Your Home Gym Checklist
What’s the most common mistake people make when setting up their home gym, you ask?
Usually, it’s the thinking that a “home gym” means big equipment, heavy weights, a huge budget, and a ton of space. When, really, if you do some planning, ask yourself the right questions, and find the right products, you don’t need a whole lot of space (or money!) to work out and get active at home.
We picked the brilliant minds of the home gym experts at ProsourceFit (our fave place to get workout gear online — so much so that we’re an affiliate!) for their top recommendations of questions to ask yourself when setting up a home gym to make sure it’s gonna work for you.
Read on … and get ready to be inspired to create your very own home workout oasis!
What is the goal of your home gym?
Your goal is the first and best place to start when designing your home gym. Do you want to build strength? Do some cardio? Work on your functional fitness? Hone in on your goals, and from there you can determine how to use the space and what to put your budget towards when it comes to equipment.
How much space do you have?
Now that you have your goal, take a look at the space you have available. How large or compact is it? Is it a dedicated space or will it be used for anything else — meaning would you need equipment that you can easily move around to make room for your kids to play or for yourself or a loved one to use as a work space?
What’s your budget?
Time to talk money. How much do you have available to spend? (ProsourceFit tip: If you’re on a budget or in a small space, you can probably skip having plyometric boxes, barbells, and plates — even though they are awesome pieces of equipment!)
What items fit (ha) within those parameters?
With your goal, space, and budget in mind, now it’s time to go shopping! What products will fit within all three parameters?
When in doubt, go with versatility. Here are a few pieces of equipment that every home gym should include:
- Slide Boards: These provide great at-home cardio that’s low-intensity but totally effective. They also roll up or fold up nicely for easy storage.
- Resistance Bands and Tubes: These are super compact and affordable, but highly effective for lower- and upper-body workouts. Because one size does not fit all — and because you want to keep yourself challenged as you get stronger — we are particularly in love with this Stackable Resistance Bands Set, which includes four bands of different resistance, a door anchor, two ankle straps, handles, and an exercise guide.
- Kettlebells: If you’re looking to build strength and power while also boosting stamina and endurance, this is it.
- Slam Balls: You need a bit higher ceiling to use these overhead (especially if you’re tall), but these are awesome for improving coordination and overall athletic performance.
- Core Balance Disc/Board: These help activate and engage your core-stabilizing muscles, while also helping to strengthen your feet and ankles to help build a strong safe foundation to workout.
- High-Density Foam Roller: Roll out tight muscles and release knots for quick recovery and injury prevention.
- Protective Flooring: Don’t forget this one! Protect your floors from the weight of dropping equipment, while also providing just enough cushion for your joints to minimize injury and help your workout to feel more comfortable.
How will you clean and organize your home gym?
You’re going to get sweaty in your new home gym — and you want to keep your equipment functioning for as long as possible, so it’s important to think about cleaning and storage. The experts recommend that you clean your equipment regularly after use and ensure there is good air flow (hello, fans!) in your space so that it doesn’t get stuffy and minimizes odors.
Also, have a place for every piece of equipment. This can be on a rack or shelf or cabinet or storage bag — ideally out of direct sunlight. Not only does this keep your space tidy, but it can help your workout equipment to last longer and maintain its integrity and safety (especially for resistance bands!).
Different products will have different care instructions, so pay attention to what the product manuals/labels say about cleaning and maintenance to make your home gym gear last for as long as possible.
How will your home gym keep you coming back for more?
You want your home gym to be a place that you love. So consider its overall feel and how the design can help motivate you. Consider adding a television if that’s your jam, or a sweet audio system or Bluetooth speaker for tunes, or a place to charge your phone if you’re into listening to audiobooks while you sweat. Also consider including personal touches like inspirational posters, bright colors, and other items that light you up.
And! One final piece of advice: don’t feel like you have to get everything at once or have the “perfect” home gym from the start. Begin slowly and build up to your desired amount of equipment and overall feel/look. This allows you to not only get a feel for the products and set a habit of working out at home, but also, it sets the intention for the space to change and grow as you change and grow, too. As you get stronger and more fit in your space, you very well may find yourself wanting different things and ready to challenge yourself in new ways. Which. Is. Awesome!
What’s in your ideal home gym? I’ve always wanted a treadmill, but have found that I actually get WAY more of a workout from an open and inspired space to do burpees and kettlebell work in! –Jenn
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