I have dreams about designing the coolest home gym, all glass-enclosed, with the latest equipment, and a view of the ocean. Crazy how some of us spend our time right? But, the reality is you don’t need all that junk. You don’t need the fancy universal gym or latest shopping channel fitness contraption. You need a few simple, affordable tools that will keep you plenty busy for years to come. This equipment can advance with you as you get stronger and more fit. Total cost for all ten items comes to $930.00, a lot less than the $50,000 gym I have designed on one of my Pinterest boards. (A girl can dream.) So no excuses poodles, click any of the links below to get going!


Top Ten Home Gym Equipment Must-Haves 

  • ADJUSTABLE DUMBELLS: These dumbbells might be my favorite item to recommend for a home gym. They provide you fifteen sets of weight variation in one, and just think of the space savings! Love. These.
  • RESISTANCE BANDS: If you have been following my blog (and if not then you should!) then you know that resistance bands are an essential part of your workout routine. They are as elemental as food and water to survival. This package offers a variety of tensions (variation in color) to challenge you as you progress. See how to use them
  • SLIDERS: These little devils will fire up your core in a dozen different ways. You can position them beneath your hands, your knees, or your toes and slide away!
  • SKIPPING ROPE: Even if you did not master this skill in grade school do not fear! Everyone can benefit from jumping around a flailing a rope. Your technique does not have to be pretty. Using the rope will initiate challenges in coordination and brain functioning. That’s a good thing! Aesthetically it is the equivalent of free basing steroids for ripped beautiful arms.  With a little practice, jumping a rope can become one of the most fun and challenging parts of your workout.
  • PLYO-BOX: What is more exciting then jumping up and down off a box? If you are not familiar with a “plyo box” there are lots of videos on YouTube to show you what kinds of exercises you can perform. You can also build one yourself, but this link is an excellent option for those who don’t possess carpentry skills.
  • TRX: A navy seal designed this for the military to use when soldiers were out in the field with no access to a gym. There are hundreds of exercises to challenge the upper body, lower body, and core. It comes with a door hanger attachment, or you can purchase a ceiling hook. Here is a  link to a post telling you a little more about this ingenious body weight-training tool.
  • FOAM ROLLER: This is for “rolling out” after you workout yes, but did you know you can use it for balance as well? Imagine dumbbell curls while standing on one of these babies! A must for every gym.
  • STABILITY BALL: From ab workouts to just putting a little “balance” challenge into your normal weight routine, a stability ball is an excellent cost-per-function ratio purchase. Make sure to buy the right size for your height and blow it up so that your knees and hips are at 90 degrees when seated. A ball can double as a computer chair when not creating muscle-strengthening-havoc in your gym.
  • AB STRAPS: These last two gym must haves go together because to use the AB Straps you have to possess a place to hang them (see chin-up bar). These very affordable Ab strengthening armbands are one of the best purchases I have ever made. They hit every ab and core muscle as you pull your knees to your chest. But there are lots of ways to make the AB Straps more challenging once you have got the “hang” of the basic exercise. Check out this VIDEO to learn more. 
  • CHIN-UP BAR: Chin-ups (or pull-ups) are an excellent functional exercise to keep us strong for life’s obstacles. Pulling yourself out of a pool or up over a rock on a hike uses all the same muscles as performing chin-ups. So, we should regularly be working our ability to perform them. I use support assistance around my feet with one of the resistance bands, or a chair, so every skill level can at least attempt working at pull-ups. 

image  Five Bonus Items That Will Make Your Neighbors Have Home Gym Envy.

  • BOSU BALL: This is one of the primary players in my workouts. I stand on it for everything from dumbbell curls to yoga poses. It adds so much core to anything you do you will find that six pack in no time! 
  • CORE WHEEL: Okay these things are just cool. They are a fancy alternative to the sliders especially if you have wrist issues.
  • MEDICINE BALL: Old school and still as functional as when it was introduced in boxing gyms a million years ago. Hucking this thing around, slamming it into the floor, throwing it up against a wall; not only gets out some serious aggression, but also trains dozens of muscles in your arms, chest and back.
  • POSTUREFIT BAR: I learned about this lovely option at a recent seminar. I took a class taught by the inventor and developer, and it was a killer! Remember poor posture leads to imbalance, which leads to spills and falls as we age. Poor posture can also seriously affects brain function! This fantastic tool will not only leave you standing taller, but will also make you less remedial.
  • KETTLEBELL: Also been around for ages but has had a resurgence in popularity in the last ten years. I love tools that are so simple but have dozens of applications. The first exercise with a kettlebell to master is the kettlebell swing. Here’s how to do it!


I have purchased almost every one of these items and used them often. The links I provided are to excellent quality products. Could you go even cheaper? Sure, but at some point you are exchanging expense for safety.

The only other thing that is a worthy investment to consider is a good piece of cardio equipment (elliptical, treadmill, rowing machine), but it is not a must-have. If it is raining outside, you can just skip rope and box jump to your heart’s pounding content.

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I would love it if you shared what your favorite pieces of home gym equipment are below in comments!

imagePhoto credits toDecoist (home gym fancy), www.monitor.wordpress.com (skipping)  and www.littleflecksofgold.com (medicine ball)