These fitness essentials are all you'll need to set up the perfect home gym!
A home gym gives you the comfort, privacy, and flexibility to move on your own time. If you’ve ever worked out from home, even if for a day, you know how freeing it can be. Plus, if you’ve been to gyms, you know how limiting they can be with equipment being used or people not cleaning up after themselves. Setting up a home gym on a budget is a lot easier than you may think. Below are some of our essentials on how to set up a home gym. All you need is the right equipment and a little bit of space!
How to Set Up a Home Gym on a Budget
Setting up the perfect home gym only requires 9 things — one of which we all probably own. The other 8 items may or may not already be a part of your fitness space. Consider your space, most importantly, your storage space, and then consider how much room is available to make at home.
Yoga mats are a standard for any home gym. They provide a comfortable surface to stand, sit, or lay on that isn’t hardwood or carpet. They also make it easier to do planks and plank variations without stressing your hands or forearms.
The harder you work, the more you’ll sweat. Yoga mats also provide a better grip to avoid slipping and are an easy to clean surface once you’re finished working. Nearly any exercise that requires you to lay on a bulky bench can be modified and completed on a yoga mat. Most importantly, they roll-up and can be stored anywhere, from under the bed, to a corner, or even the closet.
Remember that piece of workout equipment we mentioned that we all probably own? It’s a chair! Pretty much everyone has one, you just need to rethink it’s role. Chairs are steady and mostly stable. As long as you spread your weight evenly, they are great for a variety of exercises, weighted and body weight included.
I originally wanted to suggest stability balls, but they’re bulky. Bosu balls, although wide, can easily fit flat on a back wall or under the bed. With the Bosu ball, you now have the opportunity to perform stability exercises for the entire body too. Stability balls aren’t that great for leg work. You can also use both sides, depending on the type of exercise you want to do. Versatility!
Bosu Your Way to Fit with this fun workout.
Adjustable dumbbells are more versatile than traditional dumbbells. Versatility is essential in any home gym. They allow you to increase resistance as you get stronger, allowing you to see more impressive results. Weighted resistance is key to body transformation, and dumbbells open up an entirely new fitness-world.
Dumbbells should be part of any fitness plan.
Jump ropes are a fun way to get into cardio if you don’t enjoy running or jogging. Granted, this depends on your ceilings, but if you have a high enough ceiling, make some room and get your jumps in. Go fast, slow, on single legs, and slowly learn new variations to keep it fun and exciting. Your body adapts to repetition quickly, so switch it up!
If your ceilings are too low, consider your backyard or driveway!
Enjoy four minutes of fat-blasting cardio with our Jump Rope Tabata Challenge.
Resistance bands are my favorite piece of equipment. The resistance levels are endless with various crosses or in-steps, they are lightweight and portable, and they target your muscles in angles that dumbbells can’t. Resistance bands require additional muscles while also using muscles in a non-traditional way. The stability to keep the band still is what gets the extra toning and deeper cuts into your body if you decide to work toward that.
I look at kettlebells as a mix of dumbbells and resistance bands, in terms of how they work. The dumbbell is balanced on the outside, so it’s easy to move since your hand is centered. With kettlebells, the weight is dead center, so as you move, you have to use minor muscles to keep the weight balanced. Kettlebells are small enough to fit in closets but may take up some space as you get heavier weights. So I suggest a weight that’s light, medium, and heavy. This gives you something to work up to and then gives you the option to learn new moves with the smaller weights.
If you want something more versatile and are really looking to create a home gym on a budget, consider a kettlebell sandbag. These work almost the same way as kettlebells, except you can adjust the weight by adding or removing the sand. Plus, they’re just pouches with zippers so you can easily pour the sand out and store them.
Try our top-rated 15-Minute Kettlebell Cardio Circuit once you get your home gym setup.
Foam rollers are great for the cool down and faster muscle recovery. Instead of just stretching the muscle, foam rollers provide resistance to help break up the lactic acid build-up that exercising causes. That prolonged feeling of soreness? That’s lactic acid build-up. The quicker your break that down, the quicker your muscles can recover.
We’ve given you the essentials on how to set up a home gym on a budget. Now all you have to do is get to work. Try our 14-Day At-Home Morning Bootcamp Challenge.