How To Build An Effective (& Affordable) Home Gym

By: Ricky Buoncore

This year has changed the way we think about almost everything, including fitness. Whether you are still hesitant about going back in the gym, or ready to dive back in, we all can agree that having something at home as an option (even as a fallback plan) is ideal. But where do you start? Do you invest thousands of dollars into equipment? Do you even have space for big pieces of equipment to sit around taking up space? Luckily, we have compiled a list of essential pieces of equipment that can provide you a well-rounded workout, without costing too much money or taking up too much space. Whether you have a studio apartment or a full home gym in your basement/garage, these pieces are a great addition to any home.

1. TRX Suspension Trainers - $129.95 via Amazon

Developed by Navy SEALS, TRX Trainers harness the resistance of your own body weight to provide versatile options for a full-body workout. Easily anchored in any door frame, these straps are a great option for all-levels, and can be stored easily anywhere. You can find similar pieces for a little bit less (just search “suspension trainer”) but TRX is the OG in the industry.

2. Resistance Bands - $15.75+ via Rogue Fitness

Ideal for both strength training and stretching, bands offer the benefit of variable resistance, i.e. the more you stretch the band, the more intense the resistance.

3. Hip Circle (Glute Band) – $20 via GymShark

Technically this could be considered a resistance band, but we are adding it here as a specific version that is an essential to your lower body training. These bands come in a variety of materials, sizes and resistance levels, but they are great options for getting a killer leg workout. Just adding a heavy hip band to a bodyweight squat can increase the intensity dramatically. We prefer the durable, fabric versions, but those should only be used above the knee. The thinner elastic bands are a little stretchier (less resistance) but can break more easily. For $20, get the high quality band that will last.

4. BOSU Ball – $159.95 via Rogue Fitness

The versatility of the BOSU ball makes it worth spending a little extra. You can obviously use it for stability training by balancing on the flat side facing up or flip it over and use it with the round side up. Work it into your squats, pushups, planks and more to take a simple movement and add an extra element.

5. Stability Ball - $23.35 via Amazon

One of the most versatile items you can own, a stability ball can act as a core-challenging bench, unstable platform for planks, resistance for hamstring curls and much, much more! Make sure you get a ball big enough for your frame (most adults can comfortably use a 65cm ball, but smaller people may want to opt for 55cm) and make sure you have an air pump or one is included in the purchase!

6. Yoga Mat - $17.60+ via Amazon

A good yoga mat can make a difference for good support and skid protection if you have carpet and can add comfort if you're working out on hard floors. There is a WIDE spectrum of yoga mats, but you don't need a $200 yoga mat if you just want to stick to the essentials!