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5 Genius Home Gym Essentials You Can Use Anywhere — Even in a Small Space!

You don't need a full home gym to get fit.


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You don’t have to have a big space to get a great workout, but it does help to have the right gear. Now this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a bunch of clunky exercise equipment and expensive gadgets. It’s more about finding a few home gym essentials that you can use every day, without fail.

I recently started a virtual personal training program, and my trainer went out of her way to make sure I didn’t have to buy a lot of extra stuff. She wanted me to get a good quality workout with the fewest items possible.

These are the five items I bought to create a small (but effective!) workout space. The large floor mat was my one splurge item, but otherwise, everything was really affordable. I can feel good, knowing these are all items I’ll be using for a long time. 

Day 1 Fitness Kettlebell Weight

home gym essentials

$38.72, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Multiple weights available 
  • Smooth rubber handle 
  • Flat base for stability 

If you’re on a budget or just don’t have a lot of space, then invest in one or two good kettlebells. You can do so much with one, and owning one or two kettlebells can pretty much replace the traditional hand weights that have been popular for so long. Choose your weight carefully so you can use it with many exercises and get the most bang for your buck. If you’re not sure, definitely ask a personal trainer or do a test run before ordering. You can find lots of kettlebells on Amazon. This brand gets great reviews and has options in weights from 5 to 50 pounds. 

One reviewer wrote, “If you’re looking for something heavy with a handle to hold on to, look no further! You can lift it, drag it, swing it, and even toss it if you are so inclined.”

Cushmat Play Mat

home gym essentials

$159, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Stylish designs 
  • 100% waterproof 
  • Double-sided

This Cushmat doubles as an area rug and a workout mat. Even though it’s advertised as a soft mat for a baby, lots of people also use it to create a yoga or workout space. It’s about the size of a small rug, coming in around 6.5 x 4.5 feet. If you’re looking to create a dedicated workout area but you also want it to be functional, then this is perfect. There’s no rolling it out each time you want to workout. It can just always be out. If you’re not sure about this one, Amazon has several tile mats that come apart (like puzzle pieces) that you can configure in any shape you want. This is a great option if you need to fill a specific area. 

One reviewer wrote, “We are big fans of this mat in our household. It’s great for our baby to do tummy time. It is also a great space for us to relax and chill while watching a movie. It’s even great to exercise and work out on. Very durable and easy to maintain and clean.”

LuxFit Foam Roller

home gym essentials

$13.95, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • 4 sizes available 
  • Great for physical therapy
  • Good for core workouts

Don’t underestimate the power of a good foam roller. They are the best! My personal trainer recommended one to me, and I wasn’t sure at first. But now I wouldn’t complete a workout without it. This foam roller is great for yoga, stretching, and even that nagging back pain. I sit at a desk all day, and it’s definitely helped me work out the kinks after a long day. If you’re not exactly sure how to use a foam roller, then watch this Youtube video for some foam roller tips and tricks.

One reviewer wrote, “They’re great for rolling and releasing especially after days of high-intensity interval training.” 

YUHENGLE Resistance Bands

home gym essentials

$29.99, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Comfortable handles 
  • Door anchor 
  • 6 total bands 

If you just buy one item on the list, these bands should be it. They truly take up the least amount of space while giving you the most options and variety in workouts. You might doubt whether a set of bands can really do that much, but I can confidently say they can. I’ve been using these in my small space for a few weeks now, and I can definitely feel the burn as much as a full set of weights. If you’re not sure what to do for a bands workout, YouTube will be your best friend. There are also some apps that focus on resistance band workouts. There are so many options in the way you use these. It’ll truly change the way you think about strength training. 

One reviewer wrote, “I was told by my gym instructor to try resistance bands instead of buying those huge weights or lattice machines for back exercises or chest press. So I wanted to try and see how these work, and to my surprise these are the best.” 

Wallniture Guru Wall Mount

home gym essentials

$23.99, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Easy install instructions 
  • Minimalist style
  • Heavy duty design

Looking to make the most of your small space? You’ll definitely benefit by maximizing your wall space when you use a mount like this. You can find all sorts of shelving options on Amazon, and this is one of the best options at a low price point. It’s designed to have three separate sections, which you can use for foam rollers or mat storage. Then there are also hooks below, which would be great for storing your bands. Now all you need is an inspirational poster to hang nearby, and you’ll have a workout space ready to go. 

One reviewer wrote, “I LOVE this! It was the perfect addition to my home gym and saved me precious floor space. This thing is a lifesaver and I’m really glad I got it.” 

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