Essential Low Cost-High Results Home Gym Equipment you Must Have

November 6, 2019

11 / 06 / 2019

If you’ve recently made the decision to start (or get back to) a home workout program then way to go! Many people think that having a home gym means you need a complicated setup or expensive equipment, but that’s simply not the case.

There are a number of low-cost yet high-result exercise equipment that don’t take up a lot of space. Some of the best workouts can be done in a small room with a few air-filled balls or using just your own body weight.

Let’s break it down to the essentials that I think every home gym, whether big or small, should have. Here are a few of my favorite pieces of home fitness equipment to get you started.

See Also: 6 Best Workout & Fitness Accessories

Woman doing a dumbbell exercise in her living room

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are essential tools to have in your home gym. Bicep curls, shoulder raises, weighted squats—there’s a dumbbell exercise for every muscle group in your body.

Many people ask me how much weight they should use and this can be tricky to answer because it all depends on your strength. I recommend that you invest in a light set and a moderate to heavy one as well. You can always add to your collection as you get stronger (and you will!)

Here’s a suggested equipment guideline that will give you an idea of where to start:

Beginner:

Light: 5 lbs
Moderate:  8 – 10 lbs

Intermediate:

Light: 5 – 8 lbs
Heavy: 10 – 15 lbs

Advanced:

Light: 8 – 10 lbs
Heavy: 15 – 25 lbs and up

This is my favorite one-handed dumbbell, perfect for strength training. I also love these colorful sets of dumbbells that come in a variety of weight options.

Woman using a stability ball during an exercise at home

Stability Ball

This big bouncy ball is a versatile piece of gym equipment, allowing you to activate extra muscles while simply sitting on it. A stability ball also provides you the option for modifying movements as needed. For example, you can use it as a back support for squats.

Advanced exercisers can use it in place of an exercise bench for exercises like chest presses or skull crushers. And trust me, the glutes will get a good workout here too!

When it comes to choosing your ball, it all comes down to your height. If both your feet touch the floor when you’re sitting on the ball, you’re in good shape. Here’s a reference guide based on height to help you when purchasing:

45 cm – 5’ and under

55 cm – 5’ 1” to 5’ 8”

65 cm – 5’ 9” to 6’ 2”

75 cm – 6’ 3” to 6’ 7”

85 cm – 6’ 8” and taller

If you’re looking for a good overall recommendation, this GoFit brand is my favorite. It comes in three different colors and with a training DVD.

Woman using resistance bands during an exercise at home

Resistance Bands

I love resistance bands because they allow me to get a great workout even when I’m traveling! They come in varying intensities from easy to extra hard. I recommend purchasing one heavy and one light band to get you started.

A heavier band will provide enough resistance to target larger muscles such as the chest, back, and legs while a lighter band is great for targeting smaller muscle groups like shoulders, biceps, and triceps. If you want a good pump, use two at a time!

There are two types of resistance bands—those with handles and those that are one long continuous loop. Both are effective and each offers different workout options. Handles are great for upper body exercises like bicep curls and rows whereas the continuous loop can be ideal for squats or even assisted pull-ups.

THERABAND offers both beginner and advanced sets that you can purchase for less than $20 each.

Woman using mini bands during an exercise in her home

Mini Bands

Don’t let these little elastic loops fool you—they pack a big fitness punch! These mini bands are used to help you stabilize and recruit many muscles that aren’t normally activated during your usual fitness program.

Mini bands are incredibly versatile and, much like resistance bands, come in varying intensities, making your workout easier or harder depending on what you’re using. Plus, they’re portable, making them easy to travel with.

One of my favorite mini band exercises is the “Banded Squat”. By adding the band around your legs you’re adding an extra layer of glute activation (think booty) that you may not get from the regular squat variation. Add this colorful set to your checkout cart now!

Woman doing a kettlebell exercise in her home

Kettlebell

Oh, how I love a kettlebell! Kettlebell lifting is often easier to do than regular Olympic lifting with dumbbells. Kettlebells teach you how to recruit the power in your hips and they challenge your muscles differently than machines or dumbbells because there is no predetermined path to follow.

The kettlebell’s odd shape forces you to use the main muscle groups. One of my favorite moves, the “Kettlebell Swing”, is a powerhouse move that strengthens your glutes, hamstrings and your core while giving you a really solid cardiovascular pump. Check out this cast iron kettlebell as a great starting point.

See Also: The 5 Best Kettlebell Sets for Your Home Gym

Woman doing a bender ball exercise on a yoga mat

Bender Ball

I adore bender balls for their incredible kinesiologic cues when training abdominals and other body parts. Plus, they ensure a deliberate focus on lower abdominals. Here’s an exercise for you to try:

Core Crunch with Bender Ball

  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and keep the bender ball on it.
  • Lie on the ball, and place it between the small of your back and buttocks.
  • Place your hands behind your head, knees at a 90º angle and hip-width apart.
  • Inhale, and while exhaling do normal stomach crunches.
  • While coming down, you will notice that you are going further down the ball, closer to the floor.
  • Do 3 sets of 20. Increase the number of sets over time.

What I love most about these bender balls is that they come flat so you can pack them in your suitcase when you’re on the road—I use mine pretty often!

Woman doing a yoga pose on a yoga mat

Yoga Mat

Another key item to keep in your home gym is an oversized yoga mat. It’s great when you’re performing floor exercises where you want a little cushion between you and the floor. It’s the perfect way to protect your joints.

I use my yoga mat for core exercises like planks, deadbugs, or glute bridges—they’re very versatile! I love this large extra-thick, non-slip yoga mat for all my home workouts.

Woman doing a stretching exercise on a rebounder

Bonus: Rebounder

I can’t say enough about rebounding. If you want to experience the most efficient method of exercising, rebounding would be my answer. In a short 3 minutes, you will flush your entire lymphatic system while putting your immune defense system into overdrive, launching multiple killer cells into action. In just 15 minutes you will accomplish the same cardiovascular effect as if you ran for an hour.

The best news? Rebounding is kind to your knees, back, and body. It strengthens your flexibility and countless little muscles you can’t see. It also enhances proprioception which means you will be less likely to fall. Here’s a great rebounder to add to your home gym.

Do I NEED to Have All This Gear?

Of course not! The real magic in fitness happens when you get started with whatever you’ve got. That just might be your running shoes for now!

Start with a few of these pieces of equipment, learn how to use them, and add to your collection over time. Many of my favorite workout pieces are low in cost and I assure you they are an incredible investment in your health.

If you’re feeling completely lost on how to actually put all this equipment to use, I cover it ALL in my 3 E’s of Wellness Blueprint Program. It’s the most comprehensive wellness program I’ve created to date. It includes video instruction and cueing from yours truly so you’ll always achieve proper form and technique. Join the waitlist here.

Ready to jump into your home workouts but not ready to buy any equipment just yet? Check out my blog post on how to work out with everyday objects at home!

With great love and wishes for wellness,

Tosca

Tosca Reno

Author, columnist, motivational speaker, reality TV star, radio personality, consultant, mother and wife, Tosca Reno has been inspiring millions with the Eat Clean™️ Diet series and sharing the success she's had with weight loss and Clean Eating.

7 Comments

  1. Tosca, I do have a wide range of exercise equipment at home but my new found love is the ‘Kettle Bell’. I have just been introduced this past year at a CrossFit gym I joined. The combinations seem endless. These workouts are the best I have experienced by far. Have you tried a TGU? A Turkish Get Up was new to me and if done correctly you are engaging almost all your major muscle groups. I can only master (as of today) a 8 lb. bell but I am challenging myself to increase that. If you haven’t hear or seen it, please do ‘Google’ it and add it to your repertoire. Here is to continued wellness ……….. Barb

  2. Thank you Tosca. This is very helpful, good information!

  3. I’m so glad you found it helpful Karla!

  4. Kettlebells are GREAT! Well done trying new equipment and movements. That’s the ultimate key to keeping fit – keep your body guessing!

  5. Hi Tosca
    Could you please recommend the Cellerciser that you use. I want to purchase one! Love all you information on health! You are an inspiration! Stay well.❤ Thank you.

  6. I also have a set of furniture sliders from the dollar store. Great for core and lower body. I also love my jump rope.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 exercises to melt belly fat: No Crunches Involved - Tosca Reno - […] Here’s a list of pro exercises that are guaranteed to jiggle, melt, burn, torch and banish fat, as long…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × 3 =

Similar Posts

Eat Clean Carrot Cake!

Eat Clean Carrot Cake!

There’s more to carrots than just roots. The carrot has persisted as a dependable root vegetable for millenia.  It has shaped countries, agriculture, food trends and human health.  Eating a rainbow of color in your diet to improve and maintain health becomes...

WHAT THE RUCK!? How Weights and Walking Make Wellness.

WHAT THE RUCK!? How Weights and Walking Make Wellness.

Rucking, or walking with a weighted backpack or vest, has gained popularity in the fitness community due to its numerous benefits for both physical fitness and overall wellness.  I myself have enjoyed adding a weighted vest to my walking workouts. The additional...