Creating your own “At Home” Gym

As stay at home orders are in full effect, many of us are trying to convert corners of our bedrooms or living rooms into makeshift home gyms, signing up for all the free “challenges,” and obsessively following online fitness programs (No? Maybe that’s just me).

If you’re seasoned to social distancing and well accustomed to at-home workouts you may already have a small arsenal of props and equipment to use at home. For many of us though, we’re now searching the pantry for cans of beans that are relatively equal in weight to use as makeshift dumbbells. If you’re feeling a little lost as to how to incorporate prop alternatives into your workout, hopefully I can make your day.

I’ve put together a list of some pretty innovative alternatives to use if you don’t have certain pieces of equipment at home (and when I say innovative I mean creative but still practical and most importantly functional. I saw one dude on Instagram today try to make a kettlebell out of a 40lb. medicine ball wrapped in a towel! While I’m pretty excited to see the “after” video when that medicine ball slips through a fold in the towel and goes flying through one of his windows, I also wouldn’t want anything like that to happen to any of you!)

And if you know you just can’t live without the real deal I’ve also put together a list of some essential pieces of equipment I recommend, organized by the level of your home gym excitement. Some of the equipment linked in this post are linked with an affiliate code, which means I may get a small percentage of the sale if you do purchase any equipment.

Alternatives to some common props and equipment

Mat: towel (just be sure you’re not going to slip!)

Yoga Strap: belt, scarf, towel, dog leash

Resistance band: the leg of an old pair of leggings, stockings or pantyhose

Yoga Block: book, firm pillow or bolster

Pilates Ball/Fit Ball: If looking for something to provide support and cushion: rolled up towel, pillow, sweatshirt rolled into its own hood, paper towel roll, toilet paper roll. If looking for something round to add challenge like a medicine ball: soccer ball, basketball, volleyball, small beach ball

Hand Weights: canned food, water bottles, wine bottles, small bags of rice or beans

Barre: back of a chair, table edge, countertop, wall, side of bed, back of couch

Gliders: paper plates or furniture movers for carpet, socks or a small towel for hard wood and tile


The Real Deal List of Essential At-Home Gym Equipment for…

The Hesitant One

“I want the bare minimum, something that will give me the most bang for my buck right now—after all, I got to save up for toilet paper.”

The Motivated One

“I’m really liking the idea of keeping up with an at home Yoga or Pilates practice.”

The previous list plus…

The I’m All In, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me #Goals One

“Studio closed? Fine then, I’ll just build my own.”

Everything in the previous lists plus…

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