Getting into a consistent workout routine can be tricky, and there seems to be plenty of excuses that hold us back.
– I’m too busy
– The gym is too expensive
– I don’t know what to do when I get there
– It takes too long to drive there
– I don’t have space in my apartment
– It hurts to workout
And the list can go on. If you find yourself in this boat of excuses, a home gym may be an awesome solution for you! It’s convenient, you don’t have to commute anywhere, it’s affordable, and you can even recruit your family as a support system to do it with you.
We came up with a list of 10 pieces of equipment to easily build a home gym. You don’t necessarily need all of these things to get a good work out, but it can help add variety, and you may find that you prefer to use some more than others. Something all of these items have in common is that they don’t take up a lot of space, and most of them can even travel with you on vacation!
Remember to target each muscle group throughout your week for an effective strength training program. Each of these pieces of equipment can be used to target each muscle group. These include your Upper Body Push muscles (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders), Upper Body Pull muscles (Rhomboids, biceps, Latissimus dorsi – or lats), Lower body (Glutes, Quads, hamstrings, Abductors, Adductors), and Core (Transverse abdominals, obliques, rectus abdominals, low back).
Try going into your workout with a plan, write up your workout before hand, and stick to it! Consistency is key. Here’s a little bit more information on the equipment for building your home gym.
- Resistance Bands – Usually come in a pack of 4 or 5 different resistances. Bands can be easily attached to different anchor points in your home or outdoors such as your feet, railings, trees, and poles.
- Foam rollers – Used more for Self-myofascial release for warm up and recovery purposes. Have tight or sore muscles? This tool can become your best friend. Read all about foam rolling and watch a tutorial here.
- Stability balls – Also known as an exercise ball, these can be used in place of a bench for certain exercises to test your core and stability. Stability balls can be a great additional challenge for your core in exercises such as planks, leg lowers, wall squats, hamstring curls, or a chest press.
- Sliders – Choose a slider that will work with the floor you’re exercising on. You can use small towels on hard floors, or plastic furniture movers on carpet. Sliders help to recruit the stabilizer muscles. Try adding them to your lunges, push-ups, and planks.
- Step/bench – Steps come in different shapes and sizes. An adjustable step is a great option to be able to add and remove risers as you need. Choose a more sturdy box-like step if you are wanting to add box jumps to your routine. You can use a step, box or bench for cardio intervals, step ups, elevated push-ups, dips, elevated glute bridges, or as a base or bench for upper body weighted exercises.
- Booty bands – Also known as loop bands or resistance bands, usually come in a pack of 4 or 5 different resistances. These are a great tool for getting into your adducting and abducting muscles in your lower body. You can also use the bands to recruit upper body muscles. Loop them around your ankles, thighs, wrists, or an anchor point for some extra resistance.
- Dumbbells – To save space and money you can get stackable dumbbells that adjust in weight anywhere from 5 lbs to 35 lbs with a simple switch or a button. That way you don’t need to buy and store the whole set. If you’re buying different sets, choose a light, medium, and heavy weight for you.
- TRX – An awesome way to get a full body workout while working your core the entire time. The straps can be attached to an anchor point on the ceiling, in a doorway, around a tree or pole, and can easily travel in your suitcase. This suspension training system is a great tool that makes your body your machine, and the resistance can easily be adjusted by the angle of your body.
- Mat – A simple staple piece of equipment that can take away the ouch of lying or kneeling down on a hard surface. Can be used for yoga, pilates, or a base for your strength training movements that require lying or kneeling.
- Kettlebells – Similar to the dumbbells, you can try weight adjustable kettlebells that range from 5 lbs to 35 lbs. Kettlebells offer an element of stability and power to your strength training. If you’re buying individual kettlebells, choose a light, medium, and heavier weight. Some of our favorite Kettlebell exercises include Kettlebell swings, power cleans, deadlifts, bottom up shoulder press, and goblet squats. Learn an awesome Kettlebell workout with Kandice here.
So there you have it, the tips and tricks for creating your very own home gym. Remember, the best workout routine is one that you can be consistent with, you enjoy, and that keeps you coming back for more!