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How to Step Up Your Home Gym Game

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

woman rolling up yoga mat

As things start opening back up, exercisers everywhere are deciding to either commit to that gym membership or up their at-home gym game. Or, for the truly dedicated, doing a mix of both. If your home gym game could use a boost, here are some steps you could take — featuring inspiration from our Barbella community — to turn things up a notch.

Creating space

The first step in mastering the home gym setup is finding a space in — or outside! — your home where you can work out. Having a dedicated space will help build more of a fitness habit and make it less of a hassle every time you want to work out. Sometimes the effort of finding all your equipment across the house is more work than the workout itself! Or even worse, you lose motivation in the process.

Keep in mind your goal for how you want to use this space. If you plan on swinging around dumbbells or throwing medicine balls, make sure you have enough room for it. For our Barbella CrossFit heavy lifters, you might need to dedicate a whole room for your equipment.

Here are some ideas for spaces you can convert to your home gym:

  1. Garage (even if it’s just a corner!)

  2. Spare bedroom

  3. Office

  4. Space on your porch or deck

  5. Corner of your bedroom

  6. In front of your couch (keeping all supplies tucked under or next to your couch!)

  7. Attic

  8. Basement (who cares if it isn’t finished!)

  9. Front yard/back yard set-up (like a playground, but for adults!)

Barbella pro tip: Aim for a room that has plenty of natural light from a window or artificial light if you don’t have window access. Also, be sure to install a mirror in your space to check on proper form as you work out. Plus, it makes your space seem even bigger!

Here’s how some members of our Barbella community are converting their indoor and outdoor spaces for their home-gym set up:

barbella instagram screenshot

barbella instagram screenshot

barbella instagram screenshot

Don’t have much space to play around with?

Don’t worry, there are a few ways you can get creative with the spaces in, and outside, your home to make your own zen or workout corner. You can do a lot of at-home exercises in just the space of a yoga mat, so finding a space to roll out your mat is a good place to start.

Here are some other ideas:

  1. Use portable storage: Buy a storage bin or bag for all your equipment and stash it under your bed, in your closet, in your car, garage, or under or beside your couch. That way you can store everything in one place for easy access. All you have to do is pull it out and get going!

  2. Use a storage wall: For more permanent storage, install a shelf or cabinet in the room you workout most to store your equipment. Or opt for a pegboard to hang up your workout equipment on display.

  3. Use the outdoors: Who said your home gym needed to be a converted space inside your home? If you have space outdoors, use it! Buy an outdoor storage bin for easy access to your equipment or install a workout playground complete with pull-up bars, ropes, or any of these awesome outdoor gym ideas.

  4. Use your body: If you have no space for equipment you can still get in a great sweat-inducing workout just with your body weight. Here are some CrossFit WODS you can do at home with zero equipment. Trust us, you can still feel super sore without any equipment!

  5. Use what you’ve got: If you don’t have a lot to work with, sometimes it’s about getting creative. Whether it’s space in a hallway or using your furniture as equipment, there are ways to use what you have. We love how @intuitiveathlete uses the space below her house to work out and even installed a bar for pull-up practice!

  6. Find wall space: With minimal space, sometimes all you need is an open wall. Clear out space next to a wall, roll down a yoga mat, and get creative with some exercises like @just.the.tiff.

barbella instagram screenshot

barbella instagram screenshot

Supplies for your home gym

Now it’s time to get your space ready for action! Here’s our recommendation for what to stock up on for your home gym.


This is going to entirely depend on what kinds of exercises you plan on doing at home. So first things first, identify your workout goals and what kind of equipment you will need to reach those goals.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to break the bank to get a good workout. For strength and cardio, you can go wild with equipment. But it’s possible to build resistance, cardio, and strength without spending hundreds of dollars.

Barbella pro tip: If you are low on space don’t forget to invest in space-saving workout equipment. Invest in a suspension trainer, resistance band, door-mounted pull-up bar, or a jump rope, for example. A lot of the equipment on this list requires minimal space!

Once you’ve identified your needs, goals, and space restrictions for your at-home workout, here are some ideas for equipment you might need.

P.S. You can get a lot of this at-home equipment and accessories delivered to your door through our Barbella box monthly subscription. So make sure you sign up or head to our One-Stop-Shop to buy these premium fitness items at a great price.

For our yogis:

You don’t need much to build your own zen corner!

  1. Yoga mat

  2. Sweat mat

  3. Blocks

  4. Mobility strap

barbella instagram screenshot

For our cardio seekers:

Try out one of these outdoor workout ideas or invest in some cardio equipment to get your heart rate up.

  1. Jump rope

  2. Heavy boxing bag

  3. Rowing machine

  4. Treadmill

  5. Indoor cycling exercise bike

  6. Barbella pro tip: Use strength equipment below in a HIIT or circuit style training for added cardio!

For our strength trainers:

Whether you have a ton of space or a small hallway, there are strength training options for everyone.

  1. Resistance bands(Check out our resistance band workout!)

  2. Hip activators

  3. Squat rack

  4. Dumbbells

  5. Kettlebells

  6. Kettlebell Sandbag (coming soon in our June 2021 Barbella box!)

  7. Suspension trainer

  8. Barbell and weights

  9. Weighted vest

  10. Medicine balls

  11. Pushup handles (find these in our April 2021 Barbella box!)

  12. Door-mounted pull-up bar

barbella instagram screenshot

barbella instagram screenshot

For building stabilization:

Get off balance with equipment that will make your at-home workout even harder.

  1. Balance discs

  2. BOSU balance trainer

  3. Thick, squishy mat

  4. Stability ball

  5. Gliding discs

Necessary accessories

It’s not just equipment that you need to up your home-gym game! At Barbella, we know that the fun often begins with the accessories. Here are some must-have accessories as part of your workout routine.

barbella instagram screenshot

While you workout:

  1. Water bottle

  2. Towels

  3. Bluetooth speaker

  4. TV/tablet access

  5. Yoga mat or workout mat for a softer surface

  6. Rep counter

For the lifter:

For post-workout:

  1. Shaker cup

  2. Skin repair treatment

  3. Planner (to keep track of your workouts!)

  4. Sandbar quickie for your calluses

For recovery:

For storage:

  1. Gym bag

  2. Stuff-sack

  3. Plastic containers

  4. Basket

For fun:

barbella instagram screenshot

Make it uniquely you!

This is your space, design it how you want it! Break out the candles to find your zen, decorate with posters and signs, or hang up your fitness goals on display. The more fun and decked out you make your space, the more motivated you will be to get a workout in.

Need some more inspiration? Check out Reddit’s r/homegym subreddit or Pinterest for more ideas! Plus, sign up for your monthly subscription to get great accessories and equipment every month to up your home gym game.

Do you have a decked-out home gym? We want to see it! Tag us @BarbellaBox next time you workout to share your home gym or how you make the most of your space.

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