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Sick of schlepping sweaty gym clothes from your home to car to office to gym and back again? Totally over getting up at an hour no human eyes should ever see just to make that 5:30 a.m. booty burn class?
The solution to all these problems, ladies, is creating your own at-home gym. “But I don’t have the space for a home gym!” Au contraire, my future (at-home) gym rat. If you have a spare room, a garage, or even an unused corner of your den, you have room for an at-home gym. So cancel that expensive gym membership pronto and instead use that extra cash to invest in versatile equipment you can use in the privacy of your own at-home gym. Need some at-home gym inspo? Here are the X best items for an at-home gym.
Outfit Your At-Home Gym In Style
Before you start investing in equipment, turn your at-home gym into a functional space you actually want to be in with these at-home gym room essentials.
1. Get down on the mat.
A must-have for any at home gym is a padded mat that can be easily placed for strength-training workouts so heavy weights don’t damage your floors, or at the end of a workout for a comfortable cool down. If your at-home gym shares space with another room in your house, look for items like tumbling mats used for gymnastics that can roll or fold easily for storage when they’re not needed.
For at-home gyms with their own dedicated space, you can look for padded mats that fit together like a puzzle, similar to your kids’ playmat, but without the bright colors and ABCs. Try the Gorilla Mats Premium Large Exercise Mat for one with plenty of room.Get it on Amazon for $179.95
2. Take center stage.
Barre workouts are intense exercise, and a ballet barre can be a functional investment in any at-home gym, and it doesn’t have to take up a ton of space. Plus, once you install your barre, you can reenact scenes from Center Stage, the best ballet movie of all time (Yes, I said it. Center Stage IS better than Black Swan). I like this Sisyama Portable Ballet Booty Barre because it’s compact and portable.
Plus, as an added bonus, it makes an excellent place to store extra clothes when not in use rather than piled on a chair in your room (you know what I’m talking about, ladies).Get it on Amazon for $69
3. Personalize your at-home gym in style.
Your at-home gym should be a place to work out, sure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be short of style. Choose some decorative items that inspire and motivate you to work on your fitness.
I love this TIMEYARD Macrame Wall Hanging because it can add a simple yet elegant touch of personality to any at-home gym.Get it on Amazon for $19.99
4. Alexa, pump up the sweet jams.
Do you know how terrible it is to work out in complete silence? It’s the complete opposite of motivating, which is why this sleek charcoal Amazon Echo is one of the best pieces of at-home gym equipment you can invest in.
I mean, how else can you blast “Maniac” while you reenact scenes from Flashdance in your living room/at-home gym space? In addition to playing workout-specific playlists, Alexa can also help motivate you during your workout by syncing the device to a fitness motivation app.Get it on Amazon for $99.99
5. Go on and check yourself out, gorgeous.
A large wall-mounted mirror is one essential you definitely want to include in your at-home gym. Checking yourself out as you lift weights is not only a great way to perfect your Ahhh-nold impersonations, it’s also good motivation and can help improve your form.
If you rent, this Alrens six-piece stick-on mirror set can be a lifesaver, allowing you to have an at-home gym without having to spackle and paint walls later.Get it on Amazon for $25.99
6. Keeping your cool is key.
I hate those t-shirts that say, ‘I don’t sweat, I sparkle.’ I call BS. I’m a woman. I sweat—especially when I work out.
And when you sweat, you want to stay as cool as possible when getting your fitness on, which is why this NewAir Portable Air Cooler is a must-have if your at-home gym is located in your garage or if you don’t have central air.Get it on Amazon for $89.99
7. Count it down.
HIIT training is great for burning calories in short bursts of time, but it’s annoying AF to have to stop and set timers on your phone and watch in the middle of a workout session.
I like this BTBSIGN digital wall-mounted interval timer because it has enormous numbers that even my near-sighted mole eyes can see, and you can set individual time limits, so there’s no pausing between intervals.Get it on Amazon for $54.88
Rule number one of an in-home gym: don’t skimp on functional, but cute workout clothes. Here are the best workout clothing essentials to channel your inner Khloe K fitness goddess.
8. Feel like a bonafide babe in these workout leggings.
When I work out in an old baggy t-shirt and my husband’s gym shorts, I feel about as motivated (but way less adorable) as a sloth. But when I’m wearing a great pair of workout leggings and a coordinating top, I feel like the motivated love child of Beyoncé and Jane Fonda.
Nike’s Hypercool Tight offers form and function, and the mesh stripe will make you feel just the right amount of sexy.
But if you’re just getting back into a workout routine postpartum, or you just feel more comfortable with a snug, high-waisted fit, Mothers Essentials High Waist Compression Leggings are the perfect pair to hold everything up and in.Get the Nike Pro Hypercool Training Tights on Amazon for $48.99 Get the Mothers Essentials Compression Leggings on Amazon for $17.99
9. Step it up with next-level hydration.
So, I realize a water bottle isn’t actually a piece of clothing, but it’s maybe the most important workout essential because you can’t max out your workout potential if you’re not hydrated.
And, I know there are about a thousand water bottles on the market, each promising to keep your water cold for X number of hours, but this H20 Coach Water Bottle not only keeps your water refreshingly icy cold, it also reminds you to take a water break! You gotta stay hydrated, girl.Get it on Amazon for $19.97
10. Keep the ladies dry and cool.
I could have paid off my student loans years ago with all the money I’ve spent on sports bras that promise to provide superior support while also wicking away dreaded chest-area sweat. With the great user reviews, this set of high support, moisture-wicking sports bras from MIRITY may actually deliver on that promise.Get it on Amazon for $8.69
11. Channel inner Richard Simmons and rock that headband.
Headbands are a must-have to keep your hair out of your face during seriously sweaty workout sessions, but you don’t actually have to wear a terry cloth sweatband (unless that’s your style, in which case, rock it, girl).
These Tough Headwear headbands promise to keep your hair in place during your entire workout while also wicking away sweat.Get it on Amazon for $8.95
12. An at-home gym is the perfect excuse for new shoes.
If you have a treadmill in your at-home gym, it’s time to treat yourself to a fundamental piece of equipment: new running shoes. Just because you’re not pounding the pavement outdoors doesn’t mean you should be wearing the same tired old tennis shoes you’ve been sporting for the past five years.
There’s a running shoe for every type of running, but for standard runners, we love the Mizuno Wave Sky for its cushiony support and mid-range price.Get it on Amazon for $83.49
At-Home Gym Strength Training Must-Haves
You can get a serious strength-training workout without keeping a heavy weight-bench in your at-home gym. Keep a few pieces of essential strength-training equipment in your at-home gym that are small in size, but big in gains.
13. Protect your hands with the ultimate gym gloves.
If you don’t want to go straight to blister-town after your first strength-training session, I suggest you invest in a pair of Trideer weight training gloves.
Normally I’m not a fan of any gender-neutral product that is specifically targeted for women because it’s pink (remember that Bic pen debacle?) but their tight fight won me over, ensuring a better grip and a safer workout.Get it on Amazon for $12.99
14. Try this take on a classic piece of equipment.
Handheld weights are a workout staple. They’re relatively small, portable, and can be used in both strength-training and cardio exercises. But they can be a major pain as you start to gain strength, moving up to heavier weights while the lighters ones gather dust in a corner of your at-home gym.
The Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell is a space-saving solution to this problem. They take up minimal room, and can be incrementally adjusted to varying weights up to 105 pounds, and have a 4.5 star rating from Amazon reviewers.Get it on Amazon for $299
15. Tone all over with kettlebells.
Kettlebell workouts are having a total moment right now, and for good reason. They can be used for both strength-training and cardio sessions, and pack a deceptively powerful workout into one relatively small, but versatile piece of equipment.
I like this Titan Fitness adjustable kettlebell because it takes up zero space, and uses easily removable plates to adjust weight.Get it on Amazon for $109
16. Resistance isn’t futile.
If you’re seriously short on space, one of the best pieces of at-home gym equipment is a set of resistance bands.
Not only can you get a total body workout using resistance bands, but they’re just as perfect for beginners who are just starting a workout routine, as they are for veteran fitness buffs. Plus, they’re easy to take on the go, making them a great travel accessory too.Get it on Amazon for $11.59
17. Think outside (or on top of) the box.
Oh, Crossfit. I have to admit, I usually mutter snarky stuff under my breath when I see the Crossfitters on my block working out, but generally, that’s because I’m usually gobbling ice cream across the street while they’re flipping tires and taking names. While you may not be able to use a lot of Crossfit-style equipment in your at-home gym, one item you should invest in is a plyo box.
For all you non-Crossfitters, a plyo box is really just that—a box that can be adjusted to various heights for plyometric exercise, also known as jump training, to enhance athletic training and work entire muscle groups at once. Amazon reviewers love this Stamina Adjustable Height Box for its non-slip surface, sturdy steel frame, and easy-to-use concept. It’s already in my cart. Hey, you have to start somewhere.Get it on Amazon for $191
18. Have a ball with your workout.
A medicine ball that is. I was always a big fan of using substitutes for workout equipment. You know, cans of green beans instead of hand weights, that sort of thing. I tried using my 25-pound kid in my workout when I needed to add more weight to my routine, but he is a wiggler, and it mostly ended in me chasing him around the living room.
The extra cardio was great, but I decided to bit the bullet and get a medicine ball instead. Medicine ball workouts are similar to kettlebells, but some people find that they prefer one over the other in terms of personal comfort and ease of use. Champion’s Medicine Ball Tree saves big on space, while allowing you to work up to heavier balls as your endurance improves, and unlike my kid, stays put before, during, and after a workout.Get it on Amazon for $59.17
Space-Saving Cardio Items For The At-Home Gym
I love to get in a good cardio session, but treadmills and other bulky cardio items can really crowd an at-home gym. Try one of these space-saving cardio items that burn serious calories but don’t take up your whole gym space.
19. Time to dust off your old skipping routine.
As a kid, I loved my nylon Jump Rope For Heart jump rope, and I could skip for hours, always trying to pass my last skip record before tripping up on the rope. Jumping rope is an excellent way to warm up, and can be whole cardio routine all on its own.
It’s the perfect workout for an at-home gym because you need zero storage space for your rope, and minimal space to complete a workout. While you can shell out big bucks for an expensive speed rope, this affordable plastic jump rope from Amazon comes in at just under $10, a total steal for any piece of gym equipment!Get it on Amazon for $9.99
20. Step up like Jenna Dewan.
Ok, really more like Jane Fonda. But still, an OG cardio step has been a lasting fitness trend for a reason: step routines burn major cals and are endlessly customizable. You only really need one piece of equipment (a step) but you can add hand weights, resistance bands, and other items to enhance your step workout. You don’t have to pull out your mom’s old VHS tapes to get a good workout either; Amazon Prime has dozens of step aerobics videos that can be streamed on any device.
The Step Original Aerobic Platform features a non-skid surface and four rises for customizable height. And while it’s not necessary, I’ve found that teasing your hair to eighties perfection prior to a step workout give you that extra boost of motivation when you need it most. Big hair, don’t care – amirite, ladies?Get it on Amazon for $56.44
21. Go small and stay home.
“Go big or go home,” is usually everyone’s gym mantra, but for an at-home gym, it’s better to go small and stay home with a compact elliptical machine. I’ll admit, the stride is usually much shorter than a standard elliptical, so using a compact elliptical machine does take some getting used to.
But the EFITMENT compact elliptical, is totally worth it when you realize that you’ll never have to wait for a piece of equipment at the gym, only to find that the last person left their sweaty paw prints all over the handles, again. Plus the EFITMENT elliptical is top-rated by Amazon reviewers, with users noting how quiet the machine is and how easy it is to assemble at home.Get it on Amazon for $209.85
22. Why buy a whole ball when you just need half?
Sorry, that was a terrible joke. But that’s exactly what a bosu ball is—a half ball attached to a rigid surface that can be used for everything from cardio workouts to balance training. Try the Ritfit balance ball, which comes with an exercise training chart, an air pump to keep your ball inflated to the proper height, and a set of resistance bands to use as well.
The bosu ball is also an excellent piece of equipment for doing rounds of burpees and mountain climbers, but I won’t tell anyone if you skip those on cardio day, because everyone knows that burpees are the literal devil.Get it on Amazon for $65.98
23. Jump up, jump up, and get down.
Break out the leg warmers and high-cut leotards, because you’re about to get an old-school workout in on your miniature trampoline. Trampoline exercises may not be the hippest way to stay toned, but boy are they efficient.
The Marcy Trampoline Cardio Trainer features a sturdy handle so you don’t bounce off and sprain an ankle when you’re really feeling your workout and can support up to 250 pounds of weight.Get it on Amazon for $49.99
24. Your playlist can make or break a workout.
Podcasts can be totally enthralling while on a long road trip or to help the minutes tick by during a tedious workday, but I’ve never been able to get a good workout in while listening to a podcast or audiobook. I need an epic playlist, each song carefully curated to motivate me during a workout.
My cardio playlist is basically a recreation of Jock Jams ’97, but your cardio playlist should be filled with songs you love that get your heart rate up and your booty ready to groove, whether it is the weekly top 40, or listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat. No time to meticulously choose your workout playlist? Try using the Mighty Audio Spotify player, a teeny streaming device that plays all your music without draining your phone’s data and battery, to stream this Spotify playlist from Sweat with Kayla, the fitness app of Australian HIIT workout hero Kayla Itsines for inspiration.Get it on Amazon for $85.99
At-Home Gym Post-Workout Essentials
The best thing about an at-home gym is being able to immediately take a post-workout shower in the comfort of your own home. Cool down in style with these post-workout essentials that will have you more relaxed than a baby sloth at bedtime.
25. Go with the yoga flow.
You know those days when you just get in a really, really, really great workout? Like your workout was better than front row Taylor Swift tickets on your birthday good? It’s hard to come down from that adrenaline high after achieving a new personal best during a workout, but like T-Swift’s epic concert, all good things must come to an end.
A short yoga flow sequence is a great way to cool down after an intense workout. To outfit your at-home gym yoga space, our editor recommends the budget-friendly BalanceFrom GoYoga mat for its good grip and easy-clean surface.
If you find the mat is too thin on harder surfaces or are planning on doing hot yoga in your at-home gym, you may also want to invest in a Yoga Mate Perfect Yoga Towel for extra support and grip.Get this non-slip mat with a carrying strap on Amazon for $14.95 Get this yoga towel on Amazon for $7.99
26. Stop and smell the essential oils.
Essentially, your at-home gym needs to be a dual-purpose space. You’ll be able to work up a sweat in a well-appointed space that motivates you to hit your goals, while also being able to wind down in that same space post-workout.
A few tiny additions to your at-home gym, like a good set of essentials oils and the Gaiam Essential Oil Diffuser, can easily transition your at-home gym into a relaxing oasis. Lavender is always a great aromatherapy choice to promote a calming environment, but you can play around with different oils to find one that’s perfect for your cool down routine.Get it on Amazon for $49.99
27. Set the mood with good lighting.
Even if you’ve got all the yoga gear, your favorite oil misting in the diffuser, and a soothing playlist going in the background, it’s kind of hard to relax under the super bright lights that make your at-home gym so cheerful.
Unleash your inner handyman and install a Lutron Diva Dimmer Switch to transition your at-home gym from workout space to a spa-like sanctuary with the literal flip of a switch. With a few inexpensive tools, installing a dimmer switch isn’t that difficult, and once you’re finished, you’ll feel like a HGTV pro. But, if installing a light switch makes you nervous (because, electricity), then a contractor or handyman service should be able to install a dimmer switch in under an hour for minimal cost.Get it on Amazon for $24.60
28. So salty!
So there are a ton of claims that Himalayan salt lamps can improve circulation, help you sleep better, cure your allergies, and more. Most of these claims aren’t really supported by science, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to having a salt lamp in your at-home gym.
I love my salt lamp for its diffused light that bathes my whole room in a soft, subtle pink glow that is totally zen. I also love salt lamp tea light holders and have them scattered about the whole house to add zen mood lighting in every room.Get this Himalayan hand-carved salt lamp on Amazon for $19.99 Get these Himalayan salt candle holders for $13.95
29. Shake things up.
Ok, so technically this isn’t so much an at-home gym item as it is a pre-or-post-workout kitchen item, but if you don’t have a personal shake blender like the Ninja, you are missing out.
They’re great for making meal replacement shakes if you like to exercise in the morning, so there’s no need to wake up a zero dark thirty to squeeze in a workout and prepare a nutritious breakfast. The Nutri Ninja Personal Blender is also perfect for whipping up post-workout power smoothies to replenish essential nutrients and sustain energy all day long.Get it on Amazon for $89.99
30. Soak the stress away.
Stretching before a workout is ultra-important to prevent injury, but even the best pre-workout stretch can’t prevent tired muscles and soreness after a grueling strength-training session.
Treat your muscles to a therapeutic soak in the tub with a Level Naturals Epsom Salt Bath Bomb. At under eight bucks per bath bomb, they’re way less expensive than a spa day and just as effective.Get it on Amazon for $7
31. So fresh and so clean.
No one wants to be the adult version of that sweaty kid from middle school who always refused to shower after gym class. But even with an at-home gym, you may not always have time to shower before leaving home.
Tarte Cosmetics Happy Hour Athleisure Kit has you covered with all the essentials, like dry shampoo and tinted moisturizer, so that no one can tell you skipped a post-gym shower.Get it on Amazon for $39.99
32. Try this to get rid of tough muscle knots fast.
Don’t forget to add a foam roller to your list of at-home gym essentials. A foam roller is used for self-myofascial release that applies pressure to relieve trigger points and hard-to-reach muscle knots.
I’ll be honest though, while you’re doing it, foam rolling does not feel great. After all, you’re applying deep pressure to sore, tense trigger points. But afterwards? You will feel ahhhhhhh-mazing once those trigger point release.Get it on Amazon for $23.97