How to Build Your Own Personal Home Gym for Under $350 | The Manual

by fitness journalist

While it’s fair to say that many people want to be healthier and exercise more, the realities of finding time in our busy schedules to actually make it to the gym can put the kibosh on any fitness resolutions. Not only that, but the challenges of choosing an affordable class or a facility that works for you can quickly have you questioning your motivation to workout in the first place. If this push-and-pull sounds familiar, it may be time to invest in your own personal home gym.

Once you settle into a workout routine at home, exercising is easy. Your equipment is always there when you need it, there are no monthly membership bills or drop-in fees, and you can customize your workout to whatever you’re feeling on the day. There are even apps that will plan workouts for you, providing you with tips and motivation to keep your fitness goals on track.

A home gym doesn’t need to take up a ton of space, either. By choosing multifunctional equipment that you can configure for many different kinds of workouts and that is easily stored away at the end of the session, even apartment-dwellers can enjoy the benefits of pursuing their fitness goals at home.

The Complete Kit

Ready to commit fully to your New Year’s resolutions? Below is the essential workout equipment needed to transform your space into a complete home gym.

Note: Availability of products in this bundle may vary. See descriptions of each item below for more details. 

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A weight bench is an essential part of any home gym because it serves as the central hub for your workouts. Far beyond being a place to work on your bench press, a weight bench is also a great place to do rows, vertical jumps, and aerobic exercises like step-ups. This bench from AmazonBasics is designed with a durable steel tube frame and a comfortable PVC top surface. It weighs 24 pounds and is just 41 inches long, making it easy to store away when not in use.

You don’t need to store a full weight set in your home in order to have a range of workout options. AmazonBasics’ adjustable weight set includes two barbells (weighing 3 pounds each), four 2.5-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and four collars to secure the plates to the barbell. Just like a set you’d find at the gym; the barbells feature textured grips for a secure and comfortable hold. The adjustable nature of the set lets you slowly increase the amount of weight you lift as you get stronger over the next few months.

That being said, you don’t always want to lug around a large barbell when doing your exercises. This small set of 2-pound weights is perfect for high-intensity workouts or when you want to add a new level of difficulty to your aerobic exercises. Try using them during punching routines, calisthenics or even during a morning jog.

Because this is the “complete” set of home gym equipment, we need to include these 3-pound weights too. Gather these in front of your chest when doing high reps of squats or press them over your head. With a set of vinyl-coated 3-pound and 2-pound weights like these from AmazonBasics, you’re covered.

Jumping rope is an incredible cardio workout perfect for months when it’s too cold to go running outside. The Survival and Cross Jump Rope is touted as a great tool for boxers and MMA fighters thanks to its adjustable length and tangle-free rope. No matter how tall or short, expert or novice you are, this is a great piece of equipment for anyone looking to get in shape.

Pull-ups are one of the best full-body workouts you can do in your home. With this affordable workout bar from Iron Gym, you can instantly turn any doorway into a personal gym in just seconds. Whether you’re doing pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, dips, or crunches, a pull-up bar can help make it easy.

Medicine balls are popular due to the diverse exercises you can accomplish with them. They’re an excellent supplement to a partner routine, too, if you’re working out with comeone else. This 10-pound ball is the perfect size for both upper- and lower-body exercises, though Amazon also sells medicine balls from 4 pounds up to 20 pounds.

Getting fit isn’t just about lifting more weights or running a faster mile — it’s about improving your flexibility so that you can exercise harder without injuring yourself. These resistance bands from AmazonBasics help you get there, with four colored bands at four different resistance levels. Use them while stretching or combine them with an exercise like lateral side steps for an added challenge.

As you start working out, you’ll soon notice your muscles start to cramp and feel sore the next day. To help yourself stick to your training schedule, use a foam roller to work through any aches and pains as they occur. A long roller like this one is ideal because you can use it on your legs and back no matter how tall you are. Here’s how to use a foam roller.

You might recognize the exercise platform from ’80s workout videos but it uses go far beyond neon spandex and pilates. Use an exercise platform for fast feet exercises and specific movements like calf raises. This is also a good piece of equipment for anyone who needs to strengthen their knees gently, such as those who’ve suffered a sports injury.

Unless you’re living in a shag-carpeted fantasy, you likely won’t want to lay on your floor during a full workout. A half-inch exercise mat is perfect for stretching as well as yoga practices. While it won’t be the most glamorous object in your home gym, it will likely be the one you’re most thankful to have.

As you start to lift heavier weights (or if you simply have the room for it), you may want to set up your space with interlocking foam tiles. Not only do these protect the floor, but they offer soft cushioning that your knees will appreciate after 30 minutes of exercise. Plus, if you’re going all in on a home gym, it might as well feel like the real deal.

Looking to upgrade your fitness? We’ve found the best gym shorts, athleisure wear, and meal prep containers to help you meet your goals.

This content was originally published here.

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