How To Create Your Home Gym In 4 Steps

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April 3, 2020

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Setting up a home gym can help you progress towards your health and fitness goals when you need the convenience of working out from home. 

There are plenty of ways to build a home gym — and you  don’t need a lot of space or lots  of equipment

One of the most important things to consider when working out at home is to make sure your home gym is set up to inspire, motivate, and allow you to get the most out of your workouts. 

Having your home gym set up properly means ensuring you have the equipment and space you need to easily work out whenever you want.

Follow these simple steps to create the perfect home gym

Here are four ways to set up your home gym for any type of session.

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1. Choose a space to suit your workouts

There are three key points to consider when selecting a suitable area for your workouts:

How much space do you have?

Ideally, you will have a dedicated workout area. If that’s not realistic for you,  choose an area that has enough room for you to work out — you can still do effective workouts in small spaces

This might mean your home study or your living room doubles as a home gym, or a spare room in your house that’s not currently in use.

How much space do you need?

Consider the types of workouts you will be doing before choosing your space. For example, strength training at home requires equipment so you’re going to need a lot more space compared to HIIT cardio.

Do you feel comfortable in your space?

Whether you have a dedicated room for your gym, or you work out in your living room, make sure you feel good in that space so you’ll be motivated to work out.

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2. Choose home gym equipment to get started

The next step is to determine what home gym equipment you will need. This will depend on the type of workout, or if you will be combining different training styles.

Home gym equipment for cardio

For cardio workouts, there are several pieces of equipment you can choose to help maximise your workouts. These include:

Yoga or fitness mat

Asoft mat will help protect your joints during high-impact cardio exercises. Depending on the type you choose, avoid placing your feet on the mat when performing exercises like mountain climbers which can cause peeling or flaking of your mat.

Skipping rope

A skipping rope is a cardio staple for HIIT workouts or can be used during a dynamic warm-up routine.

Ankle weights

Ankle weights are a great addition to cardio-based exercises, adding resistance for an extra challenge.

Resistance bands

Resistance band exercises help build overall strength and stamina in your cardio workouts.

Home gym equipment for strength training 

For strength training, you’ll need free weights to get the most out of your workouts:


Dumbbells add weight and resistance to exercises, making them an incredibly versatile addition to your home gym. If you don’t have access to dumbbells, you can always substitute with safe household items of similar weight like cans of food or bottles of water. 


Kettlebells are great for making lower body exercises more challenging.

Barbell and rack

A barbell and rack require a lot more space than dumbbells or kettlebells, but if you have access to a garage or larger space, it can help you progress your strength training to using heavier weights.


Fitballs are a lightweight core-training tool. 


A bench is versatile and useful for strength training exercises like the bench press, bodyweight strength exercises like tricep dips or cardio-based movement like bench jumps.

Home gym equipment for recovery

Incorporating these tools into your post-workout recovery can help enhance your stretch sessions:

Yoga mat 

A yoga mat will help to support your knees and joints and soften any hard flooring.

Foam roller

A foam roller is an effective recovery tool for stretching out your muscles and reducing muscle soreness.

Trigger point ball

Trigger point balls target specific muscle points, allowing you to roll out any tense knots or tight areas in recovery sessions.

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3. Set up your space

Once you know which equipment you will need,  you can set up your space. Having your space ready in advance means you’ll be less likely to skip your workout.

Get a full-length mirror

If you have space, consider installing a full-length mirror. This can help you monitor your form, and ensure you’re performing exercises correctly. A mirror will also add more dimension and light to a small room, making it feel more spacious.

Organise your space

Make sure your space is clutter-free so that you have plenty of room to work out. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you’ll be motivated to train.

This might mean adding in additional storage for your gym equipment or reorganising an existing space.

Store your equipment

If you’re only using small weights and a yoga mat, a storage cupboard can be a sufficient storage option. If you have larger items like a barbell and rack, you will need to find a permanent location for them in your home gym.

Having dedicated storage space for your equipment means you’ll spend less time looking for missing pieces of equipment and more time on your workouts.

Create an inspiring environment

You’ll never want to leave your home gym if it inspires and motivates you to work out. You might decorate your space with motivational quotes or inspiring posters, colour-coordinate your home gym equipment, or install speakers to play your favourite workout playlists.

4. Keep your space clean and safe

 A clean and safe environment will ensure no accidents or injuries occur and keep your space and equipment in good condition. Here are some ways to keep your gym pristine:

  • Have spray or wipes on hand to clean down any equipment after use

  • Wipe down your equipment and clean the space thoroughly after use

  • Always put equipment away safely and securely after use. Don’t leave any equipment lying around that could be hazardous.

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Tips for creating your home gym on a budget

Creating your home gym doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some top tips to set it up on a budget.

Source secondhand items

Visit your local thrift store or charity shop, or online marketplaces for pre-owned equipment.

Buy bundled items

It’s often better value to purchase items as part of a bundle, rather than buying equipment separately.

Invest in versatile equipment

A little goes a long way when you select equipment that can be used in many ways, across different training styles. 

Dumbbells, resistance bands, and a bench are great examples of versatile pieces of equipment.

Skip equipment altogether

You can still set up an effective home gym without equipment. Bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, mat pilates and at-home cardio can all easily be completed with no equipment necessary. Try this bodyweight workout to get started with no-equipment exercises from home.

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Ready for your first workout?

Start working out in your home gym

If you want to start working out at home, a good place to begin is with a simple workout. This might be a HIIT workout for beginners or a bodyweight strength workout

Trying different training styles can also help you decide what type of workout is best for you to get started in your home gym.

Do you have any home gym workout tips? Let us know in the comments!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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