How do I set up my own home gym on a budget? What equipment do I need at home? How do I work out, without going to the gym?
Now that we are in the midst of COVID-19, what once seemed like a luxury, is now a necessity. To maintain our health, setting up a home gym is paramount to our physical and mental wellness.
We are happy to share our top 5 tips when setting up your home personal training studio. Plus, our top 10 pieces of equipment to invest in so that you can put yourself through an effective workout.
I don’t know about you, but I have always secretly wanted to have a home gym. The idea of being able to workout anywhere, anytime effectively is magical! That being said, it can also be challenging to envision a space outside of the gym, especially now, to work out, since many of us are now negotiating space with family or roommates.
Though it may be a challenge, it is so important to be training consistently, over time. This is how we achieve the result of utilizing exercise as medicine for the body.
Proper exercise actually:
- stimulates the body's immune response
- increases serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain
- helps to regulate hormones
- improves balance and coordination
- helps with insulin regulation
- builds bone density
- helps cholesterol regulation
- improves cardiac health
- builds lean muscles that protect your bones if you fall
- builds endurance and stamina
Creating a system that keeps us healthy, while staying stable, and increasing our neuromuscular connectivity helps us to maintain our sanity. It is more important than ever, to set up our workout spaces at home.
Before setting up your home gym, here are the top 5 things to keep in mind:
- All you really need is a 5' x 5' space and yourself to get started. Don’t worry about getting a bunch of gadgets (even though, yes, new gadgets are fun and motivating) to get started. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises you can do that are safe, effective, and work up a sweat.
- Be realistic. Can you actually train in the space when and if you need to? Stretch your arms out to the side and turn 360 degrees. Are you bumping into anything?
- It is in your best interest to make whatever space you choose, feel like it is dedicated to exercise. I, personally, have a little nook where I store all my gym equipment. I exercise in a 5' x 5' space in between my kitchen and living room. Knowing that you don’t have to move too much stuff around, to get the space to feel like a gym, will help when you’re feeling unmotivated about exercise (fewer excuses!)
- Because your gym is now at home, you may have some difficulty making time to “go to the gym.” I recommend setting an appointment or an alarm on your phone, for yourself, every day that you have planned to work out. This way, when you are lost in a home project or something, you get your little reminder that is time to now get into gym mode!
- And finally, when and if you do choose to purchase equipment, a little goes a long way. Below we have outlined some “starter” products to purchase for your home gym. The guiding principle is to think about purchasing gym equipment that is versatile. A yoga mat, light to heavy resistance loops, a kettlebell or set of light dumbbells, and a large looped resistance band are all great foundational pieces for your home gym!
To set up your home gym, the very least you will need is a 5' x 5' foot space and your body. There are many options to enhance your training, but you can start with just these two things. You can try this core warm-up, before more strenuous exercise for a great workout:
Core Warmup on a Mat
To work up a sweat, a combination of standing, compound exercises can go a long way. You'll be doing more of a strength training workout, once you learn how to breath properly, and integrate your core to stabilize your spine!
Here is a 15-minute Pongo Power workout, to help you build total-body strength.
**Always consult with a doctor and consider getting a formal medical diagnosis if you are experiencing joint pain. Get a FREE Assessment with a Pongo Power personal trainer, before beginning a challenging exercise program.
Now, if you’d like to add some tools to your home studio, a great starter-kit may include a few items that help you to train safely.
- To prevent yourself from slipping, you can invest in a regular yoga mat. There is an exercise mat that stimulates the small nerves on the bottom of your feet. We recommend the Naboso Mat which is specifically designed for barefoot training by Dr. Emily Splichal
- A Foam Roller, you can find many options, but the most important thing is to start with a 36" x 6" roller, that is relatively soft. We like the Premium EVA Foam Roller, blue - medium density foam.
- Two to four sets of Dumbbells (start with 3 lbs, 5 lbs, 8 lbs, and maybe even 12 or 15 lbs dumbbells)
- A set of Resistance Bands
- A Thera-band (a long resistance band you can use in place of cable machines)
To add challenge to your balance, your kit may include:
- TRX w/ door jam
To add challenge to your strength, your kit will include:
- 1 to 2 Kettlebells
- 1 Light
- 1 Heavy
- 1 to 2 Heavier Dumbbells
And there you have it! Everything you need to know to get started working out at home. If you are interested in working with one of our awesome NASM Certified Personal Trainers to develop your unique exercise program, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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Meet the Author
As the General Manager for Pongo Power, Izzy helps oversee and manage ongoing projects in all departments. Her knacks for organization and administration help Pongo Power implement the much needed systems for a growing small business!
She brings over 10 years of administrative, client-oriented and managerial experience as well as a personal passion for health and wellness! During her free time, Izzy is often at the gym/yoga studio, on a long walk through the city or searching for a new vegan restaurant!
“My passion in life is to make things as simple as possible. I believe we can achieve anything as long as we truly understand it. We can understand anything if it’s broached to us in a language we comprehend. My goal is to speak YOUR language!”