Want to learn how to set up a home gym? Your own gym is a great way to reach your health and fitness goals from your own home. A home gym offers convenience, privacy and the freedom to workout whenever you wish - it's no surprise that they're so popular. Moreover, creating a gym at home can be more cost effective than gym memberships or classes over the long run.


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man holding dumbbells whilst his partner and child lay on him

Which room is best for a home gym?

Considering how to set up a home gym? You might think that to create a worthwhile space, you need to convert your garage, but that's not necessarily true. With a little creativity, it's possible to create a home gym in various areas of the home. Some home gym ideas include:

  • Spare bedroom
  • Office/home gym hybrid
  • A corner of the bedroom or living room
  • An unused garden shed
  • The garden or patio, if the weather allows!
  • Finally, a converted garage or basement if you're lucky enough to benefit from these spaces

How much does a home gym cost?

When you're thinking about how to set up a home gym, you might assume it'll come with a serious price tag (costing on average £5000!) But at Exercise.co.uk, we truly believe that your home gym can cost as much as you can afford. No matter your budget, it's possible to create a gym in your home.

Take a look at our home gym equipment below. You will discover that the total cost of some basic equipment for your home gym can be as little as £60.00.

However, if you want to go the whole hog and invest in a wider selection of premium home gym equipment, complete with floor matting, mirrors and a sound system, you'll be looking at thousands of pounds.


Basic equipment for your home gym

Wondering about how to set up your home gym, and the best pieces of equipment to get started with? It's really quite simple: simply think about the types of exercise you enjoy and then select some key pieces of equipment.

If you are a beginner, start with basic equipment that will allow you to complete a good variety of exercises. Some basic pieces of equipment for your home gym include:

Resistance Band

Simple yet incredibly versatile, a resistance band is a must-have for every home gym. This light and portable piece of equipment is a great alternative to weights and will help to save on space. It's perfect for the smaller home gym.

Resistance bands are handy for warming up as well as providing resistance in exercises including pull downs, bicep curls, rows, squats and more. You could also opt for a resistance tube. This offers the same benefits, but with a more concentrated pressure and better suitability for heavy exercises.

Dumbbell

Dumbbells are a crucial piece of home gym equipment. Small, simple to use and relatively low-cost, a set of dumbbells will enable you to complete a variety of exercises and tone your muscles, burn calories and improve your posture and balance.

Dumbbells can be used in a number of exercises to target every muscle in the body. Be sure to select a set that's suitable for your ability. You will know if a dumbbell is the correct weight because you'll start to feel the burn after approximately ten reps.

Yoga Mat

A yoga mat, or an exercise mat, is another useful piece of home gym equipment, offering comfort, cushioning and a non-slip area for you, as well as providing protection for your floor. It's not only for yoga practice, but other forms of exercise, like Pilates, aerobics and bodyweight exercises. Yoga mats can also be used for your warm ups and cool downs.


Cardio equipment for your home gym

Here's how to set up your home gym for a focus on cardio. Consider choosing larger pieces of equipment, such as an exercise bike, treadmill or rowing machine. These pieces of home gym equipment will be more pricey and generally require more space. However, you will see some serious benefits if you use them regularly, and they're much more cost effective than a gym membership in the long run:

Exercise Bike

Cycling is one of the most effective aerobic workouts. It can help to lower blood pressure, boost cardio fitness, improve joint mobility, strengthen your legs and more. Choose an upright exercise bike for a serious workout, or a recumbent exercise bike if you're looking for a more comfortable and low impact solution (recumbent bikes are great for older users or those in recovery from illness or operations).

Suitable for all ages and experience levels, an exercise bike is the perfect addition to your home gym. With just two or three 30 minute sessions per week, you'll see some great results.

Treadmill

The ultimate home gym equipment to boost your cardio fitness - a treadmill. Whether you’re new to running, training for a half marathon or you’re in recovery, you can use a treadmill in a way that works for you.

With an at-home treadmill, you can go for a walk or run at any time of day, no matter the weather. Simulate real conditions in your home gym without worrying about poor weather conditions. You will also benefit from heart rate, distance and pace monitors, incline and decline options, built in speakers and smartphone compatibility... what's not to love!

Rowing Machine

With just one fluid stroke, you can target more than 80% of your muscles. A rowing machine is a fantastic choice for your home gym, enabling you to work on your cardio fitness and strength at the same time.

Rowing machines are recommended to those who are recovering from illness or injury, as they gently increase strength and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Rowers are also a good choice for users who enjoy other forms of cardio, like running, but want to do a lower impact workout for active recovery.


Strength equipment for your home gym

Here's how to set up a home gym for a focus on strength. If lifting weights is more of an interest, a weight bench or Smith machine with various barbells and weight plates will be a good investment. They will enable you to maintain good posture and avoid injury whilst lifting weights at home, as well as helping you to complete a variety of strength-based exercises. You can also invest in barbells and weight plates, building up your collection of weights gradually to spread the cost. Why not consider:

Weight Bench

A weight bench will provide a safe and stable surface for your workout. It can be used for a number of exercises including chest press, bench press and dumbbell rows. You can also use your weight bench without weights, for bodyweight exercises like tricep dips and step ups.

There are a few different types of weight benches, including flat benches which are more affordable and good for beginners, or rack benches for those that want to lift heavy weights. You could also select a foldable weight bench which is perfect for the smaller home gym.

Smith Machine

A Smith machine is one of the safest ways to lift heavy weights at home, no matter how large your weights. While beginners can use Smith machines, we do recommend this piece of equipment for more experienced users.

With your at-home Smith machine, you will be able to progress to your limit safely and securely because the machine has your back. What's more, you can complete a wide range of weighted exercises including shoulder presses, squats and deadlifts.


Other items for your home gym

When you set up a home gym, it's not just the exercise equipment that you need to think about. What about some other important items, like floor matting and mirrors? You could even go all-out with a sound system to keep your entertained and motivated during your sessions. If budget allows, you could also think about heating and cooling systems to keep things at an ambient temperature - very worthwhile for sweaty workouts and cold winter evenings alike.

Storage in your home gym

Keeping your home gym neat and tidy is important, not just for safety (you don't want to be tripping over misplaced dumbbells) but because there's a strong chance the space is small, so efficient storage is a must. We strongly recommend a storage rack for storing any dumbbells and weight plates. In addition, you could also install a simple coat hook for storing resistance bands, skipping ropes, towels and more.

There are so many advantages to creating your own gym at home. You will you be able to workout when it suits you, without the need to commute or wait around for equipment to become available. In addition, you can exercise with comfort, confidence and privacy. Finally, it's a great opportunity for you and your partner or other family members to spend time together doing something that's so beneficial to your physical and mental health.

Ready to take the next step towards creating your own home gym? Exercise.co.uk can help.

general

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.