Since posting my home workouts on my Instagram Stories, I’ve gotten some DMs about how to start working out at home and what equipment to invest in. For those that don’t already know, I don’t have a gym membership and exercise exclusively at home and outside. I live with my family and we are a very active one! Ever since my dad started taking his health seriously, he slowly started to create our home gym by purchasing equipment from stores like, Ross, Marshalls, and even the Goodwill. Another thing you should know about me and my family is that we love a good bargain. By investing our time and money into exercise equipment that we actually use, we save a ton on gym membership fees. Here are my top 5 exercise equipment that would be great additions to starting your own home gym:
1. Yoga Mat
By laying out a yoga mat, you are purposefully creating a space to exercise in, so it is a great first piece of equipment to invest in. There are many types of yoga mats, differing in aesthetic design, length, width, level of mat thickness, etc. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a yoga mat; I bought mine for $5 at Marshalls. In addition to its name, you can also use a yoga mat to do circuit exercises and cooldown stretches.
2. Resistance Bands
This is my newest home gym investment and it’s easily one of my most used equipment in my home exercise routine. For less than $10 on Amazon, I got 5 resistance bands with varying degrees of difficulty, depending on the color. As the bands get thicker, the more resistance you’ll get. My set of bands are as follows:
- Yellow– The ‘easiest’ resistance; it’s the thinnest band.
- Green– Light to Medium resistance; it’s thick enough to work up a light sweat but not so thin that it’ll make you question your fitness ability.
- Blue– Medium resistance; perfect for those days where you want to work out and add a slight challenge.
- Red– Heavy resistance for those days you crave a challenge.
- Black– Extra heavy resistance for those days where you want your muscles to WORK.
We use resistance bands often at the clinic because it can be used to make a variety of exercises more challenging. From doing squats to arm exercises like rows, resistance bands are an awesome addition to starting your home gym because they are cheap, easy to store/travel with, and can work your entire body!
3. Free Weights
Also known as dumbbells, these are standard when it comes to strength training. I use my 5lb and 10lb free weights anytime I do a strength workout. Bicep curls, overhead presses, tricep kickbacks, are common on my exercise lists. Recently, I have started using the heavier 25lb weight for squats and deadlifts.
I started using kettlebells when I was a sophomore in college. I was in a Pilates class and one of the girls in the class is a certified kettlebell instructor and got to lead a workout. I really enjoyed the workout and started doing kettlebell workouts ever since! I only have one 10lb kettlebell and it is a good weight to start at. I am planning on getting two more, heavier kettlebells so I can challenge myself. Some of my favorite exercises to do with this piece of equipment are kettlebell swings, goblet squats, and windmills.
5. Stability/Exercise Ball
This was the first exercise equipment that my dad bought. They come in so many sizes and colors, so you have a lot of choices. Exercise balls are also versatile because you can use them for stretching, mobility, and strengthening exercises. One of my favorite ways to stretch my whole body (especially after a long day) is to lay on the ball, tummy to the ceiling and go into the wheel pose. With the added support from the ball, I can really take my time to stretch out my back and open my chest. In the clinic, stability balls are often used to increase range of motion, rhythmic stabilizations, and core strengthening when used together with weights.
So that rounds up my Top 5 Favorite Exercise Equipment! Is there an exercise piece that I missed? What are your favorite equipment to use when exercising? Let me know in the comments below.
Truthfully, getting fit and living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t necessarily require a gym membership. Don’t let money and people dictate your choice of making your health a priority. There are so many resources on the internet and a plethora of books at your public library that can help you! Also, I am not at all against people the do workout at the gym, I am aware that each person is different and what may work for me may not work for you and your lifestyle. This post was to just share my knowledge and experience with you all.
Happy Valentine’s Day!