In this article I will be going over the Top 10 Best Home Gym Accessories that will help to improve your training and add variety to your workouts.
Once you’ve established your home gym by getting the main equipment that will allow you to train compound movements to build strength and muscle most efficiently, you may want to look into some of these gym accessories to help make your training a little more interesting.
Bands are a great addition for the gym because they’re so versatile by offering a wide range of exercises that can build and improve muscles, connective tissues, mobility, and flexibility.
Here are some great exercises that can be done with bands:
- Triceps Extensions
- Biceps Curls
- Rows & Pulls
- Pec Fly
- Leg Curls
- Ab Pulldown
- Side Bends
- Pull-up Assistance
The list could go on-and-on, but you get the idea!
Bands can also be used as accommodating resistance for the squat, bench press, and deadlift. This means the bands allow you to improve your weaknesses while making your strengths stronger.
The Bands can do this by helping to increase your force production; creating an over-eccentric velocity which in return can improve your stretch-reflex abilities allowing you to gain enough momentum to get past the sticking-point or hardest part of the lift.
Get some bands, they will make a difference!
These have a very similar effect as the bands without the over-eccentric velocity. When you add chains to the barbell during compound lifts it helps to build stabilization and teaches you to accelerate through the concentric phase to get through sticking-points.
The great thing about chains is that they unload on the eccentric and reload during the concentric portion of the exercise depending on how you set them up.
They can be a great alternative for many popular exercises and are a little more joint friendly than straight weight alone.
Chains are a great tool to use for accessory exercises:
- Triceps Extensions
- Pec Fly
- Delt Raises
With many other exercises they can be used with… chains are a favorite among most strength athletes. The most popular size of chain is either 5/8 inch and 3/4 inch usually in 5-6 foot lengths.
3. Mini Deadlift Jack
I personally went a long time before I got one of these, but once I did… it made me wonder why I didn’t get one sooner. The deadlift jack helps to load and unload the weight on the barbell during deadlifts.
It can become very draining when you have to basically lift the end of the barbell to add or take away weight over-and-over again. When you use a deadlift jack it saves you energy and time, which most of us could use more of.
The full size deadlift jack would have been my first choice, but for most smaller home gyms like mine, it was to big and would also take up too much space when I was not using it, so when I saw that they make a mini deadlift jack, it was a no-brainer and I absolutely love it.
One of the best things about the mini deadlift jack is that it takes up very little space and saves you a ton of energy so you can have a better training session. If you’ve been thinking about getting one… just do it, you won’t regret it!
4. Barbell Collars
The old-fashioned spring collars just don’t effectively hold the weight in place, especially for most specialty bars. I would recommend getting a pair that will fit any bar, but especially keep a tight grip so plates can’t move around on the bar during your lifts.
There are many kinds, and usually… you get what you pair for. It might be worth getting a nicer set that cost a little more because they will work better and last longer.
I got the HG collars from ROGUE FITNESS and they are well worth the money. There is no movement of the weight during any of my lifts and especially during deadlifts, you don’t want the weights sliding off the bar.
If you want a great pair of collars, get some from ROGUE and you will be more than satisfied.
One of the great things about having your own gym is making your own rules. I have heard many times of people going to gyms and aren’t allowed to use chalk… that’s crazy! Chalk is an essential part of lifting; allowing you to get a better grip which in return will help to produce more force.
Having a better grip will increase all lifts. Grip strength alone without chalk is fine, but you will get to a point that chalk will aid in lifting more weight and protect the hands from tears do to the bar slipping out.
If you’ve used chalk before you know what I’m talking about, but if you haven’t then get some and you will notice a big difference especially for deadlifts.
Now, I’m not saying you need chalk for every set, but when you get to your working sets it is a wise decision to use chalk to get the most out of your efforts.
If you use straps; try ditching them and use chalk instead, save the straps for rows and pulls… if you need them.
6. Smelling Salts
I guess this is a personal preference, but I love smelling salts!
I use this stuff all the time, it’s something I look forward to. Ok, maybe I’m a little addicted to this stuff, but it is a great stimulant. It wakes you up and gets you ready for action.
If you have never used smelling salts be cautious because most of these products are extremely potent and it takes a skill to sniff this stuff without completely loosing your face.
I mean if you take a big whiff of smelling salts from a brand new bottle and aren’t prepared you will be in for a big surprise. I’ll put it to you like this; it’s like getting held under water in a swimming pool while getting punched in the nose. Sounds fun right…well maybe I exaggerated a little, but seriously be careful and start with a small whiff with the lid slightly open first.
For the ampoules, once you crack it you can waive it in front of your nose until you get adjusted to the smell and eventually it will dissipate.
Smelling salts get you amped up and give the body a fight or flight response that gets the adrenaline pumping producing aggressiveness before a lift. This can either help or hurt your lifts depending on your personality type, but it’s worth a try to see if it can help you achieve new personal records in your training.
This is a great tool to get in some conditioning, build muscle, or to help aid in recovery after a workout to promote blood flow to the muscles previously worked.
There are many different kinds of sleds from a standard sled and harness to prowlers, but the main idea is to include some type of low-impact conditioning to help improve your general physical preparedness and recovery.
This will give you more energy towards your future workouts allowing you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time.
When you use the sled you are doing exercises that include:
- Walking Forward/ Backward
- Pull Throughs
- Side Steps
- Face Pulls
- Pec Fly
- Triceps Extensions
Plus many more, but you are walking… not running and you don’t have to go crazy heavy with these unless you’re using this as a main workout or you get stronger and need more stimulus.
The sled is an excellent addition and will prove useful for many years of training.
8. Barbell Wall Mount
Eventually, you may want to get a few bars to add some variety to your training program. Like the Safety Squat Bar, Multi Grip Bar(football bar), or Cambered Bar to name a few, but once you acquire these bars… where do you put them?
That’s where a barbell wall mount comes into play. For many years, I had my bars in corners of the wall or on the ground against the wall out of the way somewhere and it just wasn’t a good look for a bar I spent good money on.
So, eventually I got a barbell wall mount and I’m now able to display all my bars like guns in a gun rack… ready for battle! It’s you and the bar against the weight.
This is what makes training fun and fresh; is having a variety of bars to use when planning out a training program. Having different bars to use helps to prevent accelerated adaptation leading to burnout and strength regression.
When you change the bars for workouts it gives a different stimulus and will allow you to train more at an optimal percentage of your max consistently.
When you get two or more bars, think about getting a barbell wall mount and take pride in your collection.
9. Ab Roller
This is one of the best ab and core workout tool you can use to build up your torso and other core muscles that will help to carry-over to the compound lifts and put more pounds on the bar by building your stabilization through the abdominal muscles.
Ab rolling requires a tremendous amount of abdominal strength to perform properly and will improve through progressive techniques.
I like the AB Carver Pro, but there are a lot of different types. Just make sure to get one that is sturdy and won’t break after a few workouts. The Ab Carver Pro is the best ab roller I’ve used and is built to last.
The ab roller actually is one of the few abdominal isolation exercises that provides a great deal of stimulation to many other muscles groups from head-to-toe.
Give it a try and see for yourself!
10. Jump Rope
Is one of the best conditioning tools while simultaneously burning the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Also, jump roping is a form of plyometrics aiding in increased force production through improving the stretch-reflex abilities of the leg muscle.
Jump roping is a straight-forward exercise and can easily be progressed over time from a beginner to advanced athlete. You can start with 30 seconds on and 1 minute off intervals of 3-6 rounds and as you get better and more conditioned you can increase the time to 3-5 minutes on and 1 minute off intervals for 3-6 rounds.
If your goals include better cardiovascular health and a well conditioned body you should consider adding in jump-roping a few times a week along with strength training.
Small Changes can Make a Big Difference!
By adding some of these home gym accessories to your arsenal you will be arming yourself with more fire-power to get more out of your efforts and allow for variety in your training.
Sometimes the smallest change in your routine can have a positive effect on all that you’re doing. It’s said that if you have a positive attitude and can create an environment with stuff that you like, it can actually improve your efforts. Whether this is true or not is an experiment worth trying.
Try adding a few of the options above and see if it has a positive effect for you… it has for me!
Most champions are built by punch the clock workouts rather than extraordinary efforts. – Dan John
If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to leave them in the comment section below and connect with me on all my social media pages.