Every fitness journey is different and the most impactful thing you can do is to find a workout routine that works for you so you’ll stick with it.
Easier said than done, right?
Working out at home makes training accessible which is why a lot of people opt to invest in their own equipment. It can even be more cost-effective than getting a gym membership you’ll never use. There are great ways to get a good sweat in without having to go to a commercial gym.
First, always start off with a plan, whether that’s a list of sets & reps to complete for each of your workouts, or the type of workout you’ll be doing for a certain duration. If you go in with no game plan, chances are your workout won’t be as productive and will deter you from trying it again. Establish goals for yourself--whether that is to lose weight or gain muscle mass and do your research on the types of muscle groups you want to work on, follow some fitness Youtubers, or download fitness apps that can help guide you if you’re stuck.
Setting up your own at-home gym and don’t know where to start? Here are some home gym essentials that will motivate you to continue working out in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re exercising indoors, you might want to protect your flooring from weights and jumping with an exercise mat or yoga mat. Choose something with more or less cushioning depending on what you’ll be using it for; thicker mats are great for floor exercises on harder surfaces, and thinner ones where you need less cushion but still need a clean designated area to do your workouts.
For exercising in a garage or outdoors, extra-thick interlocking exercise mats are perfect to fit your space. Let’s say you drop your dumbbells--you won’t chip them on your floor. It acts as a space for yoga and strength training alike and it’s a little easier on the knees if you’re doing jump squats or HIIT.
If you’re planning to do some strength training to build muscle and tone, dumbbells will be a staple in your new at-home gym. You can use them for isolated workouts (bicep curls, shoulder raises, etc.) or compound movements (weighted walking lunges or weighted squats). Go with a weight you’re comfortable with--they shouldn’t be too light for you and should tense up your muscles after 1-2 sets of reps.
Depending on your fitness goals and types of workouts you may want to do lighter or heavier weights. For example, if you’re looking to combine yoga movements with high intensity, opt for 5lb or 8lb weights, or if you’re looking to gain more muscle mass, go with an adjustable dumbbell set so you can increase weight as you get stronger.
Buy it here: CAP Dumbbells
Bench (incline or flat)
A bench (or a really stable chair) can be helpful for tricep dips, step-ups, leg lifts and a whole lot of other workouts. The benefit of a fitness bench is that it’s built for working out and will be more stable than your most stable chair--which tend to be more weighted on one side.
Buy it here: Marcy Utility Training Flat Bench
The LARQ self-cleaning water bottle is an essential for staying healthy and hydrated. You never want to be without a water bottle, especially without the LARQ water bottle, because it self-cleans to keep your bottle and water bacteria and odor-free. Powerful UV-C LED light breaks down the DNA of bacteria and viruses to make your water safe to drink and keeps your bottle from smelling--that’s why you never need to wash it! That means less time prepping for the gym and more time actually working out.
Add a bit of cardio to your at-home workout routine with a kettlebell! You’ve probably seen people swing these around--the swinging motion builds a bit of resistance as you’re doing each move so you’re working out in a different way than you would with dumbbells.
Buy it here: CAP Fitness Kettlebell
Resistance bands are super versatile for adding resistance to bodyweight exercises to help tone and strengthen your body. Intensify your squats, target your biceps, to strengthen and tone your back muscles and even for pilates movements.
Buy it here: ECGOIOE Flat Exercise Band Set
A great way to get your cardio in is jump roping. You always want to do a warm-up before jumping into your workout to get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles. A light jump rope is ideal for speed to get your heart rate up--boxers and MMA fighters use these to maximize cardio sessions.
Buy it here: Survival Cross Jump Rope
This soft weighted medicine ball is used to add weight to exercises like sit-ups or side lunges to increase intensity. They’re a little easier to grip for certain workouts opposed to dumbbells or kettlebells--you’ll find weighted Russian twists easier with these too! You can also incorporate workouts like a squat-press-throw, v-ups, and rolling push-ups to your workouts with ease.
Buy it here: A2ZCARE Toning Weighted Medicine ball
If you’re planning on working out at home and need some direction, there are some great fitness apps out there that can help guide you! Nike Training Club or NTC is one of our favorites because it’s free, has a ton of variety in terms of workouts that you could do, has video tutorials in the workouts so there won’t be too much downtime in-between moves, and sets the interval times for you so all you need to do is listen for the next move.
The gym equipment you may need will be different depending on the type of workouts you'll be doing so plan accordingly! We think these are great basics to get you started on the right foot--or should we say... sneaker?