What Equipment Do You Actually Need For A Home Gym?
No matter when you work out – in the morning before work, during your lunch break or once you’ve finally finished your To-Do List in the evening – your gym routine is set. Especially with our free beginner workout plans for defined muscles and ultimate muscle building, nothing is going to stand in the way of your goals.
But what happens to your workout when you can’t make it to the gym? Skipping your workout isn’t an option, as you can easily turn your apartment into a home gym without lots of expensive equipment. All you need are these seven pieces of equipment and an extra dollop of motivation.
#1 A Mat
No matter your goal or whether your focus is on strength or endurance, your home gym needs a sports mat. It’s definitely worth investing in a high-quality mat, because a slippery surface quickly takes the fun out of any workout.
There’s normally a choice to be made between yoga and fitness mats. Yoga mats are thinner and generally more slip-resistant, whereas fitness mats are often made of foamed plastic and are therefore thicker and softer. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. A fitness mat can be more comfortable on joints in positions like the plank. But if you don’t have any problems like this, we recommend using a yoga mat for your workout, as you won’t sink in and you’ll get better grip, making it easier for you to perform exercises like lunges and standing balances cleanly. After your workout, save space and roll up your mat, then store it in a closet or under your bed.
If you want to build muscle, there are several options for your home gym. If you’re just starting out with strength training, you can quickly make progress with bodyweight exercises without equipment. Check here for our summary of the best bodyweight exercises for muscle building.
At a certain point however, you’ll need to set a new training incentive and this is where weights come in. You could equip your home gym with dumbbells or kettlebells of course, but you can also use equipment you already have at home. A full water bottle will make your shoulders burn in an overhead press, while having a full backpack (filled with canned goods, for example) on your chest will make for more intense front squats. Using a toolbox or pack of bottles for deadlifts will also challenge your hamstrings. As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to really get your muscles working.
#3 Jump Rope
What do professional boxers and your young nieces and nephews have in common? They both love a form of cardio you might remember from school. Use it to improve stamina or work up a good sweat in your home gym – we’re talking about the jump rope of course! Not only does it improve stamina, it also works on your core, leg muscles and your coordination. It’s suitable for all levels and challenges both beginners and professionals alike thanks to countless skipping variations. Learn more about jump ropes here.
Whether or not a weights bench looks good in the living room is a matter of taste. But if you don’t want to move your couch and side table aside to make space for gym equipment, don’t worry. On the contrary, you can easily use these in your workout. They’re perfect for leaning on in elevated push ups or making your glutes burn during Bulgarian split squats, where you rest a foot on a couch or table. Here’s our complete couch workout.
#5 Foam Roller
Cool downs are part of every good workout, even if they’re short. Do you find yourself skipping this step when you work out at home because you’re busy with other tasks around the house? It’s even more convenient to fit in a cool down when you workout at home however: there’s no annoying travel time to be factored in, so you can invest this extra time in warming down with your foam roller. Your muscles will thank you, and even more so if you reward yourself afterwards with our Recovery Aminos!
With many home workouts, especially HIIT Workouts, you train for a set period of time, rather than the number of repetitions. So you can fully concentrate on your exercises, rather than constantly looking at your watch, it’s worthwhile having a timer at hand. This allows you to set intervals or a countdown for the workout and it will ping you when it’s time to switch exercises or take a break. Some digital watches have these functions, but you can also download a wide range of apps onto your smartphone or tablet.
#7 The Perfect Post-Workout
Probably the best thing about a home gym? Boosting your muscles with a creamy protein shake straight after a workout! Our Whey Protein* can be easily transported in a shaker in your gym bag, but freshly prepared in the kitchen and drunk on the couch, it tastes twice as good.
More interesting articles from foodspring:
- The Best Bodyweight Exercises to Lose Weight
- 5 Weight Loss Myths and What’s Really Behind Them
- The Best Performance Supplements During Training
- The 6 Biggest Fitness Pitfalls After a Workout
*Proteins contribute toward an increase in muscle mass.
Sources for this article
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.