Home Gym Essentials For Every Budget
Gyms are a pillar of fitness, but they can also present a series of obstacles, especially if you're even the slightest bit unmovitvated: time, money, and perhaps the fear of becoming sweaty and red-faced in front of all sorts of strangers. All of these reasons can interfere with your much-needed exercise time. Want to try working out at home? You actually don't need fancy cardio equipment to set up an effective home gym. Whether you're creating a dedicated space for fitness or you just need some storable gear to bust out after work to create a pop-up in-house gym, we've got a set of essentials in a range of prices for every budget — you could get an item from every category on this list without breaking $150!
Start With a Good Mat
You’re going to want some good cushion for your push-ups, planks, and Pigeon poses. Whether you get a Manduka (known to some as the Ferrari of yoga mats) or a tried-and-true $20 staple from Target, the mat sets up a nice spot for your home gym, so make sure it works for you and your specific needs.
You’re going to get sweaty, but you aren’t always going to want to use your bath towels and washcloths. Set aside towels for your face and body, and for your mat to keep you from slipping.
Most exercise routines will incorporate some kind of hand weight, whether it's one pound or 10. As a beginner, you can typically stick to a set of two under five pounds.
For a quick and easy cardio exercise, a jump rope is an absolute essential.
- Buy Jump Ropes Short Handle ($5)
- Wacces Deluxe Adjustable Double Unders Speed Jump Rope ($8, originally $20)
- P90X Weighted Jump Rope ($18)
- Buddy Lee Black Aero Speed Jump Rope ($30)
A foam roller is crucial to maintaining your muscle health while staying active. Make sure you have one of these on hand for all your post-workout cool-downs.
Certain exercises will require the use of a medicine ball. It also comes in handy for squat exercises, stability, and endurance training.
If you’re doing any kind of yoga, meditating, or restorative workout, you’ll definitely want an oil diffuser. Adding the scent of calming lavender or eucalyptus will enhance your experience, calm your body, and possibly mask the sweaty scent you’ve created in your home.
- Scentifier Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser ($18)
- MIU COLOR 100ml Aromatherapy Essential Oils Diffuser ($30, originally $80)
- Dot & Bo Essential Oils Diffuser ($60, originally $80)
For your workout app coaching or for your favorite tunes, music can totally change a workout. Use these speakers to turn up the volume — literally.
And now for the actual working out! In lieu of a personal trainer or DVD, the modern (and cost-efficient) model is the fitness app. You can use these apps on your phone or tablet.
- Nike Training Club (Free)
From yoga to HIIT to kickboxing, this free app has nearly every type of workout to kickstart your home fitness routine.
- Sweat With Kayla (Free to download, $20/mo)
The wildly popular Bikini Body Guide guru has taken to the digital space with an app membership, allowing you to get a good workout anywhere (including your sweet new home gym) for $20 a month.
- POPSUGAR Fitness (Free)
Try the POPSUGAR Active app at your home gym and beyond, for quick, downloadable workouts from beginner to expert.