“It’s my workout and I’ll cry if I want to.”
Anyone else pack on a few pounds over the past year?
To add insult to injury, gyms were closed and exercise equipment was nearly impossible to find … when we needed it the most.
Not to worry, store shelves are restocked and today I’m sharing my top 9 home gym essentials.
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At the beginning of the year enough was enough and I decided to create a home gym … in Snowberry’s newly organized garage.
You can read about my garage makeover and organization project here.
A simple home gym can be set up almost anywhere in your home, from a corner of the family room to an entire extra bedroom.
Here’s how I put together our home gym and my top 9 home gym essentials.
No. 1 – Find a Space & Gather What You Already Have
A basic home gym can be set up nearly anywhere … from a corner of a room to the entire space.
Snowberry is a relatively small house and I decided to create our home gym in the garage.
Chances are you have quite a few home gym essentials in your house right now.
I had 3 and 5 lb weights, resistance bands, yoga mats, a jump rope, a foam roller and an exercise ball.
A good start.
No. 2 – Floor & Yoga Mats
A garage home gym will require a mat … or two.
Same applies for hard surfaces inside the house.
Not only for comfort but to protect the floor.
I purchased two good sized floor mats … one to go under the new treadmill and the other for the weight bench and workout space.
My workout mat is 9′ x 6′.
Interlocking squares are a great option too and allow you to build your mat to a custom size.
As for yoga, pilates, and floor exercise mats, I have wimpy knees and like to layer two mats for extra cushiness.
No. 3 – Weight Bench & Weight Rack
For the longest time, I used the coffee table for arm exercises like tricep dips.
A weight bench makes things much easier and more comfortable.
And you don’t have to wipe away hand prints.
I bought a Bowflex tilted weight bench.
The tilting function allows for a wider variety of exercises, but a flat bench is good too.
I’m big on clutter free spaces and that’s why a weight rack is high on my essentials list.
A weight rack allows you to consolidate equipment in one place.
It makes a big difference in keeping your home gym area neat and organized.
No. 4 – Hand Weights, Kettle Ball, Resistance Tubes & Bands
I already had 3 and 5 lb hand weights, and added 8 and 10 pounds when they finally became available.
Jim wanted something heavier and was eventually able to purchase 15, 20, 25 and 35 lb weights.
I also added a 10 pound kettle ball.
Anything heavier messes with my back.
I know, I’m a delicate flower.
No. 5 – Exercise Balls
I don’t know about you but I love stability balls.
Try balancing on one while watching TV … keeping your feet off the floor.
Easier said than done.
Here’s what I included in my home gym –
On my wish list … a Bosu Balance Trainer because who doesn’t love to do burpee’s?!
No. 6 – Workout Step
Ok, I said this is MY list of home gym essentials.
A workout step is essential to ME.
Anyone else enjoy step aerobics … in the 90’s?
No shame here … it was and is my favorite and most fun workout.
Sadly, it’s difficult to find a step class anymore.
But, have no fear, steps are still available … and you too can have one in your home gym!
On a happier note, I discovered quite a few online step class options.
What did we do before the inter-webs?
No. 7 – Treadmill, Stationary Bike, Elliptical or Rowing Machine
I opted for a treadmill. A NordicTrack.
It’s a big expense.
That said, the amount of use we get from it makes it a cost effective investment for us.
I wish we’d bought it sooner.
The treadmill arrived at the beginning of the year.
Jim immediately started a six-week running program through iFit, NordicTrack’s virtual training partner.
The program took him through Portugal and Morocco.
He loves it and lost 20 lbs!
I enjoy walking along beautiful beaches all over the world.
I have not lost 20 lbs.
We all know aerobic activity is essential to good health … but an expensive piece of equipment is not.
A ton of online workouts are available … and many of them are free.
Of course, running, walking, biking, tennis, golf (sans golf cart) … any number of activities are also (mostly) free.
While gyms have reopened, I prefer to workout at home.
I’m much more likely to stumble out to the garage than to get in the car and drive.
Caveat … if a step class springs up somewhere … I’ll be in the car in a hot minute.
Until then, I’m happy with my collection of home gym essentials in the garage.
No. 8 – Keep it Clean
Since my home gym is in the garage, leaves and debris inevitably find their way inside.
Not to mention dust.
Inside or outside you can’t escape dust.
I keep microfibre clothes, a spray bottle filled with 50/50 vinegar and water and a screen cleaner nearby to tidy up after a workout.
I also have a lightweight blower charged and ready to chase out the leaves.
On my wishlist … a treadmill cover.
NordicTrack doesn’t sell one … which is weird, right?
I’ve been searching for covers online … if you have suggestions I’d love to hear them.
No. 9 – Cute Workout Clothes
Last but not the least of my home gym essentials … cute workout clothes.
Hello, Captain Obvious.
Cute exercise clothes have motivated me to workout more than anything else.
Sad but true and I bet I’m not alone.
I’m partial to Lululemon, but cute workout clothes are available everywhere.
Jim’s Recent Additions to the Garage Home Gym
Jim recently added a Resistance Trainer and I love it for stretching.
Oh, and golf mat so he can practice his swing.
Is golf exercise?
In any event, the golf mat ends any hope I had of parking my car in the garage.
So there you have it, my garage gym and my top 9 home gym essentials.
I’d love to hear about yours!
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My Favorite Workout
Now that we’ve covered my top 9 home gym essentials, let me share my absolute favorite, never-skip-a-day workout.
The morning dog walk.
Yep, Pippa and Maggie … my personal trainers.
They may be little but they cover a lot of ground.
We shoot for 2.5 to 3 miles every morning at a nearby reservoir, bike trail or neighborhood loop.
It’s great too start the day knowing that if I do nothing else I’m already halfway to my 10,000 step-a-day goal.
And Pippa and Maggie are happy to nap away the rest of the day.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!
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