How To Make A Home Gym

Learn about the best fitness equipment, how to make a home gym, and essential tips for getting fit at home.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read

While a multi-gym is certainly convenient, there are easier, more inexpensive, and less bulky ways to create an exercise environment at home. Here are the essential tools I recommend, all of which could easily be purchased for under $300:

  • Elastic Tubing: Although one piece of elastic tubing with handles on either end is fine, a few different tubes with varying levels of resistance can offer you more variety for exercises from pulling to pushing to twisting. For stronger hips and butt and an added calorie-burn you can even tie your legs together with elastic tubes and walk around the house while you’re cleaning or doing laundry. One version of elastic tubing that I recommend quite for more exercise variety is called a Gymstick, which is two elastic tubes connected to a flexible aluminum bar.

  •  Free Weights: A set of light dumbbells or a light barbell is fine if you’re just starting out. If you’re more advanced, you may want a range of sizes. One very useful and space-saving piece of equipment are adjustable dumbbells, which allow you to adjust a single dumbbell from 5 pound up to over 50 pounds.

  • Stability Ball: This is the big ball that you can use for crunches, squats, sit-ups and even as a bouncy, moving desk chair. As an added bonus, you get the workout of pumping it full of air after you have it.

  • Mat: I prefer a standard yoga mat, although there are thicker options if you happen to be a princess-and-the-pea type of exerciser.

  • Foam Roller: A foam roller can be used for a warm-up or cool-down muscle massage, as a balance device or as a fulcrum for doing variations of crunches and back bridges.

  • Cardio Equipment: Here’s where you may need to start spending a bit more money. While a simple, inexpensive weighted jump rope will burn quite a few calories, you should also consider an elliptical trainer, treadmill or bicycle. Your local classifieds listing or Craiglist website can often offer such equipment at much more affordable prices than purchasing new, but expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $600 on a decent piece of cardio equipment.

Of course, there are a variety of other exercise tools you can use to keep variety in your program. After all, doing push-ups on a mat can get boring after a few years. From Bosu Balls to Kettlebells, I’d recommend you add a new piece of exercise equipment every few months to keep your routine fresh and exciting!

Tips For Working Out At Home

Now that you have ideas for your home gym, here are three quick and dirty tips to help you get fit:

Home Gym Quick & Dirty Tip 1: Using ideas from fitness magazines, personal trainers, or, of course, The Get-Fit Guy, create a scrapbook of at least 5 tried and true workouts that you can do at home. If you have something in writing, you’ll be far more likely to do it.

Home Gym Quick & Dirty Tip 2: Keep a paper towel or rag, along with a non-toxic cleaning solution in close proximity to your fitness equipment for regular wipe-downs. You’d be surprised how quickly your fitness gear gets…gamy.

Home Gym Quick & Dirty Tip 3: Have a TV, computer, or radio in your home gym or near your fitness equipment. You’ll be far more likely to exercise if you can be fabulously entertained while you’re doing so. With a combination of streaming web TV, your favorite soap operas, movies on demand, and a good dose of the Get-Fit Guy, you’ll have no excuse not to exercise!

Stability Ball image courtesy of Shutterstock


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.