While reaching your health and fitness goals requires a certain level of commitment, you don’t have to sign your life away to a gym. Working out at home saves money and time, both of which seem to be in short supply for many of us these days. I don’t know about you, but I can always use an extra bit of cash or a few extra minutes each day. Setting up a home gym is certainly a solution to that problem, but it can also be a bit daunting. The good news is that you don’t need much to create an efficient, affordable home gym.
Below, you’ll find some of my favorite home gym essentials. Choose two or three items and you will be well on your way to creating the perfect space. The best part? Most of the gear I’ve included is just as awesome if you purchase it second-hand. Garage sales and thrift stores sell many of these items well below their typical retail price.
While you can work out without a mat, you’ll be very glad to have one if any of your workouts include floor-based moves. They keep you comfortable, help protect your floor, and can be easily tucked away. This is the one item on the list I suggest buying new, but a good quality exercise mat will last for years to come.
If you’re tight on space and will need a variety of weight options, a pair of adjustable dumbbells may be the perfect addition to your gym. They can be on the pricier side, so it’s worth hunting down deals on a good new or used pair. To save a bit more cash, just choose one heavy and one light pair.
Kettlebells are one of my favorite pieces of equipment. They are great for strength training, but they will also get your heart pumping. Swings and snatches are no joke. Once you figure out the mechanics of all of the moves, kettlebell training is an awesome way to get in shape using minimal equipment.
Resistance bands will always be on my list of home gym must-haves because they are some of the smallest, more versatile pieces of fitness equipment around. Like traditional weights, bands come in a wide range of options so be sure to snag a few. They are also a great choice for people who need to keep their workouts low-impact.
I love my stability ball, and so do my kids. They are just as much fun to work out with as they are to play with, I promise. Stability balls are great for challenging your muscles without having to add any weight. From push-ups to hamstring curls, you can complete hundreds of exercises with one of these multipurpose tools.
Pull Up Bars
Turn your doorway into a killer gym by hanging up an inexpensive pull up bar. There really is no replacement for a traditional pull up or chin up, so I highly recommend purchasing one of these bars. As a bonus, you can use them to work your core by completing some leg raises while you’re up there.
Even if you aren’t able to dedicate a workout space or purchase any gear, there are plenty of options for getting fit without forking over tons of money each month. Bodyweight workouts, outdoor yoga sessions, walking and running, team sports, and volunteering are all ways to burn a few extra calories for cheap. When it comes down to it, all you need to get in shape is a lot of motivation and a little creativity.