Looking for home gym setup ideas? With the influx of new starters flooding your local gym, heading over there is never fun at this time of year. And with the weather turning chilly and unpredictable, we’re less keen to get our running shoes on. A home gym seems like a much more attractive idea, available at any time you want and with no monthly fees.
However, a home gym can be difficult to accomplish as many don’t have enough spare cash after the Christmas period or enough space in their homes to accommodate the bulky fitness gear we’re used to in the gym. However, there are ways to make a home gym work in small spaces. With versatile equipment that is small or easily stored away, a home gym doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Read on to find out which essential pieces we think beginners should invest in first of all for their home gym setup…
1. Dumbbells & Kettlebells
A small set of dumbbell weights or kettlebells are a great starter for building strength and endurance. They’re less intimidating than barbells and also a lot more portable and easy to grab for a quick workout session. You can often purchase a set of dumbbells in their own storage rack or case to keep your setup organised and free of clutter or alternatively, if you want a wide range of weights, you can get adjustable dumbbells. Furthermore, these handheld weights can be used to complement your aerobic workout, raising your heart rate to aid in weight loss.
2. A Yoga Mat
Even if you’re not a yoga fan, a yoga or exercise mat is a must-have as performing exercises on a hard floor or rough carpet will quickly get uncomfortable and a good-quality mat will provide some much-appreciated grip and stability when performing exercises and stretches. Also, when you’re not exercising, you can simply roll it up and store it away in a cupboard or wardrobe. Many even come with a handy carry bag or strap if you ever want to take it out and about with you.
3. Set of Resistance Bands
Need ideas on how to make an exercise more challenging? Introducing a resistance band is a great way to ramp up the difficulty if things are starting to get a bit too easy. What’s more, resistance band sets will come with bands of multiple resistance levels, allowing you to customise your workout to the difficulty that you want. For those who travel often, these are ideal as they’re compact and have such a diverse range of uses, meaning you can workout easily, wherever you are.
4. Adjustable Weight Bench
For those wanting to get into weight training and building muscle, you may want to purchase an adjustable weight bench. Many compact, foldable models have been made with home gyms in mind. These allow you to target different muscles effectively at different angles, whilst also improving your core and lower back muscles. They can also be used for bodyweight exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups.
5. A (Weighted) Skipping Rope
It may sound like something that you’d expect to find on a school playground but a skipping rope, particularly a weighted one, is a fun and easy way to add cardio into your routine. If you haven’t got enough room inside, skipping is something you can easily do in your garden or driveway. In general, this is great for improving co-ordination and endurance but a weighted rope can amplify your workout as it burns even more calories and works your muscles even harder.
6. Pull-Up Bar
They may seem daunting but pull-ups are one the best upper-body exercises you can do. Pull-ups strengthen your arms, back, shoulders and core and a pull-up bar is an easy piece of equipment to fit into your home! There are models available which can be bracketed to a wall or fitted within a doorway. Once you’ve had enough of pull-ups, you could even use it as base for a TRX suspension kit (though you’ll want to check your setup is strong enough first!).
Handy tip: Use a resistance band to begin with when trying pull-ups to make things a little easier!
7. Foldable/Mini Cardio Machines
For those who miss the traditional cardio machines you’d find at the gym such as the treadmill, exercise bike and elliptical, there are compact models available that are suited to home gym setups. However, these machines tend to be more expensive and can still take up a bit of room when folded or collapsed.
Another idea for those who like exercise bikes would be to simply get a mini bike which allow you the flexibility to pedal away whilst watching Netflix on your sofa.
8. Foam Rollers
Great for those post-exercise aches and pains, a foam roller basically allows you to give yourself a sports massage at home. Foam rolling helps you to get rid of any knots in your muscles and increase blood circulation to reduce any soreness. They’re great for preventing injuries which could hinder your workout plan and come in a variety of sizes.
9. Full-Length Mirror
Whilst the idea of watching your red-faced, sweaty self working out might not sound appealing, having access to a full-length mirror can be useful for ensuring you complete exercises correctly. A lot of bodyweight exercises are only really effective when carried out with the correct posture but it’s not always easy to tell if you’re performing these right when you’re alone. However, by setting yourself up opposite a mirror, you can double check your posture easily.
10. A good speaker system
Finally, make sure you’ve got a good speaker system to blast out that upbeat workout playlist that gets you moving. The perfect icing on the cake for your home gym setup!
(However, if you’ve got questionable music tastes that others in your house might not appreciate, a pair of bluetooth earbuds might be better!)
Finally, let us know in the comments below if you’ve got any other home gym setup ideas that we’ve missed off this list!