5 Essential Home Gym Exercises

A little while ago we covered some essential home gym equipment. While the general reasoning as to why they are essential was explained, now I would like to go over some of the exercises you should make sure you’re doing with each piece.

There are many others we won’t cover today, but these specific exercises are some of the most important in any training program, and your equipment will allow for them to be done effectively.

1.    Dumbbell Bench/Chest Press – Okay, this is a little bit of a cheat as we’re going to focus on 2 pieces of equipment here. But this exercise is a major part of why you needed both weights, and a sturdy bench or stability ball. This is a major pushing motion that anyone should be able to do with appropriate weight. Since many people can’t do a push up, the bench press is a great way to build strength in that muscle group until they can. This can be done with either a bench or the stability ball like so. 

2.    Dumbell Front Squat/Goblet Squat – Here’s one of the other reasons you needed weights. Squats are a great motion for your entire body, not just your legs. But to get the most out of your squats, you’re going to need to move some weight. Sooner or later you will adapt to bodyweight squats and they won’t challenge your legs, core, and back the way weighted squats will. Enter the dumbbell front squat. A simple way to challenge yourself at home.

3.    Suspension Trainer Inverted Rows – It is worth whatever you paid for your suspension trainer to do this one exercise alone. If pull ups and chin ups are the king of bodyweight pulling exercises, then inverted rows are queen. This movement will do wonders for developing back strength, bicep strength, grip strength, and core strength. Very few people can do a pull up. This exercise is the next best bet. It’s easily modified for beginners by having a bend in the knees. The more parallel you are to the ground and the straighter your knees are, the tougher it gets.

4.    Band Overhead Press – Many people (myself included) have some kind of previous shoulder injury or current shoulder pain. Motions that push and pull overhead can be very tricky sometimes to perform pain free with weights. Luckily resistance bands are very forgiving on the joints. If pressing overhead with weight bothers your shoulders, give this variant a try. In fact, even those of you with strong shoulders should be able to challenge yourself with a band pressing routine.

5.    Lat Rolling – Your foam roller will be key in mobility and flexibility of many muscles. But one of the biggest will be your lats. That big thick muscle on each side of your back. It’s an incredibly thick and powerful muscle and can prove difficult to stretch more than just the outermost portion. The roller will attack them deep beyond the spots you can normally hit with static stretching. Beware, this is usually the rolling exercise that clients feel the most tightness and related pain while doing. Start with about 30 seconds each side until you loosen up and build some tolerance to it.

So you have it! 5 basic, but key exercises for you to incorporate into your routine with all of your fancy new home gym equipment! Practice these until you’re comfortable enough to add weight or increase the amount of sets and reps you perform. If you have any other questions on exercising in or out of the gym feel free to contact me at AdamD@OrthoCorePT.com.

-        Adam at OrthoCore