Setting Up a Home Gym: A Paddler’s Guide

Setting Up a Home Gym: A Paddler’s Guide

Setting up a home gym can be challenging. Deciding how much room you will need, what type of equipment you should get and what you should spend can be a daunting task. Should you go with mostly aerobic equipment or strength training gear? What about stuff for your core? What about all the options for balance, flexibility and recovery? Hopefully this article can provide some clarity. —Phil White

PaddleFit’s Brody Welte says he has three main principles when helping paddlers set up a home gym:
1. Use your available space effectively. Not everyone can dedicate an entire room or garage to setting up a home gym. If you can, you should still try to maximize the usefulness of that area.
2. Keep spending to a minimum. One of the main reasons that people set up home gyms is so they can save money by getting rid of their gym membership. Get the essentials first and add more gear over time.
3. Make the set up as convenient as possible. You do not want to have to move two couches and lock the kids in their bedroom so that you can get in a work out! The recipe for long-term success is making your set up accessible.

OK, so now let’s get down to the equipment. To keep things simple lets breakdown the gym set up into four disciplines based on what you should focus on during your workouts: Strength, Endurance, Balance and Recovery.

Equipment for Strength:

The TRX Suspension Trainer is the single greatest piece of equipment that you can use for developing strength. It can be set up anywhere and uses your own body weight for resistance. To take things to the next level, also consider the TRX Rip Trainer.

The Rip Trainer is one of the few pieces of equipment that focuses on rotation strength and core stability, which are huge components for being a strong paddler. Just like the Suspension Trainer, it’s very easy to set up. Do not use the Rip Trainer for simulating the paddling stroke, as it loads the stroke in the wrong phase and could actually lead to you becoming a poorer paddler.

Dynamax Medicine Balls provide an almost unlimited number of options for improving athleticism and core strength through multiple planes of motion—up and down with slams and wall balls, side to side with wood-choppers and front to back with partner passes.

Kettlebells like these from Rep Fitness are a similarly versatile tool. They allow you to perform the same broad range of movements that you would with a dumbbell with the added benefit of a longer pivot for generating more power in motions such as swings and getups.

Equipment for Balance:

We all know that balance is a huge component of SUP and there’s no better way to work on your board stability than on an Indo Board. They have a ton of options to choose from, but we recommend you start with the original board with the cushion. The cushion setup is a little bit more forgiving and is multi-planar, as opposed to the strictly side-to-side motion of the roller.

Equipment for Endurance:

The SUP Ergometer (erg) by Kayak Pro is going to take up the most space and will be the most costly, but it is an unbelievable piece of equipment. If you’re stuck indoors for four months out of the year due to extreme weather, the erg will be the most effective piece of gear you can buy to keep you in paddling shape. The erg is great for working on technique as well, and simulates the paddle stroke nicely too.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Equipment for Recovery:

Check out the Factor Ball and the Grid Roller from Trigger Point Therapy. Fascia is one of the most prevalent types of tissue and provides support and protection for most structures in your body. When you use things like a foam roller or a massage ball, it allows you to release contracted muscles and tissues, improve range of motion and improve lymphatic and blood circulation, which are all keys to recovering quickly.

How Much Should I Spend?

Ah, the million dollar question. Sit down and calculate how much you’re spending on gym membership fees for the next two years, including mileage to and from the facility. Take that number and spend it on a home setup. Your home gym will be more convenient, you’ll have the only equipment you’ll really need (no more of those silly and potentially dangerous isolation machines), and, as you won’t have wait times you’ll have a more efficient workout. Plus, it’s a setup for success because it’s hard to think of excuses when your workout center is only a few steps away.

For more from Brody Welte, visit:
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The article was originally published on Standup Paddling

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