A home gym can comprise just a few weights and a small corner of your bedroom, but it can be so much more with the right at-home gym essentials. From proper flooring to unexpected decor, gym equipment covers all kinds of important items for workout safety, variety, and inspiration. Below, check out 12 items your at-home gym just can’t go without.
12 at-home gym essentials
At-home gym essentials include, but certainly aren’t limited to, the following:
1. High quality gym mats and flooring
What you’re standing on (and lying down on) may seem secondary compared to the actual workout equipment you’ll need, but this logic is mistaken. Improper gym flooring can lead to unfulfilling or even dangerous workouts. For example, if you’re jumping rope or powering through “ab day,” poor flooring can put undue stress on your feet, hands, arms, or back.
If squats, deadlifts, or any other high-weight, full-body standing exercises are part of your workout routine, then flooring becomes a safety matter. You’ll need thick, rubber flooring to keep yourself stable as you move through high-weight squats or deadlifts to ensure you’re standing on an even, supportive surface. You can buy a mat, tiles, or a roll to spread out for cushioning your steps and reps.
2. A workout bench
For those home workouts when you’re not standing, a workout bench gives you proper elevation for exercises such as chest presses and kneeling rows. For a comprehensive strength training regimen, you can’t go without these benches, as most chest exercises aren’t possible standing or lying directly on the ground. Of course, to make the best of your workout bench, you’ll also need weights.
3. Dumbbells and weight plates
A set of dumbbells opens your workouts to all sorts of strength-building exercises, especially if you buy adjustable dumbbells to which you can add and subtract weight plates. This way, when you’re ready to jump from 20 to 25 pounds on your shoulder presses, you can easily move up to your new weight. As at-home gym essentials go, adjustable dumbbells and weight plates are fundamental.
4. Barbells (and larger weight plates)
Although dumbbells give you a nearly infinite range of motion for strength training, they can only weigh so much given their modest size. Barbells, on the other hand, can accommodate several hundred pounds of weight (though high-weight training without a spotter can be risky). You’ll need barbells for the squats and deadlifts mentioned earlier, though building a home gym is still possible without these heavy, unwieldy weights.
If barbells are too big of home gym equipment for your small space, then kettlebells may be a better option. They’re far more compact than barbells, and their maximum weights typically exceed those of dumbbells. You can also find adjustable sets of kettlebells, though they’re harder to find than adjustable dumbbell sets.
Kettlebells’ simultaneous high weight and small size mean that you can potentially use them for squats and deadlifts if you don’t have a barbell. That said, you should avoid using kettlebells for chest presses or other barbell exercises in which the barbell comes directly above your body.
6. Resistance bands
If the potential for injuries when exercising with heavy weights seems scary, then resistance bands may offer a solution. You can wrap these bands around your thighs or step on them to create tension that makes all kinds of exercises – crunches, bicep curls, squats – more challenging. The best part is that since these bands offer resistance instead of actual weight, they’re super light and compact, so you can stash them out of sight with ease.
7. Stability ball
Perhaps the only at-home gym essential that might also have a place in your home office, stability balls can enhance your yoga and ab workouts. Stability ball workouts combine balance with strength, training your core in ways impossible with typical weights. And during yoga, stability balls can provide extra support – but you need more for a thoroughly enjoyable yoga routine.
8. Yoga mat
Just as thick rubber flooring stabilizes you during high-weight full-body exercises, yoga mats give you extra support for your downward dogs and sun salutations. They also make for a much more comfortable yoga practice, as they soften the stiffness of your garage gym’s concrete floor. As a result, you’ll have full control over how strenuous or spiritual (or both) your yoga routine gets.
9. Pull-up bar
If your gym has a standard doorway (presumably it does unless it’s in your garage), then a pull-up bar is a basic at-home gym essential. As its name suggests, it’s great for doing pull-ups, but you can also use it for stretching, leg raises, and shoulder shrugs. It’s also super easy to install – it just fits snugly on any standard door frame – as are some other non-exercise at-home gym essentials.
Pretty much every gym blasts loud music, and your at-home gym can do the same with the right speakers. As long as your speakers and any necessary wires are far across the room from your exercise setup, you can lift weights or jump rope to your favorite tunes and enjoy the accompanying burst of energy.
Bluetooth speakers are also an option if you want something more compact and less wire-heavy. Another type of at-home gym essential that isn’t directly related to your regimen can also be similarly wireless.
11. Gym lighting
A good workout means paying close attention to your form, which is tough to do in poor lighting. That’s why you need ample lighting for your gym, particularly accent lighting that you install to adequately illuminate your individual workout machines or areas.
For example, LED lights shining over your workout bench make it easier to see just how far you’re letting your weights descend during your dumbbell flies. For more meditative, mentally empowering workouts such as yoga, laser lights can provide both visibility and an extra dose of awe to match your workout’s mood.
12. Laser lights
Imagine a 20-minute morning yoga routine in your at-home gym. Your yoga mat is out, you’ve got some soft lighting going, and gentle instructions are emanating from your speakers. With laser lights, you can add some awe and wonder to your relaxing routine.
With a BlissLights Bliss Bulb shining blue, red, or green starry skies throughout your at-home gym, you’ll feel a comforting sense of astonishment and appreciation throughout your yoga routine. Finding your tense spots and controlling your breathing is that much easier amidst the fixating, wowing sights that a BlissLights Ark Ambient Aurora Light or Sky Lite Laser Galaxy Projector emits.
Laser lights also let you bring your at-home yoga experience on the go, as the BlissBulb, Ark, and Sky Lite all pack fairly easily. And if you’re really tight on space, the BlissLights StarPort Laser USB fits in your pocket and plugs into any basic wall charger or mobile charger. With BlissLights, awe-inducing exercise is possible within and beyond your home.
BlissLights are key at-home gym essentials
Here at BlissLights, our laser lights support creative and inspiring at-home gym lighting options above and beyond what traditional bulbs can do. Whether you’re cooling down with yoga or hopping on your treadmill for an hour, BlissLights showers your workout space in awe-inspiring light with just the touch of a button. Browse our collection to find the right laser lights for your strength training, yoga, or any other home workouts – with laser lights, your workout is in your hands.
BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing our patented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).