We often get questions from our readers asking us to help them create the home gym of their dreams or simply asking what the best equipment is for home use. Although it helps if you lack space, a gym is NOT a requirement to eating clean and building the body you always dreamed of having. NEITHER is spending a TON of money on equipment for your home gym. You can stock your gym using our recommendations for UNDER $300!!
Create a Home Gym Under $300
Here are our recommendations for must-haves to get the most out of your workout at home:
A Good Quality Height Changing "Step" - This is a triple-duty piece of equipment! Not only can you use it for toning your legs (think step-ups) but also for cardio and as a bench upper body workouts (just consider throwing a towel down or a yoga mat for added comfort)
- The Step F1004 Workout System - $25.95
- Extra risers ($24.95) are always a good idea so that you can make the most out of this piece of equipment - change angles and intensity.
A Workout Mat or Yoga Mat - This one is really up to you! If you feel like you will need a little extra cushion (say you are working out on hardwood floors vs carpet) then you may feel like a workout mat is right for you. If Yoga is your thing, a good quality yoga mat can do double duty for you (PS - You can also get them in extra thickness!).
- Harbinger 340100 Durafoam Exercise Mat - $25.55
- Yoga Monster Mat 1/4"x72" Extra Thick 17 Colors SGS Approved Non-Toxic PER No Phthalates or Latex by Bean ProductsTM - Purple - $21.95
An Exercise/Stability Ball - Stability balls can be great to use as "benches" for upper body workouts or to tone your abdominal muscles during planks or crunches. My best suggestion is that you choose a ball that is medium in size - you don't want it to be too large (unless you are 6'4'') or too small.
A Weighted Medicine Ball - Medicine balls are phenomenal for a multitude of exercises. Slam one of these puppies against a wall during an ab workout, use it while you do burpees or simply use as a weight while you lift upper body. It's as functional as it is small! We recommend a variety of weights, depending on your fitness level.
- Valeo MB12 12-Pound Medicine Ball - $41.40
- Valeo WFB10 10 lb. Weighted Fitness Ball (10 lb) - $21.99
- Valeo WFB8 8 lb. Weighted Fitness Ball (8 lb) - $18.99
Resistance Bands - Resistance bands are possibly one of the best items that provide a "bang" for your buck! Not only can you string them together to make your workouts more challenging, but they are portable - you can take them with you when you travel! Here is Jim's favorite set:
- Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set with Door Anchor, Ankle Strap, Exercise Chart, and Resistance Band Carrying Case - $29.99
Free Weights - You can never have enough free weights! Especially as you begin building your gym and building your endurance and strength. When choosing weights, consider buying three (if buying static dumbells) - one that you are comfortable with, one you can do but struggle too and one to work up to! You can always keep adding! Or, consider a plate-loaded mechanism.
- Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set - $55.98
- Valeo HW8 8-Pound Neoprene Hand Weights (Set of 2) - $43.60
- Valeo HW10 10-Pound Neoprene Hand Weights (Set of 2) - $29.99
- Body Solid Tools BSTVD15 15-Pound Vinyl Dumbbell (Gray) (Sold Individually) - $26.50 ea/$53 pair
Jump Rope - Need a quick cardio pick me up? Try a jump rope! They are portable and CHEAP!
Workout DVDs - These are great for days when you just need a change from your ordinary workout! We have reviewed several different DVDs over the course of the blog - you will find the links to the reviews below.
- Beach Body Insanity DVDs
- The Biggest Loser : The Workout - Boot Camp
- Physique 57
- Jillian Michaels : Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism
What piece of equipment can you NOT live without in your home gym?