Building An At-Home Gym

I get it – sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect gym. Or sometimes, you just don’t want to actually get in the car, drive to the gym, and fight the crowds for some free weights. OR. You just prefer to workout at home.

Whatever the reason may be, having a workout space at home is great. It provides you with readily available means of working out (although body weight workouts are great too, and I’ll be posting an awesome one next week for you to have in your arsenal) and allows you to cut down on the added time of getting to and from the gym. Added bonus: you have access to immediately hop in the shower when you’re done without having to drive home sweaty 😉

However, building up your collection of workout tools can prove to be challenging and often times costly. Which tools do you really need? What will you use the most? Which brand or style is best for me? Here’s my list of workout tools that are great to have on hand in order to keep you moving and give you plenty of workout options at home!

1. Jump Rope

Cardio machines like the elliptical and treadmill are expensive, and quite frankly, unnecessary. Running or doing sprints outside (when the weather permits) is a great way to get the heart rate up! However, when the weather isn’t in your favor (or if running just isn’t your thing) having a jump rope allows you with another fun way to get the heart pumping without the use of a machine.

I recommend buying one in store so you know what length jump rope you need (quick tip – step on the middle of the jump rope and hold each end up. The handles should be about armpit height on you). You can find some great, inexpensive options here.

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2. One pair of dumbbells
Dumbbells are great to have to work tons of exercises, but having to buy multiple dumbbells gets expensive. My recommendation? Find a pair that feels challenging (but doable) for 8-10 reps on a double strict press. Test them out in stores and perform 8-10 reps and rate on a scale of 1-10 how challenging it was to perform those reps. Aim for a pair that is a 6/10 on the difficulty scale. This will allow you quite a bit of versatility to work multiple different exercises with.

Adjustable dumbbells are a great option as well, but they do tend to be a bit pricer, so it is up to you on what you’re looking to spend.

I really like this style of dumbbells, as they are comfortable to use and a better style for weight-bearing exercises.

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3. One Kettlebell
If you haven’t already guessed by now, I love working with kettlebells. They are a great tool that work multiple muscle groups at once AND can provide you with some cardiovascular benefits as well. I recommend getting one kettlebell that you can work multiple lower body exercises with (think two handed swings, goblet squats, and lunge variations). Haven’t worked the kettlebell swing yet? Not to worry – I have a great post here that will help you start swinging in no time!

Try out these great kettlebells.

**Note: the kettlebell will likely be the most expensive of these pieces (roughly about $100 depending on the weight) but they are immensely durable, really useful, and very dynamic with the exercises you can do with them.

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4. Yoga Mat
For stretching, sweating, and providing yourself with a comfortable place to do you workout, a yoga mat is a great option. Super inexpensive to grab at your local store, or you can find great ones online here.

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Altogether, you’re looking at about $200 total worth of equipment to provide you with tons of great exercises at home. While $200 may seem steep to shell out right away, you can work to get these pieces individually over time. Having even just one of two of these will still allow you tons of great workout options to do at home.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting workouts to do with each one of these tools so that you have great options in your back pocket to work with 🙂 If you try any of them out – post a photo or video and TAG ME! @laurenweissfitness on Instagram and Lauren Weiss Fitness on Facebook.

Hope to see you out there sweating!

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