Getting plenty of exercise is a key element of any healthy lifestyle. For some, that means going for a walk every day. For others, that means rigorous weightlifting sessions.

Everyone enjoys getting their exercise in different ways and in different places. Some enjoy the gym; they get access to all the equipment plus extras like a pool, sauna, or personal trainer. Others look for ways to save money on a gym membership and work out at home. There are plenty of reasons why some of us prefer at-home workouts to the gym, ranging from cost to time.

So, if getting in shape (or staying in shape) is a high priority on your list, why not skip that guest bedroom and turn the extra space into a workout area? This week, you’ll learn about the benefits of having a home gym, and about some of the best equipment to start with that doesn’t take up too much space.  

Benefits of a Home Gym

You’re Already Home

It doesn’t matter if you work out first thing in the morning, when you get home in the evening, or sometime during the day; if you work from home, you don’t have to get out and drive somewhere to do your workout.

It’s Always Open

In a sense, your gym is always open. Now, we understand that, if you have a family, you may have to work around their schedule, but it’s easier to plan your workout session at your convenience and not around the gym’s hours.

Clean Equipment

When you’re using your own equipment, you’re not worried if the person before you wiped down that machine after they used it, or if the gym’s staff is following everyone to sanitize the weights. Since you and your family are the only people using the equipment, you’re able to clean it yourself and not wonder who touched it before you. Plus, you don’t have to wait for the person before you to finish their sets before you can get started on yours.

Best Equipment for Your Home Gym

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are great for a home gym. You can get the set you need without investing a lot of money. Depending on where you are in your fitness journey, getting 1–2 sets is enough to get you started. You can always purchase more as you’re ready to increase your weight. The cost of dumbbells will range depending on the weight and metal used. If your budget allows, you may look at the adjustable dumbbell set where you can slide in more weight on a single handpiece.

TRX Suspension Trainer

The TRX Suspension Trainer is the ultimate all-in-one piece of equipment. The TRX can be mounted or wrapped around your door. If you’ve never seen a TRX Suspension Trainer before, it’s a set of straps that allow you to get a full-body workout using gravity as your resistance. Check out the TRX website to see why this is probably the best piece of equipment you could own!

Resistance Loop Bands

Have you ever done bridges or leg lifts while wearing a resistance band? You will quickly see your lower body workout go up a notch and have your quads, hamstrings, and glutes screaming. Resistance bands are great for bodyweight exercises and for those who prefer the added weight from dumbbells or barbells. Most resistance bands come in packs allowing you to start with easy or low resistance and gradually work up to more. The great thing about resistance loops is their prices start as low as $10!

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are another great piece of equipment to add to your home gym that allows for additional weight without taking up too much space. They’re perfect for squats, lunges, and overhead extensions. Similar to dumbbells, the cost is going to vary depending on the size and material used.

Gliding Discs

If you’re dreaming of those washboard abs, then the gliding discs are a must-have in the gym. Many of the gliders are dual-sided, allowing you to use them on both carpet and hardwood. You’re able to work the core and lower body by performing a series of moves while holding the plank position. Gliding discs can be found at all of your favorite sporting good stores and are relatively inexpensive, ranging between $5–$15.