Today, I want to recommend 12 home gym essentials to improve and maintain your fitness level. They’re also a great way to build towards a stronger and better version of yourself.
A home gym can be a life-changing opportunity for you to strengthen your body and get a workout equal to your neighborhood gym.
Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s difficult to get into your local gym. Not enough is known about how COVID-19 is spread so to take extra precautions, it’s best to avoid indoor exercise facilities. This makes it a great opportunity to create your home gym now and get you on the fast track to peak physical fitness.
Here’s the Best Home Gym Essentials on a budget:
Having built a few home gyms for myself and friends, here’s some of the exercise equipment you’ll need:
When the pandemic first started, toilet paper was the most sought after item and now it’s switched to dumbbells and free weights. All that sitting around at the start of the pandemic has caused our muscles to become soft and flabby.
People discovered to get muscles firmed up, dumbbells are an excellent way to strengthen multiple muscle groups and it’s not even that difficult. Weight lifting can power up your arms, legs, core and improve your endurance and posture.
Interlocking Gym mats
Investing in interlocking gym mats is a great idea to save your flooring and if you live in an apartment building, it can save you some headaches from the downstairs neighbors pounding on your front door.
Floor mats are perfect to also do sit ups, push-ups, lunges, balance exercises and so much more. It also provides better traction than most flooring and reduces stress on your knees and ankles when lifting weights. If you ever decide to expand your home gym, get interlocking gym mats so you can easily add more floor coverage.
Pull up bar
If you’ve been sitting waiting for this pandemic to end, chin ups are an excellent way to get your physical fitness back on track. A pull up bar for chin ups is one of the most versatile exercise equipment around and they take very little space.
There’s many that you just simply hang from a doorway and you can complete various arm strengthening and core exercise routines.
Weighted Jump rope
One of the biggest challenges of a home gym, especially if you’re on a budget and have limited space, is getting sufficient cardiovascular exercise. You could invest in a treadmill, stair climber or stationary bike but those take up space and can cost a few hundred dollars.
This is why a weighted jump rope is one of the best and cheapest forms of cardio exercise you can do. For around $10 you can get a weighted jump rope and strengthen many parts of your body in a small space while burning a high amount of calories. It builds strength in your arms and legs while improving balance and coordination. Keep in mind, if you live in an apartment building, your downstairs neighbors will probably hate you.
A medicine ball is one of the oldest exercise technologies ever invented and yet it’s stood the test of time because it’s one of the most effective pieces of exercise equipment.
Although it’s old tech, a medicine balls is a must home gym essentials item because it’s still a great way to do various core related strength training. To build a six-pack at home instead of drinking one, medicine balls are an excellent way to get washboard abs.
Weight lifting bench
To access the hidden strength of most body muscles you’ll need a weight lifting bench to lift free weights. They are relatively inexpensive for what you get and are a great center point in every home gym.
This is an essential for men to build up their strong pectoral muscles. Make sure to get one with a leg lift for great thigh and hamstring muscle development.
Suspension trainer is a simple and easy way to exercise at home. Usually fixed on a door but can also be used in any supported structure, this exercise device uses pulleys to get a full body workout. With adjustable straps and rotating handles, you will be able to do squats, planks, pulling, pushing, and other movements using your body weight as the resistance.
Most suspension trainers are relatively inexpensive and very compact so they can’t even travel with you if needed. TRX is a leader in suspension trainers and can get you incredible results in just 20 minutes with their TRX’s GO Suspension Trainer Kit.
A good pair of gym or workout shoes is essential to get your home gym going. It’s often overlooked but can cause injury if you’re using the wrong shoes. Far too often do I see people wearing running shoes to lift weights particularly ones with thick, spongy soles.
I recommend cross training shoes because they have a lower profile with a firm sole which are designed for weight lifting and strength training and focus on lateral (side to side) movement. Make sure to avoid running shoes that only have support for forward movement.
One pair of workout shoes that we really love are the Nike Metcon shoes. This is an excellent workout shoe with a low heel that’s perfect for lifting weights and a variety of strength training activities. It’s also good for rope jumping and perfect for a variety of stationary cardio equipment like treadmills, stair masters, rowing machines and others.
Balance training has to be one of the most forgotten forms of exercise but it’s one of the most important that can pay off in the future years of your life. One of the best ways to get to improve your balance is with a balance ball.
If you ask any professional athlete, they’ll tell you a balance ball is one of the hidden secrets to empowering their success because it seems like it would do almost nothing. Mix it with free weights and you have a core power booster which delivers the power in sports like golf, hockey, tennis, baseball and more.
If you’re in your car delivering parcels or have been forced to work from home and sit at a desk for most hours in your day, your back and posture will suffer the most. A balance ball can help you maintain and build strength in your abdominal, and lower back muscles with the proper forms of exercise like sit ups, hip thrusts, and a variety of stability strengthening routines.
If strength training and building muscles is your priority you may want to consider getting kettlebell bells on top of dumbbells for a wider range of muscle strength training. Kettlebells are an excellent way to build up strength in your forearms, shoulders and biceps.
Kettlebells work better to empower and isolate muscles you might use in non-traditional activities. For example, tennis players or baseball pitchers who serve and throw overhand could benefit a lot from the dynamic movements allowed in kettlebells as opposed to dumbbells. In these times, it will be a challenge to get kettlebells so I found some on Amazon and if you’re able to and have the space, they can be a great addition to any home gym.
Getting a great cardio workout is one of the biggest challenges when exercising at home. Earlier, we recommended jump rope if you have limited space and budget. A great alternative is a treadmill, stationary bike and even a stair climber. It all depends on your preference of exercise and all three are equally as good for cardiovascular health. If you have the space and money, you should definitely get one to improve your cardio.
One reason I would suggest getting a good pair of running shoes instead is because of the current state of our world. With COVID-19, going out has unknown consequences so I would recommend going for a run away from people around your neighborhood. Enjoy some fresh air, sunshine and escape your home for 30-60 minutes a few times a week.
On rainy days, that’s another story. I often stayed at home and watched a movie instead of going for a run. If you live in rainy and colder weather, a treadmill could be a great investment to maintain your physical fitness for many years to come. If you are considering getting a treadmill we love a few that are on Amazon right now and can be delivered straight to your door.
To create diversity in your workout routine, exercise dice is a great way to keep things fresh and fun and is a home gym essential item. Simply roll the dice and a new routine is ready for you to do. They’re not too expensive and just something to keep your fitness rolling along, no pun intended.
This set of exercise dice includes three different dice for beginners, intermediate and expert fitness levels but can also be used for warming up. Give it a try if you’re ever bored with your daily exercise routine.
Should you build a home gym or go to the gym?
A few months ago that would’ve been a great question but now since COVID-19 changed everything, in my opinion, that answer is easy. Build a home gym without question.
Who knows how long this virus will be active in our world. Plus, scientists still don’t know how this virus is transmitted particularly with sweat and bodily fluids. There also isn’t a definitive answer on how long the COVID-19 particles stay airborne and last on surfaces. Some have said it can be hours. Because there isn’t a definitive answer, I’m very hesitant about stepping inside a gym with other people sweating and exhaling at high amounts.
How about Bowflex as a home gym essentials?
I think this is a great question because Bowflex provides a lot of great home gym products and they’ve been doing it successfully for many many years. Bowflex have a great adjustable dumbbell set with over 50 pounds of free weights. However, you are paying a premium for their excellent design which can be beneficial because it takes up less space. We love the Bowflex Selecttech 552 dumbbells and the Selecttech kettlebell adjustable weights.
Where in your home should you put your home gym essentials?
If you have a spacious house then you could take one of the rooms to turn into a gym. For me, I built mine in my garage. I like the extra space and the solitude I can find in there and just focus on working out while listening to music and have a tranquil, quiet space for my mind. I sometimes also grunt when lifting weights and I don’t really want my family to hear me.
And there you have it, 12 home gym essentials perfect for any space big or small and for every budget. I hope your fitness goals aren’t just a dream and will become part of your reality in the near future. Keep pumping, start lifting, work those feet and better your life today.