The Workout Essentials You Need to Have the Best Home Gym

The Workout Essentials You Need to Have the Best Home Gym

Wellness Series II:

5 gym equipment essentials, and 4 exercise optional tools.

I started workouts for the first time ever in 2019. I joined gym because I wouldn't have had a clue on how to go about it otherwise. I now have a bit of a foothold on where to go from here. So I can think of investing in at home gym props. Can you relate to this? If you are to start afresh, this post would still be relevant to you. I'll tell you why in the second half. Because this is how Covid changed everything by 2021, so think home fitness.

As gyms are indoors, there is physical contact with gym equipment, a potential risk of disease. Many prefer gym to get active with expert instructions. But what if you had to quit gym over other preferences or change in routine. That is where you can think over your choices, and invest in some workout props for home gym! After all, bunkering is the current idea. You want your house to be the hub of all things entertainment, home office, kids’ entertainment, book library, entertainment room, and a gym room. So let's get on to some home fitness equipment. I don't intend to cover every exercise equipment you could get your hands on. This post is about a few gym essentials, but also the best home workout equipment you would want to invest in to get you motivated enough to use them daily. Keep reading your way to the best home gym equipment. The ones I also used and would consider.

Workout Essentials You Need to Have the Best Home Gym

Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash

Home Gym Essentials

1. Treadmill

The only big investment you might need is the treadmill. This is also the first workout essential. According to studies, treadmill wins the top spot in gym machines, for all the reasons I explained in my previous wellness series I. You're right; it's walking and running, the major cardio exercises at home! The major cardiorespiratory exercises a human needs for a good heart and lung health, and longer life. This is your whole body workout at home, and also an all in one gym machine. It is the best exercise machine for toning whole body. When you look for features, choose the best treadmill for home use. Start at speed 3mph and raise it up to fast walk on 4.5mph. Anything above this speed is running. Walk for up to 20 minutes. Don't overdo any exercise at home unless on a strict diet, or prescribed by your doctor. 

However, don't stress if you don't want to invest in a treadmill. Doesn't matter if you don't have one, replace it with nature! The ultimate soul and mood uplifting outdoor walks and runs during the day and night. Get fresh air and sunshine vitamin D. Going outdoors to lush greens and waters is sufficient to boost mood and health. Personally I prefer outdoor walks. But if I ever decide to add daily running to my routine, I would consider getting a treadmill.

2. Bicycle

I would not suggest you to buy a stationary bike for every saving and pleasure you can get from riding a regular bicycle. The best part is that it is cheap and you might already have it. Cycling is a great cardiorespiratory exercise. It strengthens and increases muscle size of your lower body. It targets front quads and rear hamstring muscles of thighs, and gastrocnemius and soleus in the calf.

Cycle to a nearby park, do groceries, other outdoor chores and activities on your bike. If you still intend to buy a stationary bike for a rigorous workout, your choice.

3. Gym Mat

Gym mat is the first workout essential you need to start your home exercises. You need workout mat for floor exercises involving core strength training at home e.g. pelvic floor exercises, abs, crunches, curl ups, pilates, planks, push-ups. As workout mat is an essential for lower back exercises at home, it comes in various thicknesses to suit individual comfort. The thickness varies from 3mm to 1/2 inch. 8mm is a popular choice. 3/8" is used more for commercial purposes as in gyms. But around 0.5 inches is a good thickness choice for a workout mat.

Me? I can never do thin mats at all! Hard floor hurts me. So I prefer thick exercise mats and use 2 inch thickness, the tri-fold folding exercise mat.

4. Dumbbells

Dumbbells are required for muscular endurance, strength, and resistance building. They strengthen, tone and increase muscle size. You can use them for weight training at home. If you've been to the gym, you might have noticed that different exercises involve different set of weights. I used weights from 1 kg dumbbells to 3kg dumbbells for different workout routines. Get a pair of weights for home gym of your choice you think you can safely manage. I would also personally suggest not to get heavy weights. Unless you're sure you need heavy dumbbells. If there is any need for that, your gym instructor would ask you to do those specific workouts. You can even do whole body dumbbell workout at home if you pick the right exercise routine.

But for home you don't need to overdo anything. Cap at 5kg dumbbells. Go light.

5. Large Exercise Ball

Yoga ball is great for core home fitness. Exercise ball is used for muscular strengthening and targets skill related physical fitness component i.e. core stability and balance. This balance involves the ability to maintain a certain posture. Exercise ball workouts include core, Abs, and full body strengthening. You can use it for whole body workout to target hamstrings, glutes, triceps, biceps etc. Exercises such as squats, planks, and push-ups also involve gym ball.

The many names it goes by, this stability ball became my most favorite and fun exercise prop. On the days I used this, I had the best of the time. But, a heads up! Most people find it difficult to use exercise with gym ball. If you believe you have good balance or are willing to take the challenge, go ahead and buy it.


If you're setting up a home gym or thinking of starting workout at home, any of these could be the essentials to consider investing in. Also, out of these, only the treadmill is expensive. But like I said earlier, I assert that you go out to walk, as that would improve your overall wellness. Also, buy a regular bicycle which you can use anytime. You would get remaining equipment at reasonable prices from online or local sports stores. These are more than enough for your full body workout at home! From cardiorespiratory to muscular endurance, strength, and balance, you name it.

If you want more options to props and tools to up your workout game, you may choose any of these below to your preferences.


Optional Workout Equipment

6. Skipping Rope

Skipping rope is a great cardio exercise that gets your lungs active and builds stamina. It is also good for toning calves and core.

Get a traditional skipping rope. If you have a space constraint in your house, get cordless skipping rods. It is available on Amazon and many other stores. When I went to gym, they did not give me jumping rope exercise. But I saw some other people instructed to use it. If you are walking, jogging, running, swimming even, you may not need it. It isn’t a need but a great want.

7. Fitness Sandbag

Fitness sandbag training aims towards muscular strength, stability and motion. It strengthens 3D planes of your body involving forward, backward, side to side, and twisting movements, and prevents injury.

You can think of fitness sandbag a replacement for water kettle. The plus is it has no sharp edges. You can hold it easily while doing any exercise. As with dumbbells, these come in various weights. I used 3kg sandbag. They are flexible to use for aerobic workouts. Sandbag workouts involve lunges, squats, rows, burpees, bridges, and curl ups. However, it is optional. If you want, skip it.

8. Medicine Ball

Medicine ball is a weighted ball used for muscular strength. It differs from stability ball as it is heavy, shorter, and doesn't roll. It especially involves upper body workout. Medicine ball workout includes squats, lunges, circles, pushups, deadlifts, etc.

It is again great exercise equipment but also, like sandbag, a bit vigorous. I didn't use medicine ball, others did.

9. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are used for muscular strengthening and building muscle mass. These are mostly recommended for muscle rehabilitation. They provide muscle building tension i.e. your muscles fight the tension by going against the resistance.

You can do resistance band workout at home. A few exercises include bicep curls, squats, hip abduction, lateral walks etc.


When you decide to invest in gym equipment, consider a few factors. If you've never done exercises before, the way I didn't, then the best you can do is to join a gym for around three months. Because once you go there, you detail your health requirements to a fitness instructor, and get body composition tested. He or she then engineers a routine for you. If you only start with aerobic DVDs or YouTube, you would find great exercises, but would not know which ones meet your needs. After a specific time at the gym, you'd be more confident over what to do from then on, and be able to take it from there.

I would also suggest you also see a nutritionist. Considering both a gym and nutritionist would be the foundation to good health and body. A good YouTube fitness instructor to check is HASfit catering a vast audience. His workouts cover beginner and advance level, and are for both men and women. Or look up your own preferences.

If you are familiar with exercise routines, then don't hesitate to buy any of the above exercise equipment of your choice. This way you'd also be able to confirm if a specific exercise routine you saw on DVD or YouTube suits your needs.


That’s all for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, and subscribe to my blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Disclosure: I am not endorsing any referred external YouTube link. It is only my personal choice.

Isa A

Blogger's Critic on the best in fashion, beauty, home decor, and gourmet chocolates.

79 comments:

  1. Great post! I love that you're encouraging people to stay active even when they don't want to go to the gym. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. hehe. yup. thanks for reading Eleanor <3

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  2. Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour23 September 2021 at 15:45

    Oh how I have neglected working out and exercising. I love the idea of a treadmill, bicycle, and skipping rope. I should get into working out ASAP.

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    1. yea which ever works. thanks for reading Ruth <3

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  3. We looking to have a gym at home. These are the things we looking to get. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Bear with me while I dust off my workout equipment! 😬 This post gives me some motivation to actually use mine!

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    1. glad to know you already have them. not to start from the wallet. thanks for reading <3

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  5. I really appreciated how you gave options for the more expensive equipment as well as suggestions for optional equipment.

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    1. glad you liked it Laurie. thanks for reading and visiting my page. <3

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  6. They are great but I also suggest kettle bells. I love resistance bands and my gym mat.

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    1. i thought of kettle bells, seems more for men though I'll check on it. thanks for reading Jamie. xx

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  7. I agree about the bike - stationary bikes are a waste to me. Plus, you can buy a "bike stand" and turn a regular bike into a stationary bike during the winter.

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    1. yea i think so too. Thanks for reading Katie. <3

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  8. Here in Belgium the gyms opened again a few weeks ago, but I am sure many people made sure to get some equipment at home - This could really help them with their choices - Fashion and Lifestyle blogger www.seadbeady.blogspot.com :)

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    1. yea for sure. Since more options and investments are being considered for home now. thanks for reading Renata <3

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  9. I haven't exercised in a bit, but I invested in some weights and resistance bands to workout from home. I don't have much space so that's all I managed to fit, but would love to have a bike or a treadmill to work out too! x

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    1. then the two plus a gym mat would be good to use in any case. thanks for reading Christina. <3

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  10. Man I would love to have a treadmill. It's definitely on my list of 'top 10 wanted items' haha. I love running outdoors but the heat in the summer can be a bit ridiculous where we live!

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    1. ohhh! I dont like the heat too where i live. hope it helps. thanks for reading Kristin. <3

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  11. If I had the space for any equipment, I would definitely invest in some of these; we're even desperately short on cupboards but if we ever get to a new place that has an extra room/storage, I'd like a treadmill!

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    1. yea i personally also like that option too. Hope all works out how you want it Molly. thanks for reading <3

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  12. I have got a treadmill and it is awesome to have for walking and running, especially when it is too cold outside and I feel like staying indoors.

    I do not have an exercise ball yet or resistance bands, but I would like to try out both in the near future as throwing in new routines and workouts challenge me into not getting used to the same exercises.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. most of my readers went with resistence bands, but I loved gym ball. it calls for body stability and that's why people find it difficult and don't use it. But i loved it because i've a good balance. thanks for reading! <3

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  13. Great list! I currently have all of these except for a medicine ball. I’ll have to check out the Youtube channel that you recommended. I’m always on the look out for new exercise routines. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. aww great to know you've many of them. And thanks a lot for reading and liking it. <3

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  14. I have a lot of these in my home gym already! I got most during lockdown. One other thing I have is a boxing bag - great after a hard day at work!

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    1. oh wow! loved hearing that. thanks for reading <3

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  15. Great list! I've been considering getting resistance bands for my little at home gym. I really enjoy working out at home vs at the gym because of the flexibility of it. I actually have a stationary bike at home because I was able to find a small one that works for my small space, so gave that option for cardio. I agree about the outdoor biking being a good option though! :)

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    1. thanks for reading Alison. Great knowing your workout routine. <3

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  16. I really want to get a treadmill once we move to our own place, I find using it in the gym very relaxing so I want to be able to have the same from home!

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    1. i like the treadmill too. great to know that and thanks for reading. <3

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  17. This is such a helping post! Exercise is quite important. Thank you.

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    1. thanks for reading and visiting my page <3

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  18. Good list. While I think that a treadmill is a bit extravagant because nothing beats walking or running outside, I agree with the exercise mat. I have a yoga mat and it is a nice in expensive thing to have to do basic workouts on without scruffying up your floor. I also used to have a yoga ball (it popped :() and loved it. I love that you can do so many exercises with it, or you can simply use it in place of a chair when working at your desk and also work your core muscles.

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    1. ah that's sad to hear it went down. I really loved the yoga ball the most too. and yes i agree. thanks for reading. <3

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  19. I love going to the gym and I've always wanted my own gym at some so these are some great suggestions xx

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  20. Looking out ourself, physical and mental health are so important. I used to be a gym junkie until I overdone it and got an injury. Then I started pilates for therapeutical reasons and I loved it. I kept it us my favourite form of exercise. When covid came into our lives I already had at home most of the equipment you suggest and discovered the therapeutical force of running outside. I have the experience needed to excersise at home and great places outside to go running so I don't think I will ever go back to gyms.This post offers great advices for equipment needed and how to proceed with it carefully when you are not that experienced. Thank you Isa ❤️

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    1. the best comment I received. Thank you so much Eri. Love you lots. <3

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  21. i completely agree with what you included in this post! when i do home workouts i use dumbbells and resistance bands to tone up! thank you for sharing!

    jessica | www.overdressedblogger.com

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  22. I have a bicycle, yoga mat, and dumbbells. I don't have enough space for a treadmill, so... yes I'm replacing it with nature. A skipping rope is a great idea too.

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    1. thanks Fritzie. You're doing great there. <3

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  23. I love sandbag exercises and mat exercises. I love how you didn't limit the options to indoor activities and also suggested bicycling!

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    1. thanks for the thought! and for visiting my page. <3

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  24. I have many of these but I need to use them more!

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  25. I have a yoga mat, kettle bell, and resistance bands...they all have been collecting dust lol. This post told me I need to get back on it though!

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    1. haha. thanks for reading and visiting my page. <3

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  26. A gym mat can take you a long way! I love using my gym mat for a yoga routine, and for cool down stretches!

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    1. yea, good enough for workout on its own. Thanks for reading <3

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  27. I currently have a medicine ball and I love it. It's great for push ups and you can do a lot of workouts with it.

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    1. yea a bit hard core it is also. Thanks for reading <3

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  28. I love being able to work out at home. I use my treadmill all the time, it's great for getting my steps in while I watch a bit of tv in the comfort of my own home!

    Rosie

    https://www.loverosiee.co.uk

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    1. yea, being active and being conscious of the fact matters. thanks for reading Rosie. <3

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  29. I love excercising at home and creating my own little gym. This is a great post, thank you for sharing!

    xo Olivia | http://www.oliviaandbeauty.com

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    1. thanks Olivia for reading and liking it. <3

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  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. Sounds great, if you have the space it would definitely be amazing to have all these things. I have a yoga mat and it is so useful for other exercises as well oh, I was thinking about getting a skipping rope and you've inspired me to go for it. Anything that keeps you active, just do it! 😊

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    1. yea. being conscious of staying active matters. rest is on the person how to go about it! thanks for reading <3

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  32. Great Post, great ideas for starting home gym....

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  33. I love my mat and weights.I've been meaning to pick up a set of blocks for my home workouts! They're great for mini dips and stretching.I'm adding them to my errand list for this week. Thanks so much for the nudge.

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    1. hehe. anything for the nudge Sue. thanks for reading <3

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  34. I've never been to a gym (still don't want to go) but I'd like to use one or two equipment at home, something that doesn't hurt my back since I have scoliosis lol. I'd want to exercise with a jumping rope, dumbbells, medicine ball, and a treadmill. Want to make exercise something I do daily.

    https://www.lifebeginsattwenty.com/

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    1. oh, i hope it works out to what suits your needs Monique. thanks for reading <3

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  35. Thank you for these tips. It's great to know which exercises get different results.

    I'm a fan of home workouts, but need to get back to doing them and this list will be useful when I do :)

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    1. thanks for reading and liking it. Hope it helps. <3

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  36. These are all great suggestions for a home gym & I love that you made an optional section as well. This also reminds me I need to go pick up my bike at my partner's mother's apartment haha

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    1. haha. better get the dust off you might want to peddle. <3

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  37. Love resistance bands! This is a great list for a home gym.
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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    1. Thanks for reading. yea they're very easy to use. <3

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  38. I have been wanting to get a stationary bicycle for a long time. It may not be like a regular bicycle but it will still keep me moving. Some of us cannot ride a regular bicycle for health reason. Thank you for this informative post. I also agree with you on getting a thicker mat, the thin ones feel like you are on a bare/hard floor.

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    1. thanks a lot for reading and visiting my page. and yea you're right. whatever options works. <3

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  39. Good Post, so many equipment I never thought of using at home thanks for recommending those.

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    1. i'm glad it helped Eveclair. Thanks for reading <3

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  40. I never thought exercising at home required so many stuff thanks for sharing

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    1. for a home gym, otherwise you can do with one even max in case someone is not in much of exercises. thanks for reading <3

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