How To Create A Basic Home Gym
Working out at home requires only your body, a little bit of space to move and gravity. There are a lot of body weight workouts that you can do which require no equipment. They’ll include moves like pistol squats, push-ups and burpees. These workouts can be a great way to start out at home.
Having a dedicated space (or even a whole room) somewhere in your home is great, but not required. You may need to move the coffee table out of the way, but usually you can carve out a little space for yourself somewhere.
If you can, a block of space in one room, about 7′ x 8′ will do. If you can’t get an open space that size then look for smaller areas where you can comfortably reach out to the sides or stretch out full length. You can always modify moves to fit the space as well. If you need to move a coffee table or a chair, just make sure it’s easy to do. If it’s a hassle to even get the space ready then you’ll less likely to follow through and do your workouts.
A couple of extra notes on space… If you’re tall, be aware of your vertical space for jumping moves like burpees (this comes from personal experience). A slice (about 2′ wide) of open wall space is another great thing to have available for your workouts (great for wall sit, wall walk, handstands, etc.).
Music & Video
Wherever you are you’ll probably want to have access to music and some way to watch online videos and/or DVDs. Being near a TV with a DVD player and a streaming device is ideal. Having a larger screen and decent speakers is great, but you can get by with just your smart phone if needed.
Music is great for cardio or workouts that you have in written form. Streaming from the Internet is great for YouTube workout videos, BeachBody On Demand and many other sites that offer online workouts. Plenty of programs are still sold on DVD and you probably have some already lying around the house. So, a DVD player is a nice thing to have as well.
The next thing you’ll need is a mat. A yoga mat is great for yoga and stretching if you’re working with a carpeted area. If you’re on a hard surface get a thicker mat for moves on the floor in order to protect your knees, hips and spine from pain and potential injury.
If you want to build muscle (you do) then you’ll want to invest in some type of resistance training tools. Here, you have options including dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, pull-up bar, TRX, and medicine balls.
All of these options have their pros and cons. Resistance bands are a great place to start, especially if space is an issue. They’re probably the most economical option as well. Bands are light and compact and easy to store out of sight. They can be used to train every muscles group. They come in different styles, sizes, and resistance levels. If you can find a place to anchor a band (they sell door anchors specially designed for this) then you really have everything you need. All the strength training tools listed are great options. Explore them as your interest, funds and space allow.
As you go along in your home fitness journey… you’ll figure out what works for you. You’ll find space for things you want (like all of a sudden you decide there IS room for a stability ball! :)). And you’ll find workouts that meet your needs and help you reach your specific goals. Knowledge is power. So, a willingness to keep learning about fitness is important.
As always, if you need a little help, consider hiring a trainer. Look into hiring someone on a short-term and/or periodic basis to help you get started and then to help you progress. Learning proper form for strength training exercises is super important. So, if you’re not sure of yourself, that’s where you should spend your training dollars.
If you have questions, go ahead and ask them in the comments or send an email. The answer to your question might be featured in a future post.