Home Gym Essentials: What you actually need

It’s not lost on anyone the importance of a home gym – especially this past year. Gyms closed down, your favorite workout class was stalled and you were left with figuring out how to move your body at home.

SO. Most of us rushed to the stores and online buy/sell groups to get what we could. It literally felt like a free for all and prices SKY ROCKETED overnight. I’m still grieving, it’s fine.

First things first, don’t be intimidated by the phrase home gym. It doesn’t need to be a full garage makeover. It could be your equipment stored in a corner or even a closet that you bring out when you’re ready to workout. And yes, it could be a garage gym makeover too – if you wanted. Now that we have that covered – let’s dive into my TOP CHOICES for workout equipment and why I think they are necessary. These are in no particular order.


The versatility with these are ENDLESS. If you get the travel system, you can anchor it to any door inside your house and BAM you have it setup. I also love that this works with your bodyweight and capabilities. It progresses with you. Use as much support from the straps as you need and as little bodyweight within the movement. The stronger you get, the more you can manipulate where you set up and how you use these straps. Take TRX Push-ups for example. Start further out from the anchor point and as you get stronger get closer to the anchor point and your body more horizontal. You can be in control of your progress way more than just trying to find random objects to grade your push-ups on.

Oh and bonus – stores easily and doesn’t take up room. Check them out here.

One Moderate to Heavy Dumbbell/Kettlebell

If I had to choose, I’d recommend KB – there’s just so much you can do and I personally think they are more versatile than DB’s. These are going to be for your heavy lifts: deadlifts, squats, SA presses, etc. I’d get a pair as well so you have plenty of room to grow. I don’t recommend purchasing a ton of light to moderate weight for one simple reason: you can easily use household items and save the money. You will ‘outgrow’ the weight in a few months and then rarely use it.

I’d recommend going to any Academy or seeing if you can find a deal online in a buy/sell group. Don’t try Facebook, they be crazy with their prices – I’d start with the app, Offer Up.

Short and Long Resistance Bands

There was a time I turned up my nose at these but let me tell you they can be straight fire when you know how to use them. I’m not talking about just doing leg abduction for booty gains (that won’t work either). This is great for core work specifically. I love a good Pallof Press, Banded Chop, Banded Deadbug – the options are really endless. I’d purchase a set that has multiple resistance options so you can progress and get even stronger. And yup – they store easily! Check out some options here.

Okay these are what I would recommend at first and to get the best bang for your buck, when you’re looking to expand a little here’s a few more fun options you can consider….

  • Box for step-ups or box jumps: you can use a couch or a bench if you have one, you can also make your own (what I did!) OR you can drop some cash and have one made for you. You can find local gym enthusiasts making these for sell and I personally like to support local.
  • Rower or Bike – What I’m saving up for currently. I LOVE rowing and it’s been something I’m eyeing. You can buy a quality used one from about $400. This will be a nice option for cardio when it’s too hot (thanks Texas) or raining and running outside isn’t an option.
  • Barbell (or increasing your DB/KB range of weights.) If you’re wanting to hone in on strength, having a barbell is great for heavier lifts. Plus you can start adding fun Oly lifting if that’s what you’re into. Oh, and shop around. Look at what you’re able to find through REP, Rogue or Fray fitness, then look in some Buy/Sell groups and compare.

It can take a while to build out your personal home-gym. Don’t worry! Invest in a few things here and there, and before you know it you’ll have everything you need to crush your goals. Don’t be afraid to get creative while saving up for your next purchase. You can do A LOT with a bag full of books and some laundry detergent.

Need some help figuring out what goal you even want to work towards in fitness? Check out my Goal Setting 101 Freebie here. Figure out what you’re running after and then invest in the equipment necessary. You got this!

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