How to Create a Home Gym

You don’t need a pricey gym membership to get in shape. You can create your own inexpensive, calorie-burning haven with these simple pieces of equipment. Here are 6 must-have items for your home gym.

1. Jump Rope

It’s cheap. It’s easy. And it’ll make you feel like a kid again. According to Men’s Fitness, you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour jumping rope. You’ll feel the burn in leg muscles you never knew you had.

Exercise tip: To really torch the calories, try jump rope intervals. Jump as fast as you can for 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 10 minutes. For more jump rope workout ideas check out Men’s Fitness and learn how to buy the right rope.

2. Kettle Bells

These weighted bells will give you a cardio and weight lifting workout in one. Invented by Russians in the 1700s, these cast iron weights are used by the Russian Secret Forces and U.S. Military. Through different variations of swings and lifts, kettlebells are meant to be an all-inclusive exercise regime.

Exercise tip: Try some Turkish Get-Ups, a quality, full-body workout. Warning: You may be too sore to get up out of bed the next morning.

3. Fitness Ball

These giant balls can be used for a variety of exercises, but are especially good for targeting your abs. They provide instability, which allows you to engage your abs in a way that you can’t when doing traditional crunches. Plus, you can bounce on them as a fun reward at the end of your workout.

Exercise tip: For ideas on how to use the ball, check out these step-by-step instructions from the Mayo Clinic.

4. Dumbbells

No need to spend money on a full set of weights. A variety of three different weights to lift is all you need to build muscle strength. Be sure to get a heavier weight for legs and two sets of different weights for arms.
Exercise tip: Try some of these exercises with dumbbells, recommended by
Chest flies
Walking lunges
Bicep curls
Bent-over row
Overhead press
Tricep extensions
Calf raises

5. Stairs

Skip the StairMaster and use the stairs at home to get your heart pumping. Best part, they’re free!
Exercise tip: Try alternating running up and down the stairs with stepping up and down off the lowest stair for a minute each, for 10 minutes.

6. Exercise DVDs

Buy a variety of exercise DVDs that you can rotate into your home gym routine. Save money by buying used DVDs on Amazon.

Exercise tip: Our favorite workout DVDs: Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, Power Yoga by Rodney Yee, and for those willing to spend a few extra dollars P90X.

Don’t forget: There are tons of exercises you can do without any equipment at all by simply using your own body weight. Think push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, leg lifts, crunches, tricep dips on a chair, and running in place with high knees. Always consult a doctor before you begin any exercise program.

Got more ideas for a home gym? Let us know!

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