Finances are often used as an excuse to justify a lack of regular exercise in one’s life. And while it is true that fancy gyms and fitness equipment can make a sizeable hole in the budget, it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible for a good workout to cost nothing. Still, it’s understandable if you want to make things a bit more convenient by exercising in a gym-like environment. That’s where an at-home fitness area comes into play. Here’s how you can set up a home gym on a budget without sacrificing all the fun and comfort of a traditional gym.
Find a suitable area in your home
The space in your home that you decide to dedicate to your home gym will be the main determinant of your next steps. Naturally, this project will be much easier to complete if you have an empty room you can turn into a workout area. However, since this is often not the case, you will likely need a bit of resourcefulness to create a space that can support your fitness needs. The good news is, even a corner in your living room is enough – as long as you can fit an exercise mat!
This is all the space you need to set up a home gym on a budget!
Define your fitness necessities
There is no one size fits all answer to how to set up a home gym on a budget. Everyone’s fitness needs are different, which means you will need to figure out yours before you start acquiring the equipment. After all, even the best stationary bike won’t be worth much if cardio is not your thing.
So, think hard about what kinds of workouts you enjoy most. Keep in mind that a healthy exercise routine should include different types of movement and address several muscle groups. With that said, you should aim to design a home gym in which you can try something new now and then. This will prevent satiation and monotony, which should help you remain consistent and persistent.
The basics are all you really need
Fitness stores can be overwhelming with their endless array of complex machines, bulky devices, and strange-looking accessories. And while having a different gadget for each of your body parts is fun, it definitely isn’t necessary. In reality, you only really need a few basic pieces of equipment for a quality workout routine. If you think this won’t provide you with enough variety to maintain your motivation, know that each of the following can be used in many different ways.
Here are a few affordable essentials you should consider investing in:
- A set of resistance band loops or tubes with handles for varying levels of resistance – use them to increase mobility and strengthen and tone your legs, arms, and even chest.
- A multi-purpose training bench – suitable for weight training exercises, sit-ups, and much more.
- A dumbbell set – whether you’re a beginner, or a gym freak, you will be able to use dumbbells in many different ways.
- Jump rope – a fun way to include some cardio into your routine.
- Slider exercise discs – great for strengthening your core and improving overall stability.
Resistance bands provide strengthening while increasing range of motion.
Now, even the most basic fitness equipment can seem intimidating if you’re at a loss as to what to do with it. Luckily, the Internet is filled with valuable sources. YouTube is an excellent platform where you can find a variety of fitness classes and even instructions on specific exercises and gadgets. Additionally, you can find classes and guides for each of the products mentioned here.
Used equipment will save you a ton of money
Buying used exercise equipment is an excellent way to set up a home gym on a budget. Moreover, second-hand pieces would allow you to equip your workout area with more than just the basics if that is what you want.
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to start your treasure hunt. Since it might take you a while to come across the equipment you want and need, make sure to always be on the lookout. But beware – once you score something good, you’ll instantly become hooked on finding the best deals.
A word of caution – make sure to thoroughly inspect your second-hand equipment before using it. Since you are not buying from a store, no one can guarantee that everything is in working order. You want to always stay safe by doing your best to prevent injuries while exercising at home. Click here for more info on home exercise injury prevention
Using what you already have is the most budget-friendly option
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that a good workout can indeed cost you nothing. You don’t have to spend a single dollar to create a home gym. Instead of buying equipment, you can use what you probably already have at home:
- Filled water bottles or milk jugs – an excellent replacement for kettlebells.
- Furniture pieces like a coffee table or chair – for weight training (with caution).
- A backpack filled with books – instead of a weight vest.
- Stairs – for aerobic exercises.
Furthermore, you can design an entire workout using nothing but your body weight. YouTube is a great source of inspiration if you don’t know where to start.
What happens before and after exercising is essential
When designing a home gym, most people only focus on the workout stage of the process. And while that is the main part, what happens before and after exercising matters as well.
Warming up, cooling off, and relaxing your muscles with the help of stretch bands and foam rollers will make your routine much more effective and, more importantly, safer. Therefore, make sure to invest in a couple of tools and accessories – your post-workout body will certainly be thankful.
A good stretch should be an integral part of every workout routine.
Learn about the difference between dynamic and static stretching here
Final thoughts on how to set up a home gym on a budget
In order to set up a home gym on a budget, all you really need is to focus on the basics. Depending on the amount of space you have at your disposal, these can include smaller items such as resistance bands and a kettlebell or bigger ones like a multifunctional bench. Aside from available square footage, your biggest focus should be your fitness needs. Finding affordable solutions will be much easier if you figure out what you want to address in your workouts. In the end, what’s important is that your little exercise area motivates you to remain persistent in your routine.
Written by guest writer Sally Norton