How to Make a Home Gym on a Budget

So, the gyms are closed right at the point in your life when you were about to glow up, be the best version of yourself and ultimately get 2021 off to its best possible start. While dreams of going to the gym at six o’clock every morning might have been dashed, all hope is not lost because it’s never been easier to create your own home gym. 


Of course, a home gym lacks the several different leg machines that you simply must use, the 50kg weights that we all ignore and the sweat and smell of hundreds of different people working out alongside you, but it does come with its own benefits. For one, it’s quite literally in your house, so any excuse about not being able to make it to the gym just won’t cut it - you will have to make yourself accountable. You can blast your own music, go at your own pace and leave the gym anxiety that many people suffer with, behind.


Home gyms can range from a mat to a full floor of your house filled with equipment, but on a budget there’s just a few key things you need to maximise performance. Firstly a yoga or gym mat. These are relatively inexpensive and every sports store has them. They’re perfect for Pilates, yoga and stretching as well as working out using body weight exercises. If you feel you aren’t going to use a mat that much, literally placing a towel or blanket on the floor will have the same effect.


As for weights, this depends on your goal. If you want to build a lot of muscle you will need several different weights, so you can lift heavier every time. For the majority of people just looking to tone up and stay fit, one or two dumbbells are literally all you need. Shops like Mr. Price, Decathlon and do countless different weights at reasonable prices. 


Cardio wise there is of course all the machines you can think of  - treadmills, bikes, stairmasters. However on a budget there is no need for these. A great alternative to an expensive exercise machine is a simple skipping rope. Skipping is an often overlooked exercise that is great for cardiovascular fitness, stamina and bone strength. It is also a full body exercise as it targets your arms, shoulders, core and legs. The classic exercises of running and walking can also act in place of your typical treadmill and the fresh air is particularly great during the lockdown (within the restrictions of course). 


To finish off your home gym there are a few things you need to really get the most out of your workouts – resistance bands. These come in all different but you really just need three which are light, medium and heavy. A number of different websites do these, such as Elverys, Decathlon and Kikifit. Resistance bands are a godsend for home gyms as they act in place of countless machines, for a fraction of the price. They allow you to work all your muscles and improve in your strength each time by gradually using a heavier band.


A few simple touches that will really make your home gym blossom is adding things that you should have around the house such as a speaker and a full length mirror that no one is using. Then you’re all ready and good to go! 


If the pandemic has got you down and creating this budget home gym sounds like a chore, just clear a space and get moving. The benefits of working out are countless – it improves your mood, fitness, energy and confidence. It also gives you a break from screen time , as well as reducing feelings of anxiety and depression. 


If you have a home gym but don’t know where to start with exercise, YouTube has loads of video workouts with creators such as Joe Wicks, Madfit , Pamela Reif and Chloe Ting. Even looking up an Abba dance workout will get you moving!