home gym

Second door on your left past the kitchen.

I love having a home gym.  It isn’t fancy, but it has the basics and if I’m short on time it means I don’t have to travel anywhere to get in a workout.  I have resigned from my pricey gym because I find my home gym a such good alternative. All you need to get started is a 6-foot by 6-foot space, about the size of a small bathroom.  You can get a very good workout using only your own body weight.  There are many free live-streamed workouts to try.  If you are among the lucky ones during the pandemic who had a little space to turn into a work out area, here is a basic guide to equipment you might consider having on hand.

The first piece of equipment I would invest in is a mat.  I would opt for a slightly thicker one than the usual yoga mat.  It is known as a jump mat,  because it is multi-purpose.  You can use it for yoga, but also for core work.  This jump mat by Beachbody is a little larger than a yoga mat, 71″ x 26″ and more durable.  It is slip-resistant.  $69.80.

I think resistance tubes are great and they take up very little space.  They are perfect for toning arm, shoulder and back muscles.  If you can anchor them securely at thigh level, they are also great for toning leg muscles.  Target sells this GoFit Pro Gym-in-a Bag that has everything you will need.  It has three tubes – 20lb, 30lb and 40lb – handles with rubber for a good grip, one door anchor, two ankle straps, a carry bag and training manual.  $34.99.

I also like the flat loop resistance bands.  Each color indicates a different level of resistance from very light to extremely heavy and can be used instead of free weights.  This set of five with a carry bag is $10.95.

Jumping rope is a great way to get your cardio in and takes up very little space.  This is a best-selling 10-foot adjustable jump rope with lightweight handles. $16.99.

If you feel the need to have something to lift, this Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weight is perfect. You can change your resistance from 8 pounds up to 40 pounds. It is 6 kettlebells in one – 8, 12, 20, 25, 35 and 40 pounds.  $179.00.

A stability disc is a wonderfully versatile tool that enhances balance, coordination and flexibility.  This one is 13″ in diameter and comes in 7 colors.  It comes with a hand pump so you can keep it inflated.   $17.64.

Subscriber Frannie B. suggests balancing on a Wobble Board.  It tilts 360 degrees and is easy to store.  Wobble Board. $35.99.

A pull-up bar is not essential, but it is a great piece of equipment to have if you have a doorway.  You can do pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, crunches and more on a pul-up bar.  This one fits doorways up to 35.4″ wide.  It has three grip positions and can hold up to 300 pounds. $40.00.





Don’t forget the music!  Get a good portable speaker to play your smart phone music and your workout will fly by.  Try the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 for $76.49.



Remember that the CDC recommends adults do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.  The CDC also recommends moderate and high intensity muscle strengthening activities.

Après exercise – time to stretch and loosen.  Two ASE articles on foam rollers.

Benefits of foam rollers

Vibrating foam rollers before and after a workout.