Having your own gym at home is awesome. You can avoid driving, looking for parking, and using rusty, old machines that you must wait for amongst a crowd of other people. I think we’ve learned from Covid that we don’t need a gym to get a good workout.
The following set-up will take up the least amount of space and give you the most bang for your buck. Here’s what you need:
Adjustable Dumbbells OR Dumbbell Duo
Workout Bench or Bosu Board
This is good for doing any floor exercises that require you laying down or being on your hands and knees. It will make the exercises more comfortable on the joints, particularly the knees and the tailbone. Plus, it can give you some traction so your hands or feet won’t slip. Who wants to lay on a hard, cold floor or get carpet burn? That’s just unnecessary pain. If you’re comfortable, you’ll be able to focus on the exercise at hand and get a better workout.
You can use adjustable dumbbells to do many different exercises and hit all the muscle groups. These are great for when bodyweight exercises just aren’t enough, or if you want a more intense workout without having to do a ton of reps. Also, it can be hard to work the pulling muscles (back and biceps) without weights. If the dumbbells are adjustable, they will take up less space and you can use them for a long time as you get stronger and stronger.
If you don’t find adjustable dumbbells, I’d recommend a set of 2 pairs: medium and heavy. Medium = weight you can lift over your head at least 10 times and 15 times max. Heavy = at least 5 times and 10 times max.
The medium dumbbells can be used for upper body exercises like bicep curls, rows, and chest presses.
The heavy dumbbells are great for leg exercises as leg muscles can handle more weight.
Of course, eventually you will outgrow the dumbbells, and you’ll probably have to buy a new pair of heavy ones. But, that will come later down the line; let’s focus on the present.
This is a nice piece of equipment to add more variety to your workouts. You can use the bench to perform various dumbbell exercises and add more support. An example would be performing a bent-over row exercise using the bench versus performing it standing and bent-over. The support will protect your lower back and can even allow you to lift more weight.
Bent-Over Row on Bench
This is not exactly a workout bench, but it still works.
You can use the bench to add more challenge to your core/ab exercises, or more variety. For example, you can add more range of motion to your reverse crunches.
Standing Bent-Over Row
Abs on Bench
Performing your ab exercises on a bench adds a small element of instability, making your core muscles work harder. A workout bench doesn’t take up much space and really opens up many exercise options. Totally worth the investment.
This is one of my personal favorites. It really adds an element of instability to your exercises. This will challenge your core more, burn more calories, and build more strength (especially joint strength). You can do most bench exercises on this. You can also stand on it so you can perform various leg exercises. Squats, deadlifts, and even plyometrics work great on this.
This is a must-have for recovery. It’s great to start with to prep your muscles before the workout. It’s also great to end with to soothe/calm your muscles after the workout. It will help alleviate soreness and tension build-up. If you work hard, you must recover properly. A high-density roller is my favorite for this.
Foam rollers also come with bumps if you really want to get out those knots. This can be a bit more painful, but it’s good pain! You’ll feel better after.
So there you have it! All you need is a little space, some quality, versatile equipment, a few bumpin’ tunes, and your home gym is good to go! :)