At-Home Workouts: 5 Essential Items for a Home Gym

Experts name their picks for the fitness equipment you need to build a home gym.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

You love the idea of at-home workouts: being able to exercise on your own time, without even leaving the house. And you've finally made the commitment to build a home gym. But if you're like most folks, that's where the easy part ends.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with the amazing array of fitness equipment available today, experts say. You could end up not only blowing your budget, but moving your bedroom into the kitchen just to make room for your new gear.

"The biggest mistake folks make when putting together a home gym is buying too much fitness equipment or things that are too complicated to use," says personal trainer Jessica M. Bottesch, MA, LAT, CSCS, co-owner of Empower Personal Training in Durham, N.C.

The second biggest mistake, she says, is "buying all the same type of equipment, like all cardio or all strength training, and not realizing how that limits what you can accomplish."

So, while buying an exercise bike, treadmill, and ski machine may seem like you're covering all your bases, you're really only preparing for one type of workout, says Bottesch. Choosing a variety of types of equipment will give you a healthier, more balanced at-home workout overall.

Experts from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) advise anyone thinking about creating a home gym to consider not only your particular fitness needs, but also your available space, your budget, and how much time you're able to devote to at-home workouts.