Everything You Need For A Home Gym, According To Fitness Instructors

·5 min read

Even if you enjoy barre classes and have dappled in gym memberships before, sometimes you simply want to sweat it out from the comfort of your own home. However, it can understandably be intimidating to build a home gym — or, if you're just testing the waters — a corner with some key fitness elements, some of which can ideally be stowed away under the bed.

"When we practice at home, awareness is key, so take time to educate yourself on whatever workout you’re doing," yoga instructor Kevin Lamb tells Refinery29. "When in doubt, reach out to a fitness professional for helpful tips, common misalignments and ways to prevent injury." And he's right — working out at home can be great if the thought of making the trek to the gym is daunting, but without the guidance of an instructor? Let's just say that you don't want to find yourself on the floor, having thrown your back out.

The fitness picks here — curated by a mixed group of yoga masters, former football coaches, spin instructors, and more — cover the bases, but it's important to remember that staying motivated and patient with your body are two of the best things you can do for yourself, especially if you're embarking on a fitness journey: "In my experience, the most helpful tool has been to get clear on what you’re doing this for and to be as specific as possible with yourself," Nike instructor Tara A Nicolas says. "If you know you’re someone who is great at starting but not so great at consistency then experiment with how you can be more accountable and allow yourself a little grace." Without any further ado, here are 15 home gym essentials to consider adding to your arsenal.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h2>Ankle Weights</h2><br>Miami-based Pilates instructor <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWJjEaPLQIG/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kristy Gonzalez" class="link ">Kristy Gonzalez</a> swears by Bala Bangles for leveling up any workout in style.<br><br><strong>Bala</strong> Weighted Bangle Set, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anthropologie.com%2Fshop%2Fbala-weighted-bangle-set%3Fcolor%3D014%26type%3DSTANDARD%26size%3DOne%2520Size%26quantity%3D1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Anthropologie" class="link ">Anthropologie</a>

Ankle Weights


Miami-based Pilates instructor Kristy Gonzalez swears by Bala Bangles for leveling up any workout in style.

Bala Weighted Bangle Set, $, available at Anthropologie
<h2>Water Bottle<br></h2><br>Before we start with the meat of this home gym story, let's focus on making sure you've got a nearby supply of H20. Staying hydrated is key to a healthy lifestyle, especially if you're working out. The internet- and instructor-approved Hydro Flask helps make sure you get your eight glasses' worth every day.<br><br><strong>Venture Pal</strong> Motivational Water Bottle with Time Marker - 1 Gallon, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/3qll87p" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Water Bottle


Before we start with the meat of this home gym story, let's focus on making sure you've got a nearby supply of H20. Staying hydrated is key to a healthy lifestyle, especially if you're working out. The internet- and instructor-approved Hydro Flask helps make sure you get your eight glasses' worth every day.

Venture Pal Motivational Water Bottle with Time Marker - 1 Gallon, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Fitness Tracker<br></h2><br>"Sometimes something as simple as a new workout look — whether it’s apparel, shoes, a smart watch — can make all the difference," Nike trainer <a href="https://www.instagram.com/taraanicolas/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tara A Nicolas" class="link ">Tara A Nicolas</a> says, who counts the Apple Watch among her fitness essentials. <br><br><strong>Apple</strong> Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) 40mm Blue Aluminum Case, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fshop-links.co%2FcgpbgEo8PrS" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Best Buy" class="link ">Best Buy</a>

Fitness Tracker


"Sometimes something as simple as a new workout look — whether it’s apparel, shoes, a smart watch — can make all the difference," Nike trainer Tara A Nicolas says, who counts the Apple Watch among her fitness essentials.

Apple Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) 40mm Blue Aluminum Case, $, available at Best Buy
<h2>Workout Bands<br></h2><br>Hone your resistance training skills at home with the travel-friendly starter pack, which includes a deceptively rigorous resistance band featuring an attachable handle and weighted ball to activate your core, arms, and glutes with every rep.<br><br><strong>P.volve</strong> p.3 trainer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pvolve.com%2Fproducts%2Fp-3" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:P.volve" class="link ">P.volve</a>

Workout Bands


Hone your resistance training skills at home with the travel-friendly starter pack, which includes a deceptively rigorous resistance band featuring an attachable handle and weighted ball to activate your core, arms, and glutes with every rep.

P.volve p.3 trainer, $, available at P.volve
<h2>Weighted Jump Rope<br></h2><br>"Jumping rope is fast and effective, high energy, can be done anywhere," fitness influencer and certified yoga instructor <a href="https://www.instagram.com/lindseycalla/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lindsey Calla" class="link ">Lindsey Calla</a> says. "If I’m feeling strong, I’ll use a weighted jump rope."<br><br><strong>Crossrope</strong> Starter Set, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.crossrope.com%2Fproducts%2Fstarter-jump-rope-set%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Crossrope" class="link ">Crossrope</a>

Weighted Jump Rope


"Jumping rope is fast and effective, high energy, can be done anywhere," fitness influencer and certified yoga instructor Lindsey Calla says. "If I’m feeling strong, I’ll use a weighted jump rope."

Crossrope Starter Set, $, available at Crossrope
<h2>Resistance Bands<br></h2><br>"I also love resistance bands and sliding disks to mimic movements that I get from going to Megaformer classes," Calla adds. <br><br><strong>Walito</strong> Resistance Bands for Legs and Butt, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/33cf9cc" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Resistance Bands


"I also love resistance bands and sliding disks to mimic movements that I get from going to Megaformer classes," Calla adds.

Walito Resistance Bands for Legs and Butt, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Yoga Mat<br></h2><br>"For yoga props and supplies I trust Manduka," yoga instructor <a href="https://www.instagram.com/yogalamb__/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kevin Lamb" class="link ">Kevin Lamb</a> says, "You can find them both online and in many yoga studios."<br><br><strong>Manduka</strong> Limited Edition Prolite® yoga mat, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.manduka.com%2Fproducts%2Flimited-edition-prolite-yoga-mat%3Fvariant%3D31033987989562" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Manduka" class="link ">Manduka</a>

Yoga Mat


"For yoga props and supplies I trust Manduka," yoga instructor Kevin Lamb says, "You can find them both online and in many yoga studios."

Manduka Limited Edition Prolite® yoga mat, $, available at Manduka
<h2>The Mirror<br></h2><br>"There are so many platforms for at-home workouts now," Nicolas says. "I think it’s hard for newcomers in particular to figure out what’s what. However I do see a trend towards health from the inside out. A trend that prioritizes community building and diversity in every sense of the word and all of that brings me so much joy."<br><br><strong>Mirror</strong> The Mirror, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co%2Fshop%2Fmirror" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mirror" class="link ">Mirror</a>

The Mirror


"There are so many platforms for at-home workouts now," Nicolas says. "I think it’s hard for newcomers in particular to figure out what’s what. However I do see a trend towards health from the inside out. A trend that prioritizes community building and diversity in every sense of the word and all of that brings me so much joy."

Mirror The Mirror, $, available at Mirror
<h2>Balance Ball<br></h2><br>Exercise balls are a great addition to any home gym since they're relatively affordable, and can be used in a variety of ways to work your entire body — and help stretch things out post-sweat sesh.<br><br><strong>URBNFit</strong> Exercise Ball - Yoga Balance Ball w/ Pump, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010MVAJZ2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Balance Ball


Exercise balls are a great addition to any home gym since they're relatively affordable, and can be used in a variety of ways to work your entire body — and help stretch things out post-sweat sesh.

URBNFit Exercise Ball - Yoga Balance Ball w/ Pump, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Dumbbell Weights<br></h2><br>This set of dumbells can be adjusted anywhere from 2.5 to 12 pounds per side, making it perfect for someone looking to grow in their weight training ability without investing in a full set. To adjust, click each dumbbell into the base and twist the handle to relieve the discs on the side to add or remove weight as needed. <br><br><strong>HAPBEAR</strong> 12.5/25 LBS Adjustable Exercise Dumbbell Set, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/3r63Ji8" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Dumbbell Weights


This set of dumbells can be adjusted anywhere from 2.5 to 12 pounds per side, making it perfect for someone looking to grow in their weight training ability without investing in a full set. To adjust, click each dumbbell into the base and twist the handle to relieve the discs on the side to add or remove weight as needed.

HAPBEAR 12.5/25 LBS Adjustable Exercise Dumbbell Set, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Epsom Salt Soak<br></h2><br>"[I'm into] anything related to recovery," Nicolas adds. "Different kinds of foam rollers, balls, massage tools, epsom salts are great to try at home."<br><br><strong>Dr. Teal's</strong> Pure Epsom Salt Soothe & Sleep Lavender Soak, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoto.target.com%2FLP54Mj" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link ">Target</a>

Epsom Salt Soak


"[I'm into] anything related to recovery," Nicolas adds. "Different kinds of foam rollers, balls, massage tools, epsom salts are great to try at home."

Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soothe & Sleep Lavender Soak, $, available at Target
<h2>Theragun</h2><br>If there's one pattern among the pros, it's that recovery is everything. Make sure muscles are stretched and alleviated post-workout with a massager that gets into the tissue for max benefits.<br><br><strong>Therabody</strong> Theragun Elite, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.therabody.com%2Fus%2Fen-us%2Felite-us.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Therabody" class="link ">Therabody</a>

Theragun


If there's one pattern among the pros, it's that recovery is everything. Make sure muscles are stretched and alleviated post-workout with a massager that gets into the tissue for max benefits.

Therabody Theragun Elite, $, available at Therabody
<h2>Foam Roller<br></h2><br>"I love seeing my sweat community take charge of their recovery after putting their body through the ringer!" Corbin says. "Showing your tired, tight muscles some love by foam rolling and stretching is so 2020."<br><br><strong>Trigger Point Performance</strong> GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos,, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/30QPqQZ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Foam Roller


"I love seeing my sweat community take charge of their recovery after putting their body through the ringer!" Corbin says. "Showing your tired, tight muscles some love by foam rolling and stretching is so 2020."

Trigger Point Performance GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos,, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Calm App<br></h2><br>And for the cool down... "Winter is a hard time to get motivated," Calla says. "Sometimes it’s just about reconnecting to meditation, breathing, or going back to basics to build strength."<br><br>"On days when excuses try to get the better of me, I go back to my mantra: 'Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love,'" Corbin says.<br><br><strong>Calm</strong> Calm Subscription, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.calm.com%2Fgift-card" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Calm" class="link ">Calm</a>

Calm App


And for the cool down... "Winter is a hard time to get motivated," Calla says. "Sometimes it’s just about reconnecting to meditation, breathing, or going back to basics to build strength."

"On days when excuses try to get the better of me, I go back to my mantra: 'Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love,'" Corbin says.

Calm Calm Subscription, $, available at Calm
<h2>Gravity Blanket</h2><br>And finally, don't forget to "focus on sleep," trainer <a href="http://Jaycardiello.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jay Cardiello" class="link ">Jay Cardiello</a> says, name-checking the Gravity Blanket as a go-to for getting a well-rested eight hours. "It's where you recover, build, grow strong, balance your immunity and keep cortisol levels at ease."<br><br><strong>Brooklinen</strong> Weighted Throw Blanket, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brooklinen.com%2Fcollections%2Fgs%2Fproducts%2Fweighted-blanket%3F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Brooklinen" class="link ">Brooklinen</a>

Gravity Blanket


And finally, don't forget to "focus on sleep," trainer Jay Cardiello says, name-checking the Gravity Blanket as a go-to for getting a well-rested eight hours. "It's where you recover, build, grow strong, balance your immunity and keep cortisol levels at ease."

Brooklinen Weighted Throw Blanket, $, available at Brooklinen

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