Sure, home gyms may not be for everyone – some people need the visual of a gym for extrinsic motivation. But, for those of you who enjoy working out at home, or are curious about the idea of a home gym, we’ve put together a detailed list of tips, tactics and equipment ideas to help you set up a home gym – on a budget.
- In general, a home gym does not require a lot of space, but mostly depends on your individual fitness goals.
- With a home gym, you are at liberty to create a personalized look and feel for your fitness environment.
- Depending on the size of your home and amount of space available for recreational use, consider using a spare bedroom, the backyard or garage as the designated area for your home gym.
- Living areas are a great alternative option for smaller homes with limited space available.
- Home gyms offer several benefits over commercial or boutique gyms. For example, home gyms are personalized and customizable to fit your specific needs and goals.
- While it may seem ideal to have access to a plethora of bulky exercise machines like a treadmill, elliptical or Stairmaster, you can always rely on walking, jogging, cycling or running stairs in the great outdoors.
- Perhaps the greatest benefit of a home gym is that you will save money on gym fees and mileage traveling to a facility.
- In addition, home gyms support increased time efficiency by eliminating the commute to and from a gym.
Equipment Ideas.Here is a list of versatile workout equipment ideal for home gyms.* You may want to consider using other equipment you already own, too.
1) Free Weights. Approximate cost = $15 – $50 per set, depending on weight size.
- 5, 10 and/or 15 lb. dumbbells or adjustable weights
- If you need more than three sets of weight, consider purchasing adjustable weight dumbbells.
- There are countless exercises/workout plans available to choose from that incorporate the use of free weights.
2) Resistance Bands. Approximate cost = $10 – $25
- Provide controlled resistance throughout each movement in a given exercise, both during the concentric (shortening or lifting) and eccentric (lengthening or lowering) phases.
- Controlled resistance encourages the strengthening and growth of muscles.
- The tension applied to your workout can easily be altered by switching to another band.
- Commonly used for total body workouts.
3) Exercise Mat. Approximate cost = $15 – $30
- Primarily used for core exercises, yoga, Pilates and stretching.
4) Kettlebell. Approximate cost = $10 – $25
- Commonly used in total body workouts or training.
- One major advantage of using kettlebells is that you don’t need a wide range of weight increments to create a total body workout.
- Support ability to build strength and burn fat at the same time.
- Examples of popular kettlebell exercises include:
- Goblet Squat
- One-Arm Row
- One-Arm Press
- Shoulder Halo
- Single-Arm Squat to Press
5) Weighted Exercise Bar. Approximate cost = $35+
- Effective option to support total body toning or training.
- Weight bar exercises often benefit multiple major muscle groups.
- Incorporating a weighted exercise (or body) with traditional exercises such as squats, deadlifts, calf raises, bent-over rows, bicep curls, lunges, etc., helps add variety to everyday workout routines.
6) Medicine Ball. Approximate cost = $12 – $20
- Available in various weight/size increments.
- Great for strength training and toning for all major muscle groups in the body.
- Ideal for solo and/or partner workouts.
- Examples of popular medicine ball exercises include:
- Lunge with Overhead Press
- Lunge with Twist
- Single-leg Squat
- Squat Press and Throw
- Weighted Superman
7) Stability Ball. Approximate cost = $15+
- Great for developing overall strength and control of core, hip and back muscles.
- Promotes good posture.
- Supports improved stability and muscle balance.
- Examples of popular stability ball exercises include:
- Balance Push-up
- Overhead Ball Squat
- Wall Squat
- Hamstring Curl
- Standing Plank
8) Jump Rope. Approximate cost = $5+
- According to various research studies, jumping provides cardiovascular benefits, as it can raise your heart rate 2 – 3 times faster than many other cardio exercises.
- Strengthens endurance and supports heart health.
- Great for all fitness levels and abilities.
- Beneficial tool to help support any fitness goal.
9) Ab Roller. Average cost= $11 – $20
- Effectively strengthens the entire core, whereas some core exercises work only a minimum number of abdominal muscles.
10) Gliding Discs. Approximate cost= $11 – $20
- Primarily used for a variety core strengthening exercises.
- Supports improved stability.
- Portable and easy to use.
- Supports increased range of motion, therefore reducing potential risk for injury.
11) Aerobic Stepper. Approximate cost= $18 – $30
- Step aerobic exercises activate core stabilizer muscles and lower body muscle groups alike.
- Incorporate upper body strength training exercises with weights (ex: dumbbells, medicine ball, etc.) for total body training.
- Offers an effective cardiovascular workout.
12) Fitness Apps. Approximate cost = $0 –$15+
- Great resource for finding new exercises or workout routines to incorporate into your training plan. Changing things up from time to time can help you stay motivated throughout your fitness journey!
- Popular apps within the fitness community include Nike Training Club, Keelo and 7 FIT, to name a few.
13) Workout DVDs and Online Videos. Approximate cost = $0 – $30
- You can find a diverse selection of fitness content available online via YouTube and websites of various health/wellness brands and influencers.
14) Full-length Mirror. Approximate cost = $15 – $50
- Allows you to monitor form/technique in a secured spot.
Perhaps the most budget-friendly aspect of a home gym is that you will no longer need to allocate funds for reoccurring monthly or annual costs, like you would with a gym membership. Another cost-saving option is to consider purchasing used equipment commonly found at thrift stores, garage sales or social media re-sale apps and online communities, such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, etc. But, the best part about having a home gym… is being able to tell all your friends you “live” at the gym.
*Approximate costs for equipment listed above reflects current pricing offered from various retailers, available in-store and/or online, and may be subject to change.