Building a Bargain Home Gym

"Time."

Time is everything when we think about it, and in the society we live in, time rules everything around us- if we let it. Time also is the number one excuse I hear for not being able to get to the gym to work out.

The fact is, we can avoid falling into the trap of neglecting our bodies. Here we will explore the best options to make up for the time we feel we do not have by learning how to bring the gym to us. My goal is to help guide the path by helping you to decide what cost effective equipment you need to build your own bargain home gym.

When thinking of a home gym, what often comes to mind for many is the thousands of dollars’ worth of machines or free weights. Guess what? You can actually get a sufficient workout every day from home without those things, and do it without spending thousands of dollars.

First thing, let’s not break the bank here. When it comes to equipment most of the time the top name brands are more expensive, but often don’t have too much of a difference in quality from its counterparts. To purchase equipment I recommend using Amazon (and if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can capitalize on free shipping), but that’s just my personal preference. If you prefer in-store purchases, any major sporting goods store should have what you need.

Here is my list of the top 5 things you can buy to get your bargain home gym done:

1. Kettlebell

If you want the multi-use tool of exercise equipment, here it is. I believe you can perform the most amount of exercises with a kettlebell. If you only had this one item you could do a total body workout. For example, with a kettlebell, you can do Goblet Squats (legs), Single Arm rows (back), Overhead Press (shoulders), Single Arm Press (chest), and Russian Twist (core). The price for a kettlebell is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.00 per pound.

Here are some kettlebells, for starters

 5-pound Kettlebell

5-pound Kettlebell

 10-pound Kettlebell

10-pound Kettlebell

 15-pound Kettlebell

15-pound Kettlebell

 20-pound Kettlebell

20-pound Kettlebell

 

2. Suspension trainer

There are so many brands of suspension trainers out there but I personally like the Kylin Sport brand. The Kylin Sport suspension trainer is close to the top-of-the-line, but the cost is close to one-third of the top-end price at roughly $35. A few of my favorite exercises that you can perform with a suspension trainer are the Romanian Split Squat (legs), Bodyweight Pullups (back), Suspended Pushups (chest), W’s (shoulders), and Pike ups(core).

Kylin Suspension Trainers

 Suspension trainer

Suspension trainer

 Suspension trainer

Suspension trainer

 

If we add these first two items together on a $100 budget, we should still have somewhere around $50 dollars to spend. “So what else do we need or can we get with a $50 dollar budget?” you may be asking.

Not much, to be honest, but if you know the correct things to get you can round out the rest of the workout equipment for your home gym nicely and under budget. Being the trainer I am, I would personally purchase:

3. Mini bands

I recommend the “heavy” or “medium” resistance level bands which I have seen for as low as $3.00, or a pack for around $10.00. I love mini bands because they are a great, low injury risk piece of equipment. In the right hands, a wide range of exercises can be performed with mini bands. My favorite suggestions to help increase localized strength would be the Lateral Band Walk (hips), Banded Hip Ups (glutes), and Plank Lateral Hand walks (shoulders).

Mini band starter packs

 Mini bands (set of 4, Light/Medium/Heavy/X-Heavy)

Mini bands (set of 4, Light/Medium/Heavy/X-Heavy)

 Mini bands (set of 5 with instructional video, X-Light/Light/Medium/Heavy/X-Heavy)

Mini bands (set of 5 with instructional video, X-Light/Light/Medium/Heavy/X-Heavy)

 

Next, I would look to buy:

4. A yoga mat

Yoga mats from the top-end brands like LuLu Lemon will cost in the $100.00 dollar range, but of any type of mat will work. I would personally spring for something in a color of your choice and of a decent thickness. Plus, Amazon Prime offers free returns, so you can always return it if it is not what you expected when it arrives. Yoga mats are great because they are cost effective, typically low-maintenance, and should last for a long time.

Mats you can carry with you

 Yoga Mat (1/4-inch thick with carrying strap)

Yoga Mat (1/4-inch thick with carrying strap)

 Yoga mat (1/2-inch thick with carrying strap)

Yoga mat (1/2-inch thick with carrying strap)

 

Finally, with the last few dollars we have a:

5. Foam Roller

The foam roller is one of the most neglected pieces in most gyms, but it can do so much to help prevent injuries by releasing overactive areas or warming up the muscles prior to a workout. I use foam rollers with all of my clients whether they are a Professional Athlete or a senior client trying to stay fit for life. Rounding out at about $8.00, this is a must-have piece of equipment for your home gym.

Foam rollers in various sizes

 High density foam roller (varying sizes)

High density foam roller (varying sizes)

 High density foam roller (8-inch)

High density foam roller (8-inch)

 

Now that we have our equipment coming in at around or under $100.00, what about a workout?

If you have the money and the time, I recommend working with a nationally certified, experienced fitness professional. However, if you’re among the many who feel they don’t have the time or resources (or even if you do, and want some more tips), I invite you to continue reading this blog. Here, I will fill you in on the best ways to find safe and effective workouts from some of the top fitness professionals in the business, as well as speak about issues that most of my clients face when it comes to working out and hitting their goals.

© Copyright Whatismyhealth, December 2016