At-Home Fitness Equipment Essentials: Get Started Without Going Broke
Looking at home gym equipment can put you into sticker price shock. It can also be confusing when you try to figure out which equipment is best, what bells and whistles you need, and how you can maximize your space to get the equipment that is right for you. Before you go with the store clerk suggestion, consider these equipment options that are affordable and can get your home gym off to the right start. I’ve included some links to products on Amazon, I’m an affiliate partner and any proceeds from purchases go toward keeping this blog going.
Resistance bands are an ideal option to start a home gym. You can get them in packs that contain several levels of resistance. These bands can act as an alternative to kettlebells or weights. They can also be used with a variety of workouts including at home cardio workouts where your arms are free for resistance training. These workouts are options like walking in home. Resistance bands take up very little room and are versatile making them a must have for at home gyms with limited space and budgets.
Consider getting both loops and bands with handles, then you can do a wider range of exercises. For more inspiration on that revisit the blog all about home workouts.
Kettlebells can be an ideal alternative to other, much larger and harder to store, gym equipment. You can use kettlebells to do upper body, lower body, and core workouts. They can help you with strength training as well as postural correction exercises. I love the physicality of moving something small, dense, and heavy and regularly use them with clients. This set is a nice variety of sizes that is great for it’s versatility.
For my home gym I got set of interlocking tiles that provide a bit of a cushion from the concrete garage floor. Then I can roll out my yoga and/or pilates mats for more cushion when I need it. If you are working out on carpet, I recommend putting a mat over the top so you don’t get rug burn from working out.
As for a mat, I have several types, I prefer non slip yoga mats as I tend to get sweaty and start sliding around. I adore my Jade Harmony mat, although it’s heavy for carting around. A great budget option is a standard yoga mat and then a towel. Also gardening knee cushions make great additional padding for times your knees feel a bit sensitive.
Rollers come in several lengths and densities. I have a small one for travel and a long one that I can lay on and have my head and tailbone supported. This is a vital tool in my equipment arsenal. It helps me stretch and I use it as part of my core exercises. I’ll be sharing more about that in an upcoming blog. If you spend a lot of time sitting during the day, a foam roller needs to be part of your life, you can do so much to undo the stiffness and pain that comes from sitting postures.
Like the foam roller, the stability ball (aka yoga ball) gets used a lot for stretching as well as adding a level up for core exercises. Plus, you can use it for sitting on at home. Don’t bother with ones that come with the stretchy bands, those actually get in the way and aren’t the right size for most people to use. The standard size ball works well for most people, if you are over 6’1” then consider a larger diameter ball.
TRX/Suspension Training System
While this isn’t an essential piece of equipment, I advise clients that if they can invest in it, they will be thrilled with it’s versatility. If you are wanting to improve stability, balance, range of motion, and core strength without spending a lot of time on the floor, this is the system for you.
Suspension systems are easy to install at home and pack up in a suit case. Just make sure that if you use the door hanging option that the door is firmly closed and you are using the side opposite the hinges, otherwise you might get a surprise when trying to work out. As a note: TRX is a brand name, there are other suspension systems available and they work in a similar manner.
Do you have equipment for you home workouts that you consider essential? Share in the comments and tell us about your experiences with it.