How to Make a Home Gym on the Cheap
Whether you’re self-conscious about hitting the gym when it’s full of tanned, “perfect 10” beach beauties, or you’re just trying to save a little cash, learning how to make a home gym for less can save you time (driving back and forth!) and lots of money. It can also help you shave off a little (or a lot of) pounds!
Home Gym Essentials
First, you’ll need some space. All you really need to work out at home is your body, because bodyweight exercises are amazing! Plus, you can do cardio without any equipment, too. However, if you’d like to have the full gym experience, here are a few items I suggest to purchase (even one at a time).
Choose a workout area that allows you to move around a bit. Ideally, an entire room (or garage, whatever) is what you want – but not everyone has that much space, so whatever you have… make it work!
If you don’t have a ton of space, I recommend using the living room. Buy a few workout DVDs (I love Jillian Michaels and Leslie Sansone workouts), and get your calorie burn on in the living room!
Like working out outside? Make a slosh pipe! This thing is one crazy workout, and only costs a few bucks.
Yoga Mat – price varies, usually around $20 but this one (in brown) is only $8.99 right now. You’ll use a yoga mat for pretty much everything! Whether you’re doing sit ups on the floor, or any floor work at all, you’ll want a mat to make yourself comfortable. You don’t want an aching back… it will just be one more excuse to stop (or shorten) your workout.
Resistance Bands – You can use bands or loops. It seems the loops are a bit cheaper. The loops kind of have a weird smell at first so if you’re sensitive to that, stick with the bands instead. I use the resistance loops and bands for arm and leg work. For legs, step side to side and do side leg raises. For arms, you can do pretty much any exercise that you’d do with dumbbells. My favorites are tricep extensions. Move slowly, creating even more resistance than the band/loop does. This will increase your calorie burn!
Jump Rope – price varies but I bought one for $1.54 on Amazon not too long ago. You can also get a weighted jump rope, but those do cost more. Do 30 seconds of jump rope at first, then work your way up to jumping faster and longer.
If you’re doing interval training, do a few burpees, then a minute of jump rope. Alternate burpees, mountain climbers, jump rope, etc for 20 minutes to get an amazing cardio workout.
Weighted Hula Hoop – You can buy a weighted hula hoop for about $50, or you can make your own. Weighted hula hoops are great, but start light (and only do it for a few minutes at a time), or you’re going to have severely bruised sides. Don’t ask me how I know this. 🙂
Stability Ball – $18.00 (I got this one for $14)- Use in place of a workout bench, and also for other exercises like crunches. Do some research to see which size you need for your height before making a purchase. Stability balls are also great chairs! If you work on the computer a lot (like I do!), sitting on a ball for a few hours a day will help strengthen your core.
These items are what I consider essential for building a complete home gym for less. While you’re still adding to your gym, remember to do lots of bodyweight exercises. Not only will you get used to using your own body as your gym, you’re going to build muscle and stamina in ways that you never thought possible! Also remember to do cardio and weight training!