There are many benefits to having a home gym, and the great thing is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to acquire one. You can enjoy working out in the privacy of your own home without commuting to a gym, packing a bag, showering with others, etc.
First you need to find a spot. Some use a corner of the garage, the basement, bedroom, even living room. Just make sure you have enough room to bounce around and clear the clutter so you’re not frustrated by tripping over dirty clothes, kids toys, or your husband’s shoes. Well, those would be my concerns anyway.
Decide how much money you want to spend. In the most basic sense, you can literally buy nothing and find all sorts of exercises to keep you busy. This may be an odd reference, but think of the guys (and girls?) that go to prison and come out buff because they eased their boredom with workouts. Sure, they probably had a weight bench and a basketball, but they come up with plenty of ways to stay in shape and build muscle. You can find moves on-line, like these I found on a simple Google search in the first article that came up. Your body is the best weight resistance you can use for cardio, strength training, and building lean muscle.
Look around your house. You probably have stairs or a hill in your backyard. For weight you have soup cans, books, some heavy tool in the garage, even the enormous bottle of protein powder you love… weight is everywhere. It’s all about using the resources you have.
Buy a jump rope. If you want to buy a few things, start with the most basic jump rope. Think of every personal trainer, sports coach, or athletic video you’ve seen; from boxers to ice skaters, everyone is jumping rope. Remember Jump Rope for Heart in elementary school? For under $10 you have an easy and effective cardio activity.
Buy a set of dumbbells. Yes I will admit, using dumbbells with the exact weight labeled on them is easier than filling a Target bag with soup cans to find the right weight. And honestly, you can find inexpensive dumbbells everywhere. Don’t be fooled by the fancy ones or tempted by the pretty colors; you just need the weight. And remember secondhand places like Craigslist or stores like Play-it-Again-Sports. You would benefit from a few different pairs because you need different weights for different muscles.
If you want to get fancy… You can purchase a mat (or use a towel), buy a stopwatch (or use your egg-timer, or try and use your clock that has no second-hands), buy something like a Reebok Step (I found one on Craigslist for $20 compared to the $100 they are new), and buy a few DVDs. I would highly recommend P90X, even though it’s expensive. You can always rent DVDs at Blockbuster or check them out for free from the library (1980’s Jane Fonda still gets results!) You can also buy things like medicine balls, balance balls, kettle balls… are we seeing a trend here? There is always something new and exciting to purchase for your at home sweat fests, but keep in mind you can get an extreme workout from using your own body and a few things you have around the house.
The point here is there are so many ways to work out at home, even if you don’t have the gym from MTV Cribs. Get creative and have fun with it. This summer I started working out in the backyard with the kids, and to my surprise I was just as sore bear crawling around the yard as I was from my gym workouts. If you want results, you’ve got to get moving!