Exercising at home is a really convenient way to get in shape or stay in shape and a basic home gym doesn’t need to be filled with expensive equipment to be highly effective. In fact, all you really need are the following 10 items which can easily be tucked away in the corner of your garage, basement, or any closet in order to get a good workout in the comfort of your own own home.
Since most of these can be purchased for the prices noted below at places like Ross, Marshall’s, etc. (where they’re usually found in both the women’s and men’s active wear departments), there’s no excuse for not getting your home fitness regimen mojo happening ASAP. By getting creative in their usage plus adding some body weight exercises such as push ups, planks, etc., you’ll be on the fast-track to achieving your fitness goals in no time!
Plus, after you acquire this basic equipment, you can always add on a few more items that cater to your specific exercise needs and budget.
(Image: Swiss Ball/Stability Ball + a Medicine Ball)
1 Swiss Ball/Stability Ball (pump included) $8 (Ross)
1 15 lb. Kettle Bell $15 (Marshall’s)
1 Set of ‘Heavy Duty’ Resistance Bands $10 (Ross)
1 High Speed Jump Rope $5 (Ross)
1 Set of Ankle Weights – ideally 2.5 lbs. each $5 (Ross)
1 8 lb. Medicine Ball $10 (Marshall’s)
1 25 lb Plate (with handles) $20 (Sports Authority)
1 ‘Yoga’ Mat $10 (Ross)
1 Pair of 10 lb. Dumbbells $10 (Ross)
1 Pair of Push Up Handles $5 (Ross)
TOTAL COST: $98
As for how to make the most of this equipment, I bid you the following:
1. Swiss Ball/Stability Ball – In addition to ab work, you can use your stability ball as a ‘bench’ to bench press, do incline flyes, reverse flyes and more.
2. What can you NOT do with a Kettle Bell? Some of my faves include kettle bell swings, lunges, squats, rows and lumber-jacks.
3. Resistance Bands Rock! Some best bets include upright rows, bicep curls, side laterals, shrugs and rows.
(Image: Resistance Bands)
4. Yes, doing cardio bites but would you rather spend $500+ on a treadmill or $5 on a High Speed Jump Rope? Try it out. If it’s not your thing, then take it to Good Will. Bottom line: jumping rope burns a lot of calories and costs practically nothing. Plus, it’ll make you feel like a kid again.
5. Ankle Weights – While I do NOT recommend using them for walking or jogging, they WILL amp up your ab routine and therefore, I consider them to be a sage, low-cost investment.
(Image: Ankle Weights)
6. What I most love about Medicine Balls is how versatile they are. Whether you’re doing ab work, side lunges, or a host of other moves, you can count on your medicine ball to never let you down.
7. ‘Why get a 25 lb plate with handles?’ – you ask. GREAT question! For one thing, you can use it for squats and dead lifts. You can also do one of my fave moves known as ‘Around the World’ and strengthen your back. In addition and because of its handles, you can do bicep curls, rows and the Russian Twist for your abs.
8. Even though I don’t do much yoga these days, I firmly believe a ‘Yoga’ Mat is still a good investment unless you’d like rug burn along with your ‘feel the burn’ workout.
9. And what about that pair of 10 lb. dumbbells? Granted, this may or may not be a necessity if you have all of the above equipment (or if 10 lbs is way below your strength threshold), but for the average person, this is an ideal weight for lunging, curling, tricep kick backs, etc. It’s also a great way to get stronger if you’re stuck on a plateau or want to increase your muscular endurance by doing more reps at a lower weight.
10. Push Up Handles are cool in the sense they force you to work just a little bit harder than you would by utilizing your body weight alone. Would I buy them if they cost $20? NO. But for 5 bucks, I say YES because not only do they challenge me but they remind me to do my push-ups! Plus if you ever bake a casserole and don’t have a trivet, you can spare your table by placing the baking dish upon your push up handles! 🙂
Two Bonus Tips: You can create a home-made kettle bell by freezing a gallon of water and a home-made medicine ball by filling an old basketball with sand – or even cat litter! – then plugging it.
These top ten tips are simply my humble opinion as somebody who’s worked in the fitness industry for over a decade. What I’d love to hear are YOUR thoughts. What did I miss? Please post your comments and let me know … We’re all on this fitness journey together and your feedback is invaluable.
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