Home Workout: Equipment You Need

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on September 14, 2021
3 min read

Home workouts have some great benefits over going to the gym. You don't need to spend time travelling to the gym, and you'll save money that you would have spent on a gym membership, which can average at around $50 a month.

If you feel anxious about going to the gym or self-conscious about exercising in front of other people, home workouts are a good alternative option. You can exercise with privacy in the comfort of a familiar space and don't need to wait your turn to use gym equipment.

If you work remotely or otherwise spend a lot of time at home, home workouts are highly convenient. You can simply hop from your computer to your designated workout space after logging off for the day.

Before exercising at home or buying any home workout equipment, set aside some space for working out. The space can be anywhere from your bedroom to the basement, but it should motivate you to exercise rather than making it feel like a chore. 

Add heaters to warm up cold spaces and use paints and posters to brighten up dull areas. Putting up posters of motivational quotes or pictures may be helpful. Keep a towel and fan nearby for sweat and consider buying a chalkboard so you can write down exercise regimes to follow. 

If you're on a strict budget, there are some home workouts you can do without any equipment.

Common cardio exercises include:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jogging in place
  • Burpees

It's best to combine three to four of these cardio exercises with three equipment-free strength training exercises two or more days a week, such as:

  • Squats
  • Pushups
  • Triceps dips
  • Wall sits
  • Planks
  • Abdominal crunches
  • Lunges

Create your own workout regimen by doing 30-second sets of exercises for 3 to 4 minutes each and alternating between the cardio and strength training exercises.

If you're ready to invest in home workout equipment but are still new to home workouts, consider buying some of the following simple and affordable items:

  • Resistance bands
  • Jump rope
  • Step bench or box
  • Abdominal wheel
  • Exercise mat
  • Gliding discs

Resistance bands come in light, medium, and heavy weights according to your ability. Along with ab wheels and gliding discs, they're useful for strength training. Jumping rope is a form of cardio, and the ropes themselves are easy to store. 

You can incorporate step aerobics into your home cardio routine with the help of a step bench. Use an exercise mat for strength- and flexibility-related activities like yoga and Pilates, which you can practice with online videos. 

For around $75, or the approximate price of three studio workouts, you can get a mini-band, a set of dumbbells, a 2-arm resistance band, and a jump rope.

If you already have some experience with home workouts and want to take your strength training to the next level, consider buying the following equipment:

  • Suspension trainer
  • Barbells and plate weights
  • Dumbbells 
  • Weighted vest
  • Medicine balls or sandbags
  • Kettlebell

A suspension trainer helps make workouts more challenging and is useful for abdominal exercises. It's a good piece of equipment for beginners to try before switching to weights.

Like resistance bands, dumbbells come in light, medium, and heavy weights. Adjustable dumbbells are pricier than regular ones, but they take up less space. You may want to buy some matching storage equipment to save on space, like a dumbbell rack or a wall mount for a medicine ball.

Add a stability ball, sandbag, and kettlebell to your $75 set for an intermediate home gym. This takes the total cost to around $200, which is roughly equivalent to a four-month gym membership.

To create a proper home gym, it's worth buying some electric cardio equipment, which usually costs between a couple hundred dollars to $1000. Cardio equipment you can buy for your home includes:

  • Indoor bike
  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical machine 
  • Indoor rowing machine
  • Vertical climber
  • Ski erg
  • Assault bike
  • Punching bag

An indoor rowing machine is particularly useful because it works both your upper and lower body at the same time, which increases the number of calories you burn. Buying a power tower or squat rack can help increase the intensity of your strength training exercises. 

While these items are more expensive, high-quality purchases will last for years and save you the cost of a regular gym membership. Look for companies that sell used commercial gym equipment to get a lower price.