Contemplating putting together a home gym? Unsure what the absolute “must-have” items are? Let’s talk about the home gym essentials to get without spending too much of your hard-earned money.
Our Top Choice for Affordable Home Gym Essentials!
AmazonBasics Vinyl Kettlebell
Depending on the weight of the kettlebell you are considering, this piece of equipment can be purchased for anywhere between $25-$99. Kettlebells are a tool that can be used in many different ways. You can use a kettlebell for additional weight while doing squats or lunges, deadlifts, tricep drops, figure eights between the legs, and many other exercises.
Check out this YouTube video featuring some easy kettlebell workouts for beginners.
2. Hand Weights
CAP Barbell Weights
Hand weights, also called dumbbells, are a great addition to any home workout space. Allowing for more flexibility than a traditional bar that allows you to add weights, dumbbells are small, portable, and easy to store in a cramped space. Furthermore, hand weights help the user to determine if there are clear weaknesses on one side of the body.
Just like with the kettlebell, the cost of these will vary depending on the weight of the item. Small hand weights cost significantly less than larger ones.
You can use hand weights for working triceps, arms, shoulders, chest, etc. Some examples of lifts you can perform are bench press, shoulder press, lats, tricep drops, and many others. Dumbbells can also be used to add additional weight to lunges (one hand weight in each hand), squats (one larger dumbbell held at center) and other exercises. Adding weight to dynamic movements adds challenge and helps build strength.
Check out this YouTube video for a dumbbell full-body workout!
3. Medicine Ball
Valeo Medicine Ball
Medicine balls are weighted balls that can be thrown, caught and used by one person to add weight to a workout. Used also to work on explosive power and dynamic strength, there are so many uses for this item! A relatively inexpensive item, you can purchase one for anywhere from $25-$50.
You can use the medicine ball for abdominals, shoulders, arms and other parts of the body. A medicine ball held at the center of your body during squats and lunges adds an additional challenge.
Looking for some suggestions on how to incorporate a medicine ball into your workout? This 5 minute YouTube video walks you through some examples.
4. Pull Up Bar
Iron Gym Body Workout Bar
Pull ups are a great way to build body strength and particularly work your back, shoulders, and arms. Pull up bars are made so they can either be adhered to a wall, but there are also some that can be temporarily put into a doorway.
A challenging exercise, many advanced athletes add weights for additional strength building. This YouTube video features some of the most important pull up exercises.
5. Battle Ropes
ZENY Battle Rope
Well known to members of Crossfit but relatively new to the home workout world, battle ropes are an addition that would add an interesting dynamic to your home gym. A decent set of ropes will set you back just around $100, but the benefits will be worth it.
Battle ropes are known for being a fat-blasting speed and agility workout. Check out this YouTube video for forty-five battle rope exercises you can try. They pack a lot into a mere five minutes!
6. TRX Suspension Training Kit
TRX Suspension Training Kit
Sold for only $100, this is a must-have item! This is an exceptional way to get your workout in using the system and your own body weight. Many people think it can’t possibly be challenging enough, but they would be wrong! TRX has become so popular many workout facilities have added suspension systems to their workout space.
An added bonus is that TRX also engages your body to work on balance, while building strength. It can also be a great HIIT workout.
For a quick glimpse into TRX, this six-minute YouTube video shows some of the top exercises.
7. Jump Rope
YZLSPORTS Professional Jump Rope
It’s not your children’s jump rope. An athletic jump rope is typically slightly weighted with wooden or plastic molded handles for comfort. There is a reason you often see people jumping rope in boxing movies! It is an exceptional way to warm up the body in a dynamic movement, gets your heart rate up, and works on both speed and agility.
Considering using a jump rope for exercise and have no idea where to start? Peek at this YouTube video for some idea. This incorporates jumping with other bodyweight exercises.
For The Super Tight Budget
Okay, I get it. We are in the midst of a pandemic. Many people are out of work, furloughed, laid off, or choosing to stay home for personal safety reasons. What if I have just $100 total to build a home gym. Is it worth my time? Can I accomplish the objective?
Here it is. If you have only $100 to spend, the top items to purchase:
✓ Yoga mat – A yoga mat will keep you comfortable while doing core work or other bodyweight exercises. There are many YouTube videos featuring workouts where you need zero equipment! ($10-20 for a budget mat)
✓ Jump rope – You can get a decent quality athletic workout for under $20
✓ Resistance bands – Also a very inexpensive piece, you can get a set of three resistance bands for under $20.
✓ Kettlebell or set of dumbbells or medicine ball – Evaluate your favorite set of workout exercises and make a tough choice. Depending on the weights you need to get in a quality workout, you may have to choose one. For me, I use relatively light weights. I could purchase a set of 5-pound dumbbells and a 12-pound kettlebell for roughly $50, and would do so to round out my home gym for under $100.
Keep In Mind…
Just remember that the quality of the workout is far more important than the equipment you use. You can accomplish a lot with very few physical items to help you. Check out YouTube or fitness apps to search for workouts requiring little or no equipment. That way, you can purchase your items one at a time, if your budget is tight. Before you know it, you will have an awesome little home gym!