Building your own home gym: the Extras

This is the last in a seven-part series on building your own home gym. Today, we take a look at the extras that will set your gym apart.
We’ve talked about choices to make when it comes to big equipment for your home gym, but the little things can mean a lot as well.
Setting your home gym apart can be the “extras.”

A must-have for many gym owners are rubber mats, which help protect the floor, reduce noise, protect the equipment and provide good traction to work out on in many cases.
Some people have their entire gym floors padded with workout mats.
Others use workout mats under specific pieces of equipment.

Earlier in this series we talked about what to consider when adding dumbbells to your room, but another extra to think about are kettlebells. You can add them instead of dumbbells, or as a complement. As a result of the full-body motion involved with lifting kettlebells, a person can get a much better aerobic workout with them than dumbbells.
Kettlebells will produce overall muscle that is dense and strong, whereas dumbbells could allow for certain muscles to become bulkier.
One obstacle to using kettlebells is learning their more complex movements, but there are training videos and books available. You may even be able to find a qualified trainer with expertise in kettlebells.

Power Tubes offer resistance that allow you to do most of the lifts possible on expensive machines, such as triceps extensions, biceps curls, rows and squats but at a fraction of the cost. Stretch Tubes are available from At Home Fitness for just $39.99.

To further enhance your workout, an exercise ball ($39.99) is highly recommended. They are not only the best way to do sit-ups, but can also be used for a variety of other exercises.

Other extras to consider are chalk (improves grip, reduces formation of calluses); weightlifting belt; weightlifting shoes; dip belt (adds on weight when you do dips, pull ups, etc.).

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at