Sometimes the gym can be intimidating for beginners- it is awkward to workout in front of strangers and comparing yourself to others in the gym can cause deep feelings of insecurity. For others, gym membership is too expensive, or doesn’t fit into their tight schedule.

Having a home gym is an excellent solution! You can work out in the privacy of your own home without embarrassment and only pay for the equipment you use. With that said, setting up a home gym is complicated if you’re not sure what equipment to buy.

Read on for our list of essentials- we’ve covered cardio, weights and stretching for a well-rounded home gym.

Cardio

  1. Jump rope

Far from just being a pastime for children, jump rope is a simple and effective workout. Jump rope is a fantastic warm up or cardio workout, with other benefits including improving coordination and strengthening the small, underused muscles in our ankles.

The advantage of a jump rope is that it takes up next to no room- the only thing you need is space to jump vertically. This makes it ideal for smaller homes without room for a treadmill.

  1. Rowing machine

If you don’t have the room or the time for body-part specific workouts, looking for whole body workouts can be a lifesaver! The philosophy is that working your entire body at once helps all the muscle groups be trained in relation to each other, so your body remains balanced.

Not only does rowing hit all the major muscles groups, it is also relatively quiet compared to other machines, making it ideal for home gyms in shared living spaces or apartments.

Weights

  1. Kettlebell set

If you don’t have room for a full weight lifting bench with bars, consider a kettlebell set instead. Kettlebells come in all sizes and weights, meaning that even a beginner will be able to find the correct weight for them.

Buying a set will mean you can slowly work up your strength over time. Kettlebells tend to be easier on your joints due to their low center of gravity and are easy to store and maintain.

  1. Pull Up bar

A simple pull up bar that hooks onto a door frame is an absolute must have for a home gym. Just basic pull ups activate almost all the muscles in the shoulder and back. There are also infinite variations to try to activate other muscles groups, making it an effective workout.

Easy to store, small, and not requiring any machinery makes the pull-up bar perfect for small apartments, college dorms, shared living spaces and even travelling.

Stretching

  1. Foam roller

Properly taking care of your muscles after a workout is key to improving your health and preventing injuries. Foam rollers work through a process called myofascial release. Essentially, applying small amounts of gentle pressure to tired muscles helps them to relax. This improves the blood flow to the area and speeds recovery.

Foam rollers can be used on both muscles and joints, making them a gentle way to wind down after a busy day and a tough workout. You can even use them as part of a yoga practice. Versatile, small and easy to use, foam rollers are an essential.

  1. TheraBand

Any dancer, gymnast or cheerleader knows the secret of the TheraBand. A TheraBand is a short rubber strip that provides an extra level of resistance to stretches.

Stretching your muscles after a workout is a great way to improve your mobility and flexibility, which also helps with recovery. The TheraBand helps with both static and dynamic stretches. TheraBands are small and easy to hide away, making them perfect for home gyms without lots of space.

Hopefully this article leaves you inspired to incorporate more fitness into your life! Starting a home gym doesn’t have to involve all the latest technology- with just a few of these suggestions, you can have everything you need to improve your health.