Build an Efficient At-Home Gym for $100 or Less!

By Emily Meier, Senior Fitness Specialist

There is no better time to build an at-home gym than now! 

With the Wellness Center temporarily closed due to COVID-19, you might find yourself wondering how you are going to keep up your exercise routine. 

You might feel the need to go out and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to replicate your gym routines. If that is feasible for you, then go for it! But the good news is, you don’t need to break the bank on equipment to build a killer at-home gym. 

Below are some at-home gym essentials that you can purchase for $100 or less:

SOFT TISSUE TOOLS

foam roller at home gym

Feeling tight with all the sitting you’ve been doing lately? Have no fear, soft tissue tools are here! 

Self-myofascial release (SMR) combines your bodyweight and force with different soft tissue tools such as foam rollerlacrosse ball, etc. to help decrease tenderness caused by adhesions and aiding in the breakdown of “knots.” 

But that’s not all. 

Using these tools correctly can also help increase joint range of motion before a workout and decrease soreness or inflammation after a workout. 

RESISTANCE BANDS 

Resistance bands are the gift that keeps giving. Both mini band loops and super bands are great to have around the house for prehab or mobility purposes, as well as main exercises for strength, and even sport-specific conditioning. 

Bands provide resistance in any plane that they are stretched, making for a variety of exercises possible. Plus, they are portable and easy to store.

STABILITY BALL

No matter what your level of fitness may be, a stability ball is an excellent piece of equipment to have around! It provides versatility in that you can perform a variety of exercises and scale them to your athletic ability. The instability of the ball is terrific for improving core strength and balance. 

Before purchasing, make sure the ball is sized to you based on your height. 

GLIDERS, SLIDERS

Gliders are a super-effective tool that is perfect for every individual at every level. They are inexpensive, portable, and challenges your body in so many ways. The thin discs create a sliding surface between your hands or feet and the floor where you can perform a regular exercise such as a lunge by sliding your foot instead of stepping back or forth.  

Pro tip: to emulate similar moves, you use a dishtowel instead! 

Kettlebell or Dumbbells

dumbbell at home gym

Kettlebells are a fan favorite when it comes to functionality. They are an all-in-one total body conditioning tool known to help improve stability, strength, coordination, power, and speed. 

Dumbbells provide the same functions and are a popular choice for in-home gyms. They are relatively cost-friendly, versatile, user-friendly, and easy to store. 

YOUR BODYWEIGHT! (FREE)

working out at home gym

We cannot place more emphasis on the importance of your bodyweight. We can be reliant on equipment, but our body serves as one of the very best tools.

Use your bodyweight to perfect your push-ups, pull-ups, and bodyweight squats. Once you’ve perfect those moves, up the ante and try out some pistol squats or single-arm push-ups. 

Keep in mind, you can have all of this equipment, but you aren’t going to get stronger, faster, or better just by staring at it. 

Create your goals, ask someone to hold you accountable (while abiding social distancing of course), and DO IT!

List of items:

Foam roller or Lacrosse ball

Mini band Loops or Super bands 

Stability ball

Gliders 

Kettlebells or Dumbbells

Your body weight (FREE!)