Top 10 home fitness equipment must-haves

Top 10 home fitness equipment must-haves

Let’s make 2016 the year we prioritize fitness and pledge to become more fit. Take a look at my list of home fitness equipment must-haves and get ready to get active – without breaking the bank!

I want you to reach your fitness goals but many people put off being active because they think that they don’t have the fitness equipment they need. I’m here to bust that excuse apart. You don’t need expensive gym equipment to workout. I’ve put together my list of fitness must-haves but, before we get to my top ten list, let me share a fitness secret:

The only thing you really need to get in shape, is a little bit of time and a lot of motivation.

It’s important to understand that your own body weight is perfect for gaining strength. Simply walking and running is great for cardiovascular fitness. And, you can easily stretch your body to improve your flexibility from the comfort of your own bed.

Join me in saying that no excuses are good enough to be a barrier to fitness! I’ve created lots of fun video workouts that you can do at home without any equipment, but I also have a list of things that might make it easier to workout. For each item I’ve added a no-cost or low-cost alternative that is perfect for beginners who aren’t certain they want to make a financial commitment just yet.


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Water bottle

This may seem obvious but if you’re working out then you need to hydrate. Having a good sized, sturdy water bottle will remind you take water if you’re out for a walk or any other type of exercise. Using a water bottle will also help you monitor your water intake. Even if you’re at home, it’s easy to remember you need to drink and refill your water bottle a few times a day. Using a specific water bottle may help you stay on top of your hydration. I like to use a water bottle with a sports strap so that I can take it with me on long walks or runs.

Alternative: A recycled drink bottle or, if you’re staying home, measure your drinking glasses to know how many refills you need to drink each day.

Yoga mat

A yoga mat is a portable workout zone! If you’re at home there is something motivational about rolling out your yoga mat because it means it’s time to work out. You don’t have to be practicing yoga to get good use out of a yoga mat; they are perfect for push ups, sit ups and work great as a non slip, clean surface for workouts on the go.

Alternative: A cushioned surface like a carpet or a towel.


Dumbbells are great for strength training because the allow you to focus on working one side of the body at a time. They are portable, can be inexpensive and they are effective. Be careful to choose the right dumbbell weight for you – good form with a lighter weight can create better results than bad form with a heavier weight.

Alternative: Anything that you can pick up safely such as sand bags, full water bottles, cans of tomatoes, or books.

Jump rope

You can have fun and do a great cardio workout with a jump rope. If you’re not sure if jump rope will be a fitness staple for you, then pick up an inexpensive fitness rope from any sporting goods store or simply buy a kids rope from a toy store. Jump ropes also come in useful as a stretching strap for improving flexibility.

Alternative: Any piece of rope will do or simply jump without one. I think a workout with an imaginary jump rope can still be a lot of fun and it’s especially good if you need to work on your coordination.

Resistance band

A resistance band is my must-have piece of fitness equipment for when I’m on the road! You can do quality resistance training on the go with a resistance band as they are practical, light-weight and easy to use.

Alternative: A piece of soft rope or a rolled towel can work well for basic exercises. Please don’t risk using tubing or rubber bands not designed for fitness as they could snap and cause an injury.

Medicine ball

Using a weighted medicine ball for resistance workouts is effective and will push you to perform. There are so many effective upper and lower body exercises that you can do with the ball and a medicine ball is especially useful for partner workouts.

Alternative: A basketball or soccer ball, it won’t have the added weight of a medicine ball but you can still do many movements to help improve your coordination and fitness level.

Adjustable workout step

A workout step is an essential item for me, they make it very easy to tone up in the comfort of your own home. A workout step takes up very little space and you can use it as part of a circuit or get a great cardio blast. Choose a workout step specifically designed for fitness as it will have a non-slip surface and can be adjusted to various heights to suit your personal needs.

Alternative: a sturdy wooden box, crate, or the stairs at your home or local park.

Timer or stopwatch

I’m a huge fan of interval training and using a timer is essential for doing it correctly. A stopwatch also keeps you honest to your workout or running time,

Alternative: A cell phone with a stopwatch app will do the job, or workout with a friend who has one.

Motivation music

Spend some time putting together a great workout playlist because music is a natural motivator. I find using music is especially good for people who don’t particularly enjoy working out. Listening to music can relieve stress and take your mind off how many minutes you have left – and if you find yourself counting down the minutes then every little helps!

Alternative: Turn on the radio, sing to yourself if you have the breath, or find your favorite CD.

One perfectly fitting fitness outfit

Treat yourself to a quality workout outfit including training shoes. Choosing an outfit that fits well, supports you in all the right places, and makes you look good can help you find the motivation to work out!