Creating a workout area at home can be a great way to make your training more enjoyable and effective. You need not start fancy or expensive. A little bit of space and a few tools are all you will need to get started. Sharing resources with a friend or two is even better. We highly recommend collaboration whenever possible.
We have listed some equipment to help you get started. We think that these items are useful and will add value to your training. The truth is that we love building and using our workout space, but don’t worry if you don’t have access to every item. There are many ways to be creative and moving your body is the only absolute requirement.
• Olympic weightlifting bar, plates and collars: a quality bar will last nearly forever barring unknown and unforeseeable circumstances. You’ll want to start with a combination of large and small weight increments for a total of about 200 lbs. This is a great tool to begin with and you can always add more weights as you progress.
• Pull-up Bar: whether or not you can do pull-ups or chin-ups at this time, you can anchor Olympic rings or bands on the bar for both workouts and mobility work. Whatever you do, make sure they’re firmly anchored!
• Olympic rings: go for the good stuff and choose a set that is made of wood (not plastic). The grip and feel of the wood is far superior.
• Resistance Bands: resistance bands are a must have for a variety of reasons: they assist with stretching, rehabilitation, conditioning, and are also useful from a variety of strength-building perspectives. Choose several different sizes; they can be used together or independently.
• Kettlebells: these amazing implements are used for a variety of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. They are offered in a variety of sizes (9 lbs. to 88 lbs, or for those of you who think in kilos: 4 kg to 40 kg). The best place to start is pairs ranging from 9 lbs. – 35 lbs. (4 kg – 16 kg)
• Plyo-Box: another essential piece of your gym is the plyo-box. Basically it’s a very sturdy steel or wooden box that you can use to jump on, squat down to, step up on, or use to climb up and down from your pull-up bar or simply step up on. This is another item where quality counts!
• Lacrosse Ball: for less than a dollar, this little ball will help you make huge progress in your mobility.
• Foam Roller: another high priority item that helps you make huge jumps in your mobility work, and also assist in your work out recovery.
• Gymnastic mats: when all else fails and you’re going to take a tumble, a good gymnastic mat will prevent a lot of injuries. They’re an essential piece of equipment for any basic or advanced gym.
• Dumbbells: choose a rubber coated dumbbell and it’s very hard to go wrong. Just like the kettlebells, they are offered in a variety of sizes. You’ll go far with pairs of 10’s, 12’s, 15’s, 20’s and 25’s. As you progress you might end up with a pair of 120+ lbs!
• Medicine Balls: medicine balls combine strength, conditioning and power options into a single implement. Typically they range from 2-25 lbs. A single 10 or 12 lbs. medicine ball is a great place to start.
• AbMat: training the abdominals is tricky business. Abmats decrease the loads placed on the spine while performing abdominal work.
• Jump Rope: a jump rope is perhaps the lowest priced piece of conditioning equipment out there besides a sidewalk. As you open up your conditioning and discover agility, a good jump rope with a bearing handle is a must.
• Parallettes: similar to a set of dip handles or dip rack, a set of parallettes is used close to the ground and assists with the development of bodyweight movements.
• Squat Rack: this is essential at some point along the path, and now you’re here! Once you’re ready to move some serious weight it’s an amazing investment. This is another item where quality counts!
• Flat Bench: along with that squat rack, a flat bench opens up the possibility of moving more weight, and is also another fixture from which to lunge, squat or press off of. Quality still counts!
• Dip bars: a solid pair of dip handles or a dip bar allows you to add weight to push the strength training and skill development even farther.
• 3/4” locking rubber matting: the weights you drop as well as your floor will thank you for having these mats. The padding will protect both from damage, as well as your pocket book from having to replace broken items.
• Climbing rope: awesome for so many reasons, but it can be difficult to use at home due to hanging and height requirements. This is definitely a “going for it!” item.
• Concept 2 Rower or Airdyne: both are amazing pieces of equipment for conditioning but are quite pricey. When you’re ready to step it up a notch, purchasing one or both is a fantastic investment for your fitness regime.
• Stall Bars: old school fitness enthusiasts absolutely adore stall bars. They are used for strength training, mobility and stretching.
No matter your current skill level, do not sacrifice on quality! Life is an ever-evolving journey in health and fitness. Good pieces of equipment will endure with you all along the way. Above all, remember the most important thing is to get out and GoMove!