Ten essential items you need to build a home gym

Annoying selfie sticks. Hoverboards on fire. Unfashionable Christmas clothing. They're all being re-shelved and exchanged for cash as 'tis the season to return unwanted gifts.

'Tis also New Year's Resolution season, as those magic words, "I'm going to lose that weight," are uttered all over the world.

If you're cashed up from a few gift exchanges, think twice before handcuffing yourself into an expensive gym contract or spending hundreds on stylish gym attire.

To create a fitter you, create a rocking home gym. All you need are these 10 items for a healthy 2016.

Skipping rope

There's no need to invest in a bulky treadmill or elliptical machine when a simple skipping rope from $5-$30 can burn so many calories, improve cardio fitness, and tone/lean the body.

Skip rope for a warmup, or use it within a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program. The beauty is that rope can be easily stored, taken to the office, and fits into any carry on luggage.

Wearable technology

According to the '2016 Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends', wearable technology is the top trend for 2016.

From Fitbit to Jawbone, Microsoft to Garmin and Moove your choices are endless in finding a gadget that tracks calories burned, GPS movements, heart rate, and even your sleep patterns.

If "oh my, another pricey gadget in the house" makes you wary, check out your smartphone's app store.


Apps like Nike+ Training Club and MyFitnessPal are quality tools, and cost the same as a couple of Chupa Chups.

Plyometric box

Box jumps are a simple yet exhausting exercise that put your whole body to work. If a toned bum in a new pair of jeans is your goal, explosive box jumps with a squat and full hip flexion will get you there.

Swiss ball

A Swiss ball facilitates too many exercises to name. For your lower body, you can perform overhead ball squats and hamstring curls. For the upper body, there are back extensions, incline, and decline push ups. And for your core, there are sit ups and knee tucks.

Even sitting on a Swiss Ball with core engaged while watching a bit of television is good for your posture.

Yoga mat

You must stretch. You must perform core movements. And you must have a safe place for soft impact. A yoga mat provides it all.

Push up handles

Skip the bench press and pick up some cheap push up handles. Not only do they ease stress on the wrists and allow for change of direction (work different parts of the chest), they also beg for perfect form while allowing a deeper drop to the floor – it's a quality test for your chest, back, triceps, and shoulders.

Pull up bar

One of the toughest bodyweight exercises is a pull up. This compound exercise targets a host of upper body muscles in your back and biceps.

Make sure you purchase a bar of quality that's tightly fixed to the doorframe, since nobody wants to land on a YouTube reel of fitness follies.


Music is like a steroid, and science proves that the right soundtrack will boost performance by 10-15 per cent. For some it's Eminem; for others it's Michael Buble.

Regardless, quality music with tempo is a home gym must – let your body move with the music.


Historians believe kettlebells were first used by Russian farmers in the 1700s for weighing crops – they are now a great tool for home fitness. Work your back, legs, and bum with kettlebell swings. Work your whole body with a kettlebell squat thruster. Test mobility, extension, and rotation with Turkish Get-ups.

Have a look at a fitness shop for two bells that suit your strength, and incorporate them into your weekly fitness program.


What's your goal? Please don't give me this "New Year, New You" line or "Go Hard or Go Home" (you're already home, right?).

Write down your goal. Write down what you're going to sacrifice, and write down what you're going to create. Buy a whiteboard and write in permanent marker the direction you are taking your health in 2016. Affix it to your front door so you see your commitment every morning and night.

While I do like the gym – the people, the energy, the variety – a home gym saves money, and gives you privacy to create efficient workouts in 20 minute s… then jump into a soothing home shower.

What are your home fitness essentials? Let us know in the comment section. 

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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