Firstly, everyone’s needs are going to be different when looking into a home gym. You may have the cardio queens who would much prefer a running machine over a weights bench. And a weights girl, who couldn’t think of anything worse than a cross trainer. However, one thing is for sure, we all want to feel like we’ve had a good workout.
The other thing is cost. Once you start looking into pull up bars, weight racks and punching bags, the cost starts skyrocketing. In my experience, you definitely don’t need to spend mega bucks on kitting out your garage or bedroom, unless you really want too. You just need to be cleaver with your purchases.
I’m going to share the 10 best items to buy when looking to create a gym at home. All the items can be found on Amazon so if you have Prime, even better. And, the best part is, it’s all for under £200.
None of the items I’ll show you are static which means you don’t need to panic about finding space for them and instead, you can easily put them away after use. If you’re also looking for some motivation to get back into exercise, take a look at my recent blog about staying shape for Winter. I share my own personal tips on keeping motivated and setting targets.
So, my 10 best items to buy for a home gym
1. Yoga Mat
The first thing I ever bought was a yoga mat. Not because I was any good at yoga but because it’s the foundation for most of the exercises you can do at home.
For example, bum, hip, thigh, abs and arms can all be worked out from the floor, either lying flat on your back or on your front.
Reehut is selling a selection of these mats in different colours. This one is obviously my favourite. Cost – £13.95.
2. Resistance Bands
Ok, so resistance bands are amaaaazzzing for working out those upper thighs and creating a peachy butt. Now, depending on the type or intensity of your work out, there are actually two different types.
Type one is the standard resistance bands you’d see lying around in the gym. It’s a super versatile and adaptable exercise tool that can be used for a variety of purposes including strength training, improving general fitness, aiding with mobility, and recovering from injury.
I personally use this type of band for exercises such as donkey kicks and when I’m doing squats and want to raise the intensity.
Proworks are selling a selection of 4 bands, each with a different level of intensity. Cost – £6.95
Type two is a much thicker band which really pumps the glutes when used. It’s great for:
- Warming up Glutes and Legs
- Activating Hips
- Walking Side Steps
- Hip Abductions
- Squat & Deadlift Stabilisation
- Hip Thrusts
- Forward & Backward Walks
- Side Lying Clams
- Kick Backs and so much more.
This is the one piece of exercise equipment that I literally use every time. I’m addicted to it.
Teknifit calls this the Booty Builder. I have one personally and I just love it. Cost – £17.98
Oooh, kettlebells. You either love them or you hate them. Either way, they get the job done. So the resistance bands predominately focus on the lower part of the body, however, the kettlebells predominately look after the top and then dependant on the type of exercise, you can drill down to other areas of the body. Some Kettlebell exercises I do are:
- Single Arm Kettlebell
- Kettlebell Goblet Squat
- Kettlebell Lunge Press
York sells a selection of Kettlebells at different weights. I’ve based the cost on 1 x 10kg Kettlebell. Cost – £17.99
Here’s a 10-minute full body Kettlebell exercise video to help get you started.
Continuing to place focus on the upper body, a set of dumbbells in the house are magic. In addition to incorporating them into your workout, you can also pump the arms while you cook dinner or while you’re sat watching telly.
I have a pair of 3kgs at home as I like to do large sets so focus on endurance and stamina with these.
Some exercises you could try are:
- Lateral raises
- Bicep curls
- Bent over row (I use my coffee table as a bench)
- Lunging with overhead weights
Proiron sells a selection of weights, again dependant on weight selection, the cost of these will change. Cost – £16.99
5. Medicine Ball
Some exercises that are perfect for working the core using this ball are:
- Medicine ball swing
- Wood chops
- Lunges with a twist
- Side to side slam
Gold coast is a great seller of medicine balls and again offer a variety of weights. Cost is based off a 2kg medicine ball. Cost – £8.99
In case you’re like WTF?! Here’s a medicine ball workout video to give you some inspiration.
6. Exercise Ball
The Exercise Ball is great for:
- Yoga workouts
- Sit up / abdominal exercises
- Stretching after a hard cardio
I remember sitting on one of these relentlessly while I was hitting the later stages of pregnancy. It was just super comfy. Anyway, moving on…
Proworks, fast becoming one of the largest fitness equipment brands, offer a range of colours and sizes to suit your needs. I’ve based the cost on a 65cm ball. Cost – £12.95
7. Abdominal Exercise roller
So remember the ab cruncher. We all had one. They were big and clunky and you used to have to fit it in the bottom of your wardrobe or shove it under the stairs and hope your parents wouldn’t find out. The ab cruncher was amazing. I remember the feeling of taught abs after doing a workout.
If you too enjoyed that little nostalgic moment, then move over ab cruncher and welcome the ab roller. The ab roller is ON.ANOTHER.LEVEL. The feeling you get after using one of these bad boys is pure ab agony (but in a good way). You’ll definitely be on track to a six pack using one of these.
I’ve found an ab roller by H&S with an extra thick mat. The benefits to one of these are that you can put it in your suitcase, take it on holiday. It’s the perfect travel addition… Cost – £9.99
Now don’t get me wrong, toe taps on the bottom step at home are good enough however if you want to add some additional intensity without feeling confined to your stairs, then a step is perfect. Dependant on exercise, you can work your whole body from the legs and bum to the core, arms and shoulders. Some simple exercises at home could be:
- Running on step
- Burpee on step
- Crossover on step
- Lateral box jumps
Gallant sell a variety of steps, each with the ability to adjust height which means to you can adapt the step to your workout. Cost – £19.99
The video below shares a 16-minute workout just to give you a flavour of what you could do but there are plenty more ideas on YouTube.
9. Skipping rope
Some cool things you could do with a skipping rope include:
- Hopping skip
- Classic skip
- Side-to-side skip
You can pick up a skipping rope in most places however I’ve found one sold by Gritin for £6.99. Cost – £6.99
Then finally comes the one you’ve all been waiting for. The one that takes pure coordination and a good sense of humour… oh and maybe even a set of sturdy knees.
The Aerobic Bouncer combines the many benefits of strength training and cardiovascular exercise to provide you with a fun and effective way to exercise and reduce stress/tension within the body. I also challenge anyone to look as good as the lady in the video below whilst using one of these. Challenge accepted, you say…
The bouncers range from £19.99 to over £80. Charles Bentley offers a 40in trampoline for £29.99. Not bad. Cost – £29.99
So in total, the spend on all this equipment comes to £162.73. You’ve literally kitted yourself out with everything you could possibly need to boss a cardio, strength, circuit, hiit or aerobic session at home.
You don’t need to purchase it all, but even having a couple of these items will really give you a great home workout session.