Do you not have time to hit the gym but are tired of just doing air squats and not seeing any progress? Here are 8 must-have items to upgrade your home gym from meh to awesome!
Over the years I have tried to find quicker, more efficient ways to work out, so I have slowly been adding items to my ‘home-gym’ collection. Although it’s a small investment at first, purchasing some workout gear will save you money on a gym membership down the line.
A home workout is great if you have kids or work odd hours and can’t make it to the gym. Personally, I can go to a gym, but they’re always so crowded and I have to wait forever for equipment to free up. A 30-minute workout takes an hour-and-a-half waiting around. So now my workouts are quick and efficient thanks to these staples.
I have broken the list down into two parts, the first part I consider the essential, the holy grail of at-home fitness workouts. I use these products in every workout in one way or another.
And the next part are the Complimentary items. These are nice to have and come in handy at times, but they’re not necessary in the beginning and I (personally) don’t get daily use out of them.
You can find adjustable dumbbells for as much as $300 but I purchased these ones in the 50lb set (25 lbs each side) over a year ago and they are incredibly sturdy. I don’t recommend you throw them around.
You would spend so much money buying each individual dumbbell but with the adjustable ones you can put 5lbs on it or the full 25lbs, it’s up to you.
Dumbells are so versatile that I placed these first on the list. You can work out every muscle in your body with these. And if you’re not sure what to do, you can always head to youtube and type ‘Dumbbell Only (body part) Workout” and get a million workout ideas. Examples. Dumbell Only Shoulder Workout. Dumbell Only Quad Workout. Etc. You won’t be disappointed. Get the ones I have and recommend here.
Have you heard of Glute Activation workouts? If you haven’t, it basically means ‘waking up’ those muscles that are tight from sitting all day before moving on to other workouts such as squats, lunges, etc.
Activating my glutes before a workout has made the biggest difference in getting a rounder, tighter bottom for me.
Also, once they’re activated you can feel the difference. A lot of the time, when you are doing lower body workouts, you feel it more in your quads, but after using these bands you will start to feel it in your tush and definitely notice the difference. Get the one I use here.
I use my mat daily. Although I do practice yoga occasionally, it has plenty of other uses; abs, stretching, and most glute workouts require you to be on the ground or your back. I used to get sore knees from doing my workouts directly on the floor: Problem Solved. This is the one I get, it’s cheap and durable.
A foam roller is such a great little tool to help you recover from a workout. At first, it might be a little painful, but once you get used to it, it quickly starts to feel like a massage. I’m obsessed with my foam roller and normally use it while watching tv, especially when sore from a particularly tough leg day.
I got mine a while back at Sports Authority (RIP), but this one looks very similar. There is a big variety of foam rollers online, and it comes down to personal preference. This isn’t a one-size fit all, but this one is a very budget-friendly option if you just want to give it a shot and see how you like it. I can’t vouch for the quality of this specific product, but the reviews seem promising.
The only reason this one isn’t in the essentials category is due to the price point. I haven’t found a budget-friendly adjustable kettlebell. I splurged a little bit and got this one, but for over 100 bucks I can’t advocate you do the same.
Regardless, a Kettlebell is such a great tool. Like the dumbells, you can work all the major muscle groups. Goblet squats, swings, you get a full body workout with limited space and time.
A barbell with plates will allow you to do the major lifts; squat, bench press, and deadlift. Although I do use my barbell about 3 times a week, I think this is for a more experienced lifter, and that’s why it’s in the complementary section.
I got this one that only goes up to 50 lbs but I still get a solid workout in, especially when paired with the adjustable dumbbells.
Considered a ‘girl’ fitness product, ankle weights are perfect for toning your legs (especially glutes) at home. There are many exercises to do with ankle weights, squat with leg lift, donkey kicks, and fire hydrant to name a few.
Also, I sometimes put the weights on my wrists and do arm circles to fatigue my shoulders in a unique way.
If you get ankle weights, don’t opt for the dainty two-pound ones, your legs are much stronger than you believe. Get a set of adjustable 20lb ankle weights and build up your strength. It’s 10lb per side but I put two on one leg to really challenge myself. Trust, your butt will thank me.
The cheapest and quickest way to burn those calories at home. Skipping is such a great form of cardio that you can do anywhere. On top of this, a jump rope is so light and compact you can throw it in your luggage for a quick workout on the road.
It has been proven that jumping rope can burn up to 10 calories per minute and strengthens your leg, butt, shoulders, and arms. I recommend this one.