My Top 9 Home Gym Essentials

“It’s my workout and I’ll cry if I want to.”

Yoga Mat in basket and weight rack

Anyone else pack on a few pounds over the past year?

Me too!

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.

This post includes affiliate links for your convenience at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Treadmill and home gym in the garage

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.


Treadmill, weight rack and gym equipment

Treadmill and weights in garage gym

Treadmill, exercise weights and balls

Woman in garage gym with workout step

Weight rack and weights


So there you have it, my garage gym and my top 9 home gym essentials.

I’d love to hear about yours!


Top 9 Home Gym Essentials Pin Collage


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.

Pippa wonders what the heck is going on in here?!

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.

Woman holding hand weight in garage gym

As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Cheers from Snowberry!





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  • i hope my comment went thru!
    my treadmill is sandwiched between the furnace & sump pump! love your space!
    maybe a dropcloth until you find a fitted cover!

  • WHat a great post Juliet. I love your workout space. I think I need some of those balls to watch TV on!! The nOrdic Track Is neat and cool that you can go on walks to Other places! I am impressed you can do step Classes. Somehow I dont have the coordination for that!
    Body Pump is my favorite gYm class , but it is not an online thing. I do think the weight training is so good for us and we have a similar setup, but not as pretty. I coNcur about golF.. LOL’!! I love the workout CLOTHES too. Just putting them On in the morning makes me motivated! Fun post! I think ill go clean my weighTs ..

    • We need see your home gym, Kim. I’m sure is fabulous … everything in your house is fabulous. Yep, the workout clothes are a motivator … I was tempted to play golf once because of the clothes. It didn’t last! Body Pump intimidates me … that and spinning. I’m such a wimp. Not sure why Step caught on with me … and its a miracle I can do it without the dreaded slip and fall. Get a stability ball … they’re so versatile and you haven’t lived until achieved 5 minutes without feet touching floor. lol xo

  • You have the most beautiful garage i’ve ever seen! i wish mine looked that pretty:) we have a gym in our garage too and its so convenient isn’t it?

    • Thank you for the compliment, Kristen. Our garage doesn’t look this good all the time. Although I’m more motivated to keep it neat and organized now that we have out home gym set up. I’ll bet you’re is great and I’d love to see it on your blog! xo

  • Your workout space looks great, juliet! We have a workout room in our home, too. Super thankful for it, as I put on some “covid” pounds. Here’s to working out in the comfort of our homes!

    • That’s so great, Kim. I wish we had space for ours inside the house. I do love having all the workout stuff though, even though its in the garage. It’s made a huge difference the past year … and its so convenient I know we’ll never go back to that traditional gym. xo

  • Hi juliet,
    Your home gym is impressive! You’ve thought of everything. I hate walking or running on a treadmill because you don’’t actually go anywhere! I would need to turn it around to at least face the outdoor view! My “home gym” consists of a yoga mat and an Ipad loaded with yoga classes on youtube! Definitely not fancy, but it works for me. I Also take long walks Sunday mornings along the beach, love that first thing in the morning!
    Your gym is really nice, such a fancy garage! And YOU are pretty and healthy and strong!
    XO Heidi

    • I know what you mean, Heidi. That’s why I love the iFit program that comes with our treadmill. We can walk and run all over the world and learn about new places and their history … or just watch the beautiful scenery while listening to music. It makes such a difference and time flies. I wish we lived near a beach for our daily dog walks. Maybe someday! xo

  • WE created a little home gym during stay home orders, but it is not as cute as yours! You’ve thought of everything.
    I am also partial to Lulu workout clothes, but I’ve ben pretty happy with Nordstrom’s Zella line too.

    • The Zella line is great … I get lost in that department. At our local store it’s conveniently situated outside the restaurant. 😉 I’m sure your home gym is fabulous, maybe you’ll share it on your blog someday. I’d love to see. xo

  • Great post, Juliet! I did step aerobics back in the 90s, too! I enjoyed it! My 1st husband did weight lifting and our spare bedroom was full of his equipment! Thanks fOr sharing your ideas!

    • Our house is very small and our garage has to pick up the slack. To the detriment of our cars. 😉 Your seed operation sounds a lot more fun then my gym! xo

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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