With gyms and boutique fitness studios temporarily shuttered due to the coronavirus, people are having to get their fitness on in the comfort of their own home. Good news: It’s a membership-free situation that gives you the flexibility to work out whenever you want. But unless you’re, say, the co-founder of Equinox Fitness with the most insane home gym we’ve ever seen, you likely don’t have all the high-end dedicated fitness equipment needed for a state-of-the-art sweat sesh.
So you need to get resourceful, and a bit creative.
To outfit your at-home workout space, first start by taking stock of the type of moves you want to do.
“Write down a list of exercises you’ll want to perform. That will help you determine what equipment is necessary to have in your home gym,” says Chris DiVecchio, owner of Premier Mind & Body, a wellness coaching company based in Manhattan Beach, CA.
To get your burn on, any well-appointed home gym starts with these essentials.
Exercises like Pilates and yoga will require a soft surface, and a cushioned yoga mat ($41.25, Prana) will do the trick. But those aren’t the only instances when a mat like this will come in handy. DiVecchio says a yoga mat will be useful for anyone who plans to do core work and body weight exercises.
Stretching is a vital part of your workout, but another pre- or post-exercise practice you should consider making a habit is using a foam roller ($16.99, Amazon). This lightweight piece of equipment allows you to apply pressure to muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are tight. Experts agree that foam rolling can improve blood flow and flexibility, decrease your risk of injury, and relax sore muscles.
DiVecchio recommends buying a stability ball ($21.97+, Amazon) for your home because it’s extremely versatile. You can use it for core, leg, and upper body workouts. It comes in different sizes—45, 55, and 65 centimeters—but he says the 55 cm ball “is your best choice to cover all your bases.”
To get the most out of strengthening exercises, you’ll need a good set of free weights ($3.49 each, Target). Opt for lighter weights if you’re looking to tone your muscles, but if you’re trying to bulk up, consider buying a heavier set. The best part about these weights? They come in a range of trendy colors that’ll complement any stylish home.
Want to get your heart pumping in minutes? Find an open space and try jumping rope ($8.98, Amazon). Proceed with caution if you live in an apartment building or with someone who is working from home. But you can always take your playground toy-turned-cardio tool to the backyard or park and jump like nobody’s watching.
These sliding pads ($12.95, Walmart) are a staple in any total-body workout. A few reps with these babies will have your legs, arms, and abs burning—in a good way.
Clean up and storage
Cleanliness is just as important in your home gym as it is at your outside gym. That’s why you’ll want to have gear on hand to wipe down and disinfect your exercise items and workout station.
A towel and room fan ($43.97, Amazon) will help keep you cool and not drenched in sweat during your workout. Spray your equipment down with a disinfectant spray and wipe it dry when you’re finished.
Once the cleanup is taken care of, equipment should be organized and put away. If it doesn’t fit in your closet, we like the idea of storing your stuff in a wicker basket ($41.30, West Elm).
DiVecchio says the stability ball can be a challenge to put away, but he does offer a tip to repurpose the ball that may incidentally fit well with your new home office space.
“Replace your desk chair with it,” says DiVecchio. “You’ll get the benefit of working your core while you handle your real work.”