How to Create Your Perfect Home Gym

Lisa Austin Exercise and Form, Most Recent

Have you thought about what equipment you would need in order to get an effective workout from the comforts of home? Maybe you’ve thought you would have to have space for a workout bench, or maybe one of those universal ensembles that adjust for every exercise under the sun?

You don’t need either of those and the equipment I’m going to share with you takes minimal space and with a little imagination, you can get a very effective full-body workout without leaving your home.

What is the best equipment to get for exercising at home?

I’ve had that question a lot lately so why not give you my recommendations here in one place.

Exercise equipment for the perfect home gym doesn’t have to be big, bulky, or heavy and still be able to give you an efficient yet effective workout. With more and more people looking to find ways to exercise without a gym, a little imagination is going to be a requirement or you will have to find someone like me who has done that work for you since this just happens to be my specialty. 😉

Before I get into my recommendations, I would like to first say that you don’t have to have any equipment for a complete full-body workout but adding a few simple pieces of equipment can add so much variety to your movements. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced with exercise, the pieces below can either assist you as you move your body through space or help you to progress for building strength and endurance.

I have been doing personal training in people’s homes for the last six years supplying the equipment and I can fit everything I need into the trunk of my little black Ford Focus. In it, I have a complete set of resistance bands, micro bands, a stability ball, TRX suspension ropes, and a foam roller. There’s also a couple of dumbbells, 3, 5, and 8 lbs, and one 15 lb kettlebell. The stability ball takes up the most space. 

I love having the freedom to take our workouts wherever we want to go. 

OK… so here we go with my recommendations for how to create your perfect home gym.

My Recommendations for a Perfect Home Gym

TRX suspension ropes – With a few tips and things to be mindful of when using the TRX, there isn’t anything I can’t do with this piece of equipment. I love the simplicity of changing where you put your feet to assist in an exercise or challenge someone who’s been exercising for years. It’s lightweight and as long as you have something sturdy to anchor it to, you don’t need much more room than space for a yoga mat. The TRX could be your one-stop-shop home gym.

Continuously looped bands – These look like giant rubber bands and I recommend getting, at minimum, the red, black, purple, and green. Resistance bands can work your whole body but unlike TRX, you don’t NEED an anchor point to use them. You can use your body as the anchor. The resistance with bands is progressive. What that means is, the farther you can extend the band, the more resistance you will be using. Need more resistance? You can double the band for certain exercises and double your resistance. 

Both the TRX and Bands require your body to be stabilized as you move through your ranges of motion using more that one muscle group at a time making every exercise a ‘whole body’ exercise. 

Door Anchor – This is not a necessity but for the cost and how much variety it can add to your workouts, I highly recommend adding this to your shopping list. This can be put over the door or through the side of the door frame to adjust the height of where the band is anchored.

Non-slip Micro-bandsLike the door anchor, these are not a necessity but they can add a variety to your workouts and help you progress by adding resistance.

Stability Ball – The stability ball is a fabulous way to challenge your core strength by making you stabilize for every exercise that you do with it. You can incorporate the ball into the program to be used along with bands, TRX, or dumbbells.

Complete SMR set  – The use of foam rollers and balls for self-myofascial release, or foam rolling, in my opinion, should be a part of every home gym. Foam rolling helps you to release the tension in your muscles and relax our myofascial connective tissue. When we are tight and tense for too long you won’t be able to effectively train your body through full ranges of motion. More on that in this post.

Yoga Mat – This one is at the bottom of the list because it’s not exactly a priority but can be nice to have. You will want to make sure that you won’t slip while you are performing an exercise so depending on the type of floor you have, a mat can prevent unnecessary slips and also add a little cushion when doing floor exercises.

There you have it. You can order all of that equipment online and have it delivered right to your door, or you can go to your local exercise equipment store to pick them up. Get yourself a basket to store everything in and you are set to go. If you have a man that’s handy you could even have them make something like this to hold everything neatly.

Now if you don’t want to go out and get everything at once, decide on three to get you started.

Which ones are you going to start with? Not sure where to begin? I have training plans with the work that is already done for you. All you have to do is choose the one for you and show up to do your best.