Close your eyes and imagine having your own personal home gym: a complete system for getting fit in your living room.


Type “home gym” into Pinterest and you’ll soon find people have set ups at home that are better than a commercial facility.


Some of us might feel that working out at home won’t be effective, because we don’t have the space or money to invest in such a lavish set up.


The good news is, you don’t need a lot of either to get an effective workout at home.




In various stages of lockdown and 2020 craziness, getting to a gym can vary from impractical to downright impossible.


For some of us, gym membership can be expensive and perpetuates guilt for missing training day.


And then there’s the time factor.


If you only have an hour (or minutes) a day to train, you want to maximize that time as much as possible.  You really don’t want to consume any of that precious time just getting to and from the gym.


I’m a big fan of working out from home. It’s cost effective, time efficient and excuse proof.


With the right setup ready to go, you can squeeze in a quick workout with whatever time you have.




What’s that, you say? You don’t have the room or the funds to set up a home gym?


Think again! Sure, you can go all out with squat cages and cardio machines if you’ve got the budget and square footage.


BUT you really don’t need a lot of space, money, or equipment to build an effective home  gym.


In fact, I work out on the living room floor of my tiny little townhouse.  All my equipment packs away neatly on the bottom shelf in my cupboard.


Here are my top recommended fitness essentials for building a home gym on a budget.


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Great for floorwork, crunches, Pilates, yoga – any kind of exercise where you’re low to the ground, especially if you’re working out on hardwood or tile. It will just absorb some impact and protect against injury to your joints or spine.


These can be as high-end or budget as you like but either way will make floorwork a lot more safe and comfortable, so you can experience all the luxury of a Pilates studio from the comfort of your own home.


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Ladies, boob sag from exercising without the right sports bra is very real, very permanent, and can be extreme. Trust me from unfortunate experience.


Before you think about anything else, get yourself a sports bra that will minimize bounce as much as possible.


Those little crop top “bras” with spaghetti straps may look adorable but offer little support for activities like running, tennis, or high impact/jumping workouts like HIIT.


A proper sports bra may not be the cutest but it will protect your breast tissue from bouncing and permanent damage.


For my fellow amply chested girls, two high impact sports bras may be necessary. You’ll thank me later.


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All sneakers are not made alike. There are some with gel support designed for running, there are some made for weight lifting, and others may look like sneakers but provide little actual support when exercising and can even cause pain, blisters, and injury.


Think about the kind of activity you’ll be doing and make sure to get the right footwear for the occasion.


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Especially when you’re new to exercise, you really don’t need any equipment to start – your body IS the equipment.


You don’t need anything except your body to go for a run, do a dance class, do yoga or Pilates, or even to perfect your form in foundation bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, sit-ups, and planks.


Rather than diving into the deep end with weights, focus on understanding the mechanics of your body when you perform the movement and work on proper form before starting to add some weight.


Trust me, a solid mind-muscle connection with resistance training will do more for strength and lean muscle mass than fancy equipment ever will (if it’s not used properly).




Stability balls are so versatile! Even subbing your office chair out for a stability ball strengthens your core and straightens your posture while you work.


You can use them as a makeshift bench for exercises like chest presses and flyes, and they’re amazing for core work. Anti-burst stability balls are quite inexpensive but will add a tonne of variety to your workout.


When it comes to choosing a stability ball, just remember they come in all different heights for all different bodies, so make sure to choose a size that is comfortable for you.


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Resistance bands are the next step up from bodyweight movements. They provide added resistance during functional movement AND what I love about them is that they take up virtually NO space.


You could chuck them in your handbag, your overnight bag, your suitcase, and bust out a workout anywhere. Grab some in a variety of resistance strengths (light, medium, heavy etc) so you feel challenged as your strength progresses.


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When you’re ready to up your strength training game, adding resistance with weights builds lean muscle mass and strengthens your body. Dumbbells are the obvious choice here.  They come in a range of different weights in 1 kg increments, so you can progress as you get stronger.


Dumbbells are usually purchased individually (unless you get a kit) and can get expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can start with cans of soup/beans (as long as they’re the same weight), or water bottles.


You can also try little ankle and hand weights. Kettlebells and medicine balls are a great option – although when used incorrectly they can cause property damage or injury, so make sure to have a session or two with a kettlebell qualified trainer first.


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YouTube is full of some amazing free workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home. From retro aerobics superstars Denise Austin and Richard Simmons to Pilates, yoga, and everything in between, all you need is an internet connection, some minimal equipment and you’ve got yourself everything you need for a great workout.




You don’t need a fancy, expensive gym membership to get a great workout. In fact, I would argue that working out from home takes away a LOT of barriers to exercise.


Working out from home may be less daunting, less expensive, and less inconvenient – but it’s definitely not less effective. And you don’t even need a tonne of space or money to create a great home gym set up.


With a few basic pieces of equipment, you can set up a home gym that is guaranteed to give you a great workout.


Now I’d love to hear from you – what’s your favorite way to work out from home? What are your home gym must-haves? Share your best tips in the comments below.


Keep Discovering


If you liked this article, you’ll find these useful too:


How to Track Your Fitness Progress Without Stepping on a Scale / Can You Love Your Body and Want to Lose Weight / 32 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting


Save some for ‘Ron


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