For The Home


If you prefer to exercise at home, you can still look like a million bucks without spending a mint on a dedicated workout room and expensive exercise equipment. Using items you have around the house and buying a few low-cost pieces of fitness equipment, you can sculpt your body without chiseling away at your bank account, exercising in the privacy, convenience and security of your own home.


No room for a permanent home gym? No problem. Using a few portable items and a storage container, you can temporarily turn a home office, loft or spare bedroom into your own fitness center in minutes. Whether you dedicate a permanent room to your workouts or modify a space each time you exercise, keep the following in mind:

  • Floor surface: Be kind to your back and knees. Exercise on a firm, soft surface, especially if you’ll be doing high-impact workouts. If you’ll be using a workout room with a wood, tile or concrete floor, get a carpet remnant or a large mat that provides cushioning and stability and place it on the floor during exercise.
  • Ceiling height: Pick an area with a ceiling height that lets you do jumping jacks and box jumps or allows you to jump rope.
  • Ventilation: Choose a room that won’t get too hot and isn’t in a space that might have fumes from a furnace or fireplace.
  • Lighting: If your workout area doesn’t have an overhead light, set up one or more lamps to give you a bright surrounding.
  • Storage: If you’re using a dual-purpose room, add a storage box to keep your items out of the way when you’re not using the room for workouts.


Don’t wing it when it comes to getting in shape. Look at your life and assess where you want to be in terms of health, wellness and fitness. The types of workouts you use to reach your goals help you decide where you want to spend your equipment budget. Common workouts include:

  • Beginner fat-burning
  • Intermediate aerobic
  • Advance high-intensity interval training
  • Resistance
  • Body sculpting/toning
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Muscular endurance (for sports)
  • Circuit training
  • Calisthenics

Once you know your fitness goals, hit the ‘net, find the exercises that go with your chosen workouts and watch short demonstration videos to make sure you learn the proper technique for each exercise. This will help you get the maximum calorie burn, build more muscle, tighten your butt, shape your calves, tone your tummy and avoid injuries.


Who knew the junk in your basement, garage and closet could help you get rid of the junk in your trunk? Use items you have around the house to create a home gym with many of the same conveniences of a fitness center.

  • Place a table in the room for your water, towels, cell phone, radio, fan and clock.
  • Got an old bulky TV you’re not using anymore? Set it up in your home gym so you can work out with fitness programs. Ask your pals if anyone has an old computer monitor they want to get rid of so you can hook up your smartphone, tablet or laptop and watch online exercise videos, DVDs or CDs you borrow from friends.
  • Jumping rope is for big girls, too. Create a jump rope from spare rope or a cord you have at home. Measure twice, cut once, to make sure you don’t end up with a rope that’s too short.
  • Add a calf-height, stable box you can use for a step aerobics workout or box jumping.
  • Fill two, 1-gallon milk jugs with water to create 8-pound dumbbells. Use smaller juice bottles for lighter weights.
  • Purchase a bike stand to turn your road bike into an exercise cycle.
  • Clear your stairs for intense, calorie-burning workouts.


Elliptical schmelliptical! All you need to burn lots of calorie as you work your muscles are a few pieces of low-cost exercise equipment to supplement your calisthenics and bodyweight workout routines. You can buy many of these items at stores like Play It Again Sports, online at sites like Craigslist, or get them free by sending an email to friends to see who has old equipment they’re not using. A shout-out to buddies, family members and co-workers might also yield some pretty nice freebies (including cardio machines) from people who just want you to come over and cart away items that are taking up garage, basement or spare bedroom space. Look for the following items:

  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Resistance bands
  • Ab roller
  • Pullup/chinup bar
  • Exercise ball
  • Hula hoop
  • Chair (for dips)
  • Speed/agility ladder


This article was written by Sam Ashe-Edmunds, contributor for The Daily Clutch.