Home gyms have come a long way from the usual suspects: books, DVDs, and TV fitness gurus. With the advent of mobile apps and fitness YouTubers, home gym ideas on a budget are more doable than ever.
At home gyms may run as wild and well kitted as you can afford. However, don’t let the prospect of a small home deter you. Ultimately, the end goal is to carve out a convenient space to get in a workout and, ideally, save time and money.
Whatever your budget, the trick is to be mindful of what equipment will actually be used. A home gym is just that — a place to exercise — not your local gym franchise. Rather than let an expensive crosstrainer collect dust, start small and work from there.
Yoga home studio or Pilates home studio
Fancy a room of one’s own? Need a place to challenge your powerhouse (i.e. Pilates lingo for abs)? Thankfully, the space and budget required for yoga and pilates at home are minimal. If you’re stuck for home gym ideas, it can be as easy as unfolding a mat.
YouTube videos make yoga and pilates home practices a breeze. For yoga, check out Yoga with Adriene, an approachable yoga teacher with over 4 million subscribers. Adriene Mishler’s 30 Days of Yoga series is perfectly achievable for beginners or those returning to the mat.
For pilates, Blogilates has been combining pop music and pilates since 2009. Founder Cassey Ho’s 4.4 million followers work out to free videos from an Apartment Friendly Series to dozens of beginner friendly videos.
Yoga and Pilates equipment:
HIIT home gym or strength training at home
Whether you subscribe to HIIT or circuit training, strength training is the foundation of many workout programmes.
Likewise, the equipment for strength training equipment crosses over to different disciplines. The home gym ideas here are a question of mixing and matching equipment with your personal needs.
Building a home strength training gym on a budget can just come to gym shoes, a mat and a set of adjustable dumbbells.
There are pieces of kit that are nice to have, but expensive and inessential, like a bosu ball, commonly used for balancing moves and killer planks. On the other hand, a foam roller for stretching and preventing soreness is valuable and typically inexpensive.
For free and no frills workouts, FitnessBlender, a husband and wife team on YouTube, offers over 500 full-length exercise videos. The two provide killer workouts organised by focus, difficulty and length with no cheesy background music to boot.
Strength training equipment:
- Foam roller, £10.99
- Dumbbell set, £39.99
- Kettle bells, from £8
- Skipping rope, £6
- Exercise ball, £11.99
- Ab roller, £9.99
- Pull up bar, £13.99
- Bosu ball, £132
- Bag weights, from £30
- Resistance bands, £6.95
- Ankle and arm weights, from £13.95
- Slam balls, from £14.50
- TRX kit, £79.99
Home gym ideas: boxing
Boxing is a fun way to let off steam and an increasingly popular fitness trend. The good news? Boxing doesn’t necessarily require equipment either. You can learn to box without equipment, but beginners to boxing will benefit from an instructor to master the basic movements of punches, footwork and defence.
Boxing training can be practiced at home for a great full body workout. Even if you never step into the ring, the benefits of skipping rope, weight training and shadow boxing amount to an intense (and fun) workout.
- Punching bag set, variable
- Freestanding punching bag, £159.99
- Boxing gloves, from £25.99
- Boxing pads, £21.99
- Hand wraps, from £7.99
- Skipping rope, £6
Home gym ideas: weightlifting
Experienced weightlifters will appreciate having a home gym set up: no queues and no equipment hoggers here. The start up costs and space requirements are significantly higher, but may be well worth it.
- Dumbbell set £39.99
- Weight bench
- Squat rack, £78.99
- Dumbbell and weight bench set, £67.95
- Weightlifting gloves, £13
- Home gym mat flooring, £18
Home gym ideas: machines
Before splashing out on big equipment, be prepared to pay.
Good equipment doesn’t come cheap. Machines may range in price from a few hundred pounds to £3,000 and beyond. Budget treadmills, for instance, typically come in under £500.
That said, having a treadmill or exercise bicycle on hand at home could be invaluable in the UK. Bad weather necessitates a hasty retreat indoors, and if you love running or cycling, the equipment pays for itself.