You may find this hard to believe but I don’t belong to a gym. I haven’t for about five years. And as much as I love taking classes at Flywheel, Physique and other studios, I actually workout a majority of the time at home. When you think about it, it’s really the most convenient and motivational. I mean, if you are working out at home there is no excuse not to do it. It’s not expensive, there is no commute time and its so much easier to schedule gym time. So how do you create the perfect home gym? Check out my guide below to find the right home gym for you.
The 700 Sq Foot Gym
I live in approximately 700 sq feet, which means I have one bedroom, a bathroom, and a combined living room/dining room. You probably don’t believe that I’m this space you can have a home gym but I’m here to tell you that you can and your place doesn’t have to look like a 24 hour fitness lacking character and design. Here’s your essential toolkit:
1) A DVD player-Absolute must, although a computer with a DVD player counts. I use my DVD player all.the.time for fitness videos. This is a great substitute for the class roster at the gym and it allows you to bring some of the best in the fitness industry directly into your home.
2) DVDs-Along with the DVD player, you need a great set of DVDs. Variety is key here. I recommend a combination of cardio, strength and stretch videos. There are so many great options here and it’s fun to try out a bunch of different trainers and types of exercises. You all know that i revebtly completed Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution, for a few more of my faves, check out my DVD review page.
3) Weights– These are essential for any really strength training. I recommend getting three pairs so you can change the weight depending upon which muscle group you are working (bigger muscle groups can handle more weight) or depending on the type of exercise you are doing (e.g., high reps and light weights vs. low reps and heavy weights). A variety also allows you to build strength over time. I use 3 lbs, 5 lbs, and 8 lbs.
4) Yoga Mat– You can use this for a home yoga practice or for an work and stretching.
5) Resistance Tubing– Great for toning and adding more resistance. They are also so easy to store.
The beauty of all this equipment is that they can all be stored away no problem.
The Closet Gym
So you’ve got a bit more space and an entire closet to store exercise equipment. In addition to the above products, here are a few more items to complete your home gym.
1) Foam Roller– This is a must for relieving overworked muscles. It’s better than a sports massage! Just try not to cry :). Check out my Foam Roller Workout for examples.
2). More weights– If you have some extra space, it is a good idea to invest in a little bit more weight so you can vary your workouts a bit more. I
3) A Kettlebell– These are great for cardio and toning. Double duty.
4) Portable Pilates Reformer– If you are looking to splurge, this is it! I mentioned how much I enjoyed my introduction to the pilates reformer and I definitely think its worth the investment. Plus this reformer is compact and totally easy to put away in a closet!
5.) Balance Ball– This is the best tool for abs and can be safely stored away in a closet when not in use!
The Dedicated Space Home Gym
You have an entire room to devote to a home gym. Lucky you! Here are the must haves to make your home gym an oasis of fitness.
1) Spin Bike– This would be my pick for a piece of equipment because I love cycling but you could also opt for a treadmill or elliptical. Don’t forget your MyOwnBalance At Home Cycling Workout or HIIT Treadmill Workout.
2). A step– I love a good old step class but even if you aren’t into the traditional step workout, the step bench has a ton of options like acting as a bench for chest work, providing a great mode for cardio intervals and adding some difficulty to lunges, squats, etc.
3). A ballet barre– I use a kitchen table chair but a dedicated ballet barre offers so much more stability for barre workouts and has the ability to adjust height wise. Also great for stretching.
4). A barbell– A home barbell is a great tool for amount up your weight. You can lift so much more with the barbell than a traditional set of dumbells.
5). A bosu ball-A bosu ball is a great way to tone your core and test your balance while performing traditional sculpting moves.
Now that you’ve got your home gym all set up it’s time to workout!