your posture. Know your weaknesses. I can’t really tell every single one of you a single way to fix your flexibility issues. Experiment with some of these and see what is tight and what might need improvement.

 

is flexibility important

The Importance of Flexibility in Our Muscles

We, as athletes, can sometimes go through the motions of just doing whatever our coaches or trainers tell us without really thinking about the why. For the most part, we know that what they are telling us is right…or do we?

If you truly want to be a durable and excellent athlete, you have to learn the why rather than just the what. Some people may have trainers with them constantly, always giving advice. But for most of us, we have to learn all of this stuff on our own. Learning why we do things, like gaining flexibility, will not only help us understand what is happening in our bodies, but also how to do these things better.

Injuries

The first one is an obvious one. Being more flexible, in general, keeps our bodies healthy and away from injury. The idea behind this is that we can perform unimpeded movements through a wider ROM. However, if we are moving through a ROM that we shouldn’t be moving through, it can cause injuries. So what does this mean for us. It means that we need to be smart in our flexibility training.

I am the perfect example of this. I played baseball my whole life. As a young kid, like most others, I didn’t put any work in to the smaller muscles that we use to throw. I just played and didn’t think anything about injuries. As the years went on, the more and more I threw, the more and more flexible the muscles connected to the bottom of the shoulder blade became. Thus creating scapular winging. In this case, my serratus anterior was getting stretched out every time I threw a ball, and I was doing nothing to combat that. No strengthening, therapy, or anything like that. Because of this, my throwing movement was now impeded because of my overstretched muscles. It took over a year of therapy to be able to throw without pain again, and I even had to change my throwing motion. This is how over-flexibility can be a negative.

We can also see this when one side of our body is overworked and the other is not worked at all. I guess you could say that is what happened to me. My upper back was getting stretched out, and my chest  was getting tighter and tighter. We can see this in knee injuries, too. If our quadriceps are overstretched and our hamstrings are super tight, there is lots of times going to be knee pain.

Performance

We see flexibility come into play in sports so often. I cannot think of a sport in which flexibility wouldn’t be helpful. Baseball, tennis, football, volleyball, softball, basketball, and soccer (if you categorize that as a sport…just kidding, I played soccer in high school). Think of it like this. Our full range of motion is more easily achieved if we are flexibility. It makes working out and exercising easier because we don’t have to strain to get to certain positions.

In baseball, we were taught to use our bodies like rubber bands (which I don’t 100% agree with, but that’s not the point). In our swings, if we wind ourselves all the way back in our load, in theory, our bodies will have to snap back towards the ball. Think of how much further back we could get in our load if we are flexible. And in return, we would get a bigger snap back towards the ball.

Stress

Most of the time in workouts (if we’re doing it right), we are pounding our muscles. We are giving them constant stress, which is good. What is even better is to be able to relax them after a strenuous workout. Stretching after a workout is great because our bodies are already warm. Cold muscles have a tough time stretching out, while warm muscles are easier to stretch and relax.

Posture

Flexibility can create balanced out muscle groups, which in return can give us better posture. This is why it is so key to know what we are doing when stretching.

Circulation

Stretching also helps encourage blood flow and circulation in our bodies. This is key to staying healthy and getting nutrients and oxygen spread out through the body.

Pull Up Bar Ab Workout

Looking for an ab workout centered around your pull up bar? This is perfect for you. All you need is a pull up bar and rock hard abs! (and a dumbbell if you want to add difficult).

It looks all fun and games until you try it. My word is it difficult for beginners. These are definitely easier if you are flexible, and also if you have less weight on the lower half of your body. You will definitely have to be committed if you are willing to try this, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Brendan Myers will lead you through the workout:

 

Box Jumps

Box jumps are an excellent tool you can use to increase your jumping power, speed, and endurance…if you use them correctly. I have decent speed and endurance, but my vertical has lacked miserably over the years. I played basketball in high school. The worst feeling was not even being able to touch rim while guys shorter than me could. I took it personally and wanted to find the best and quickest ways to jump higher. Box jumps are a great start.

How to do them:

When to do them:
I see a lot of people in the gym ending their workout with box jumps. I am not going to say that is completely wrong and horrible to do. But if you are looking to add that power to your vertical, I suggest you do five sets of 5 reps before a lower body workout. If you are looking for conditioning to your legs, feel free to do them more often and higher reps.

Don’t do:
Your knees cave in – If your knees are caving in, it means you are weak in that area. Try doing a bulgarian split squat to get that fixed. Also you can try starting with your knees together before you jump and see if that helps.

Jump down from the box – Your knees and other body parts take enough beating jumping up onto the box. It is best to just step down from the box to limit stress on your body.

Land/Start in a squat position – Take a look at these Michael Jordan dunks. He starts his jump at (maybe) a half squat position. You want to land how you start.

Jumping rope

Jumping rope is a great way to build up your calves and ankles, which is where your explosiveness starts on your jumps. Your joints can also be strengthened through jumping rope. Endurance is also great to have, as well as improved oxygen levels and blood circulation.

We suggest you do three sets of jumping. It depends on how skilled you are, but if you are a beginner, start with three minutes per set. Work your way up to ten minutes per set.

This video by fightTIPS explains 16 different jump rope variations:

The List:

1) Double bounce
2) One bounce
3) Jumping jacks
4) Criss-Cross
5) Forward and back
6) Butt kickers
7) High knees
8) Left, left, right, right
9) Rope side to side
10) Rope Criss-cross
11) Double unders
12) Squat rope side to side
13) Rope side to side lunges
14) Backwards
15) Double backwards
16) Freestyle