Fitness Equipment Buying Guide

Let's Get Fit

You want to get in shape or stay in shape, now how do you decide which fitness equipment will work best? Whatever your situation is, here are some ideas to help you find new exercise gear you can use wherever you want to work out, at home, at work, or outside.

What's Your Fitness Goal?

Do You Have Any Pre-existing Health Issues

Before buying fitness equipment, for health and safety, it is always better to consult a professional. Which equipment is best suited to help you reach your fitness goal? Which ones are safe for you to use? It’s critical that you pick a product that suits your body.

Adding Life to a Dull Exercise Routine

Getting tired of the same old same old workout? You may want to consider something new to spice up your exercise sessions.

How about joining a live class to keep you motivated, right in the convenience of your own home? You may want to check out the new studio bikes, treadmills, or rowing machines that include live streaming classes you can join in real time. Experience the comraderie of a group workout with a live instructor cheering you on at almost any time of day without ever having to travel to a gym.

Bring the spinning studio or circuit workout right to your house with on machine options like access to personalized workouts, speed control, weekly goals, and lots more on newer rowers and spin cycles from NordicTrac and Proform. Other machines from Bowflex and other manufacturers also include linked smart phone apps that allow you to tune in to live workouts designed to help you get the most out of the equipment.

Reaching Fitness Goals

Everyone usually gets on the fitness wagon with a target in mind. Is your target to bulk up, get leaner, train for strength, or improve your fitness for sport? Think clearly about your goals and what sort of training you want to do. Think about your long-term goals and also consider any sports you play.

Knowing your goals will be a big part of what helps you decide on the best equipment. You should also be aware of its motor power or deck length. However, if you plan on walking at 3 or 4 miles per hour with a slight incline, then you can go for a basic or mid-range model.

Doing research on the equipment you want can also help give you a clearer idea of what you really need. Here’s a quick overview of which equipment will help you achieve your fitness goals.

Fitness Goals Equipment

Tighten and Tone

  • Exercise Bikes
  • Ellipticals
  • Fixed-weight Dumbbells
  • Ankle/Wrist Weights
  • Jump Ropes

Build Muscle

  • Home Gym
  • Rowers
  • Power Racks / Power Towers
  • Boxing Bags
  • Weights
  • Dumbbells-fixed and adjustable
  • Curl bars
  • Benches

Flexibility

  • Power/Resistance Bands
  • Resistance Tubes
  • Foam roller
  • Yoga Accessories
  • Pilates Kit
  • Stability/Balance Ball

Strengthen Core

  • Power Tower
  • Benches
  • Kettlebells
  • Push-Up Stands
  • Medicine Ball
  • Tread Climber
  • Leg Extension/Curl
  • Power Line/Weighted Pulleys
  • Jump Ropes
  • Stability/Balance Ball

Lose Weight

  • Scale
  • Treadmill
  • Ellipticals
  • Activity Trackers

Increase Cardio

  • Treadmill
  • Ellipticals
  • Running Watches

Creating a Home Gym

Before you buy equipment for a home gym, keep in mind three key details.

  1. Will You Use It?
  2. How Big Is Your Workout Space?
  3. What Type of Exercise Equipment Do You Want?

What Type of Exercise Do You Like?

Think of activities you enjoy and start there. Ask yourself, “What would keep me moving for 30 to 40 minutes a day?”

For example, if you like to run and you want to bring it indoors, then a treadmill would be perfect for you. If you hate biking, investing in a stationary bike may not be a great idea.

Do you want to buy an elliptical machine because you’ll enjoy working out on it? Or do you want it because a friend lost weight on it? What worked for your friend, might not work for you. You need to be realistic about what will work for you and what won’t.

Sizing Up Your Exercise Area

Before you buy anything bigger than a few dumbbells or a medicine ball, figure out where you'll keep the equipment. Measure how much space you have in order to avoid buying something but not having the space to keep it. If you don’t have a dedicated space, you might need to consider portable fitness equipment.

Buying Home Gym Equipment

Once you've figured out what type of activity you like and how much space you have at home for working out, you can consider which type of gear will make sense.

Cardio Equipment

Treadmills

Do you like to run but hate traffic fumes and running on hard concrete? A staple in the house of most fitness enthusiasts, the treadmill is not just a weight-loss machine. It gives you freedom to walk, jog or run as far, fast, and long as you want—whenever you want. It also makes sense for those looking at toning their muscles and preventing bone decay. Running on a treadmill regularly also improves blood circulation, lowers your blood pressure, and strengthens your heart.

Treadmills are a good choice for most people if they are beginning a new exercise routine as walking is considered a relatively safe activity regardless of fitness level. It is also acceptable for most back conditions. Once you build your strength and endurance, the treadmill can be used for jogging or for interval training.

Ellipticals

Do you want to lose more calories in your regular workout time? Do you want a safe way to do that? Then, the elliptical trainer is for you. An elliptical trainer or cross-trainer is an exercise machine which simulates stair climbing, walking, or running. The elliptical motion provides a zero-impact movement, which in turn decreases the stress on your joints. In addition, most models also come equipped with handles that move along with the lower body. This allows for more of a whole-body workout. Since your feet never leave the pedals, it is like walking in mid-air.

Elliptical trainers have been steadily increasing in popularity as they provide a safe, effective cardiovascular workout for everyone. Ellipticals exercise both your upper and lower body. They are kind to aging joints and are great for people who couldn’t exercise before due to a physical constraint (such as joint pain).

Exercise Bikes

Do you love riding a cycle? Then your fitness regimen should include the exercise bike. Riding the stationary exercise bike exerts less stress on your joints, gets the heartbeat rising, and provides an excellent cardio workout. It is an efficient and effective way to burn calories and body fat and improves your bone density.

Pedal away the fat as you strengthen your lower body – legs, hips, and glutes.Talk to an expert and find out which bike is perfect for you.

Strength-training equipment

Is your fitness goal to have a buff body? Unlike cardio, strength training is an anaerobic exercise. It is all about endurance and building your muscles and bone density. Examples include: lifting weights, using resistance bands or even using your body weight for resistance by doing pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, leg squats or vertical push-ups against a wall.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are the obvious choice of fitness equipment for home workouts. They are a simple fitness tool and yet they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and even different systems. You can choose between fixed dumbbells and dumbbells with adjustable weights. The best example of fixed weight dumbbells are the small colored weights people use when doing aerobics. These dumbbells come with a fixed weight. They’re usually color-coded and have their weight printed at the end of the dumbbell.

Adjustable dumbbells have two small dumbbell grips and you can add or reduce the weight by adding plates to each end of the handlebar. At the smart end of dumbbells, you get adjustable dumbbells with dials! You can turn a dial to choose your desired weight, and then lift the dumbbell. These sophisticated adjustable dumbbells can replace 15 sets of weights! If you are considering buying free weights, you might also consider buying either a dumbbell rack or a weight stand. This will help keep your weights off the floor, which can be a tripping hazard.

Kettle Bells

Unfortunately, many home gyms leave out kettlebells. These are phenomenal weights designed to help you during intense cardio workouts and strength building. The design is uniquely different from dumbbells or barbells. The kettlebell in combination with a swinging motion is one of the best ways to exercise all your upper-body muscles. Kettlebells are also great for different grips during squats if getting a barbell is not possible due to space constraints.

Barbells

Do you know what you want to achieve with your weight lifting? Unless you do, you won’t know what equipment to buy. You need to consider the amount of weight you’ll need. Make sure you can use the barbells you buy for your current weight lifting capacity with room for a progressive regime.

The barbell weight range differs from person to person but by having a mix of larger and smaller plates you'll be able to create any possible weight.

Weight Benches

A stable and comfortable weight bench is an essential piece of equipment for strength training. How tall are you? How much weight should the bench be capable of withstanding? These are important things to consider before buying a weight bench.

A weight bench has to be the right height (usually around 17″ and 18″); not too tall and not too short. As a rule of thumb, don’t choose a bench wider than 12″. The width has to support free limb movement and a bench too wide can’t provide that.

Apart from your body weight, a weight bench needs to be strong enough to safely support the weights as well. If you're just starting out on weight training, it's a good idea to go slow and not increase your weight too fast.

Home Gyms

Home gyms are fantastic standalone equipment for toning up a whole range of muscles, getting in shape, or bulking-up, if that’s your thing. Be it the bowflex, the power rack, power tower, or the home gym, they help you get almost a full-body workout.

Thanks to the weights that are stacked and the selector pin, finding the right weight for each set of your reps couldn’t be easier.

Consider a home gym equipment with cast iron plates and a bench that features at least two adjustment positions (horizontal and inclined). Ensure the pad on the bench is firm and not too luxurious.

Rowers

Before you invest in a rowing machine, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Do you like rowing?

How often do you think you might use it? Do you have the space? If you have experience rowing and you have good technique, then the chances of injury are minimal and it could be a safe, fun, way to lose fat and build muscle.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great alternative to weights, a low impact solution to strength training, and a great add-on to your regular weight training program. There are various positives to using resistance bands.

They increase your coordination while giving you a good workout. You can repurpose the same exercises you do with free weights. Resistance bands add variety as they allow you to change your position and create resistance from multiple directions.

Their best feature is that they don't take a lot of space. Their best features are that they are extremely portable, easy to use, and come in numerous variations to match almost any workout routine.

Medicine Ball / Fitness Ball

The medicine ball is fitness equipment from the olden days. It is a popular fitness tool and is seen in nearly every single gym or physical therapy center everywhere in the world.

Versatility is the plus point of a medicine ball. You can throw it, twist with it, slam it, and swing with it. Medicine balls are of two types – the ones that bounce on impact and the ones that don’t.

Ensure that you are buying a medicine ball with the right weight and bounce (or its lack thereof) for you and your exercise. Invest in a couple of medicine balls of differing weights to expand the range of exercise routines with them.

Fitness Accessories

At Nebraska Furniture Mart, you will find a huge selection of fitness accessories that support your workout. We have yoga mats, gloves, gym bags, water bottles, and weighing scales! And let’s not forget the activity trackers.

Activity Trackers

A wearable activity tracker or a fitness tracker, tracks and monitors metrics related to your state of fitness. It records the distance you walked or ran, your calorie consumption, and even the rate of your heartbeat. Essentially, fitness trackers receive information from sensors, which track your movement.

Move that body!

With such an exhaustive list of fitness equipment to choose from, you are all set to begin or take your workout to the next level. It is very important to set your goals and define what you want to achieve and align everything – from purchasing equipment to designing your workout based on your fitness goals.

You can also shop for fitness DVDs on our website for additional inspiration and guidance. So, what are you waiting for? Go on and train hard!