What do you really need to workout from home?

Let’s face it – life is still not quite returning to normal, yet getting more hectic as we move out of the more relaxed summer season. Let’s face this too: we’re better for ourselves when we exercise regularly. We feel better, we feel more resilient, we burn off stress better, we sleep better, and all of that makes an excellent argument for making sure exercise is possible at home, anytime you can.

So, if you had limited money to spend, limited space to store gym equipment, and limited time to work out (i.e., you don’t want to work out doing bodyweight routines for 1-2 hours a day), what makes the most sense for a home workout setup?

Most basic: a medium thickness yoga mat, a pair of hand weights or a kettlebell, and a set of elastic fitness bands. 

This gets you much of what you need with a tiny footprint, a small expense, and enables workouts that are worth doing. You’ll need to ensure that you have some places to anchor your fitness bands, including a doorway, or a very well-secured stair or porch railing.

If you have a little more to spend?
Add a basic set of kettlebells, from 10-35 pounds. This lets you challenge both upper and lower body, and build valuable grip strength along the way.
They’re a bit more difficult to find storage for – my advice is NOT to EVER store them under the bed. Eventually, your toes and a kettlebell will encounter each other. Set aside a low shelf in your closet or living room instead.

Want to work multiple angles/build flexible strength and have a bit more cash to spend?
Add a BOSU ball and a set of TRX bands. The BOSU ball can be stored easily under a bed or in a closet, and the TRX bands are super compact and easy to store.

So, is that it?

Yes, it can be. If you choose walking or running as your solid-state cardio, you’re done! (On the other hand, if you’re like me, you’ll also want a jump rope, a hula hoop, and a few yoga balls.)

And if you’re super-pressed for cash, be sure to check thrift stores and yard sales/garage sales for used equipment – with the exception of fitness bands, what you find is usually just as good as new. (Don’t count on running into a BOSU or TRX set at a garage sale, though – people tend to hang onto these!)

I’ll be back next week with exercises you can do with your new home gym. Whether Covid gets worse again or not, you’ll have a lot of security knowing that you can stay home and do everything you need to get stronger and happier.