Let’s face it. Working out at home has major advantages. You don’t have to go anywhere. You can blare your favorite music like a crazy person. You can wear whatever you please. Did I mention that you don’t need to get in your car? And honestly, you can get a 100% effective, incredible workout with just your body, but if you are wanting to build your home gym, here are a few of my favorite toys:
1. Dumbbells – In my opinion, this is a must have for everyone! They are relatively cheap (approximately $1 per pound), easy to store and highly versatile. You can do almost any exercise with a set of dumbbells. In an ideal world, you would want the adjustable dumbbells, but these can be highly expensive. So I personally can get by with about 3 different sets – small, medium and heavy. These sizes are going to vary for everyone, but if you want some guidance on pounds, please just ask. I prefer these as the dumbbell has a hexagon shape that stays flat on the ground when doing Man Makers and such. I also like how the middle handle isn’t too fat so it is easier to grab. You can get dumbbells at many big retail stores like Target and Wal-Mart in addition to sport specialty stores.
2. Exercise Ball – This is very cost friendly and super versatile. I realize that they take up a little more room, however, which is my one downfall. You can always store them in the bathtub if you are short on space! There are 3 different sizes (55 cm, 65 cm and 75 cm) that correspond with your height. This is my favorite brand.
3. Resistance Bands – Quite inexpensive, lightweight and small, this is a must have for your home gym if you are looking to tone, firm and grow that behind. Here is my favorite set, which is a pack of 4, giving you a variety of resistance.
4. TRX Suspension Trainer – I LOVE this piece of equipment, but it does come with pretty spendy price tag of about $200. However, if you are serious about your home gym, it is a good splurge. The possibilities are endless with a TRX, and it is fun. Moreover, the instability it creates will help maximize your workouts.
5. BOSU Ball – This is another quality piece of equipment, but again more on the spendy side ($100). It is fabulous for improving balance and core strength. You can buy them on Amazon here, but often there will be good sales on these at the first of the year.
6. Val Slides – At $29.99, Val Slides are not only cost effective, but small so therefore easy to store. They work best on carpeted surfaces and add the perfect amount of spice to your exercises. I really like to use the Val Slides for hamstring curls and plank work.
7. Pull-up Bar – I love me some pull-ups, and they are a regular part of my exercise routine. Therefore, this is a personal must have, but they do lack versatility. However, if you are going to regularly do pull-ups, at $25, they are not too spendy.
8. Barbell/Plate Set – This is also a personal must have as it is very versatile, and I do a substantial amount of lifting. However, if you are not familiar with proper lifting techniques, do not make this your first purchase as improper form highly increases the likelihood of injury. If you do purchase one of these for your home gym, I recommend the standard 1 inch diameter, and the clamps shown with this set are must have compared to those that twist on as they have a tendency to loosen, making the plates slide around.