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Fit Finds :: At Home Workout Essentials

Workout TipsWhitney Carlson8 Comments

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)

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!).

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.

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:

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.

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.

What piece of equipment can you NOT live without in your home gym?