Essentials to Set Up a Home Gym

Posted On Nov 19, 2021 By Lisa Traugott

A woman performing a dumbbell front lunge.

Thinking of creating a home gym? The benefits are simple: there’s no commute, it’s private and open 24/7. Sure, there will be upfront costs. Over time, you can save money when you calculate how much you are saving on gym membership fees and travel costs.

First, figure out your space. Is your home gym going to be in the corner of your living room, the garage or a spare bedroom? Depending on your budget and available room you can go big or keep it tight and still get a great workout done.

Then go shopping!

A man performing a barbell side lunge.

Here are some essentials:

  • A yoga mat is a must for floor exercises. It can easily be rolled up and put under a coach.
  • Mirrors are helpful to check your form (and your teeth before taking a sweaty selfie).
  • Dumbbells come in lots of weights, obviously, but you may not have the room to line a wall with a full rack. That’s why I like adjustable dumbbells that range from 10 to 90 pounds that increase in 5 pound increments. It’s one stop shopping and doesn’t take up much space.
  • Resistance bands are super affordable, portable, and a low-tech option for any home gym.
  • Kettlebells are great for combining cardio and strength training at the same time. Like the dumbbells above, this adjustable set is six kettlebells in one that ranges from 8 pounds to 40 pounds.
  • Barbells use your muscles a different way than dumbbells because you have to use both arms at the same time to balance the weight. Barbells are perfect for chest presses, curls and deadlifts.
  • An adjustable bench is a great staple for weight training that will allow you to increase the number of exercises you can add to your workouts and help keep your routines feeling fresh.
  • Home gyms, if you have the space, will take your workouts to the next level. With dozens of cable exercises to target every major muscle group, you will get a full body workout in the comfort of your home.
  • Cardio machines are fantastic to keep your fitness journey going, especially if you live somewhere snowy or really hot during different times of the year. Choose the equipment that you enjoy using, whether it’s a treadmill for running or walking, a stationary bike for riding or a Max Trainer for a HIIT-style workout, and aim for 30 minutes per day.

Setting up a home gym is an investment in your health and makes it more likely you will get your workouts done. Depending on your space you can also add fun things like stability balls and medicine balls, but above are the core things you will find in just about any gym big or small.