Working out at home is a great way to get fit. Make sure you have all the tools you need with these tips. No matter your fitness goal, working out at home is a great way to get fit without a gym membership expense.
But before you run out to buy free weights, a yoga mat, and a treadmill, take some time to consider what kinds of exercises you want to do. Then figure out how much space and what types of equipment you need to accomplish them.
Ready to create your home gym? Let’s get started.
Work with the space you have
I once lived in a tiny studio apartment where doing yoga meant pushing the couch into the bedroom area every single time. Suffice to say; my main workout was running around my neighborhood.
If you have plenty of extra space for a gym, you have lots of options. But when space is limited, the key is to pick workouts that don’t need a lot of it. Classic exercises, like push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges, don’t require a ton of room and still produce results. For cardio at home, try to jump roping. It’s great for getting your blood pumping and also doesn’t need much space. Another option is to pick up some space-saving workout equipment, like a TRX system or a door-mounted pull-up bar.
Essential equipment for a home gym
I know it’s tempting to buy a treadmill or Bowflex, but put the credit card down and start with the necessary equipment every home gym should have.
To get started, pick up simple, multipurpose equipment. Start with:
- A yoga mat for yoga, pilates, and stretching
- Resistance bands for strength training and stretching
- A kettlebell or two for weight lifting and to add resistance to bodyweight workouts
If you already have the basics and want more, consider adding the items below:
- Dumbbells, for upper bodywork
- Medicine balls for strength training
- A foam roller for stretching and massaging tight muscles
And, of course, you should always tailor the equipment you get to your specific workouts.
Build a home gym on a budget
Gym equipment can range from cheap to thousands of dollars. Keep costs low by starting with the list above and adding new items one at a time. You can also find quality residential home gym products for sale online; you can choose what kind of home gym equipment you want at an affordable price.
Find a bargain
A great place to start is hitting up an off-price department store such as Marshall’s, Ross, or TJ Maxx (aka TK Maxx in the UK and Australia). You’ll usually find yoga mats, kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands, and other workout accessories.
The same goes for big-box stores. They might not have a wide variety of equipment, but you can get the essentials at places like Target, often for less than at sporting goods stores.
Buy second hand for bigger home gym products.
A great place to find exercise equipment, and save a few dollars, is Craigslist. You can find listing after listing for treadmills, dumbbells, barbells, exercise bikes, benches, pull-up bars, and much more — the selection will vary based on where you live, of course.
Exercise for free
If you’re starting to workout at home, consider forgoing equipment first and use utterly free bodyweight workouts. Despite what any fitness infomercial might tell you, you can get fit without buying anything.
Avoid exercise gimmicks
Speaking of infomercials, those cheesy exercise tools (I see you, Shake Weight) are not worth getting.
All of these products make lofty claims and promise super-fast results. Still, most are either too expensive for what they are or aren’t versatile enough to exercise your entire body.