Instagram-Approved Home Gym Ideas

Keep it simple in terms of equipment, expense, and space

home gym setup

Ivan Gener / Stocksy

If quarantine taught us one thing, it’s that at-home workouts aren’t so bad thanks to an army of personal trainers who kept us sweating with their practical suggestions. If you want to keep up your at-home exercise regime, pulling together an effective home gym doesn’t have to be expensive.

Darsenio Hunter, holistic health coach at RowdyBox and JAXJOX suggests determining your fitness goals and looking at how you’re motivated before investing in equipment.

“Ever bought a piece of fitness equipment just for it to sit and collect dust? That foam roller that never rolls, that insert-brand-name-here bike that you dry your Lululemon on, and the few weights that are more like paperweights until you decide to move them?” he asked. “Do your research and based off of your tailored fitness plan and goals, search and buy from there!”

He likes adjustable, space-saving kettlebells and dumbbells combined with virtual classes or personal trainers who show you how to use them.

You can also stream workouts or follow trainers for ideas. Here are some Instagram accounts to check out and ideas for an effective home workout with minimal equipment.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice and information. Seek professional advice before attempting these actions.

Row Machine

Chest press with a resistance band on a chair
Ashley Cummings

Equipment: Living room armchair, long resistance band

Have the band wrapped around the back of the chair as before, but this time stand in a quarter squat position with your shins touching the seat of the chair. With each side of the band in your hands, lean slightly forward and pull the band towards you, keeping your elbows close to your sides and squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Chest Press

Equipment: Living room armchair, long resistance band

Wrap the band around the back of the chair and sit on the edge of the seat. Grab both handles and press out away from your body, while keeping your core tight and feet planted firmly on the ground.

Sled

Equipment: Cardboard box, rope, weight of any kind (kettlebell, laundry detergent, dog food)

For a killer leg workout, cut two loops for the rope to weave through the front center of your box. Use the ends of the rope as handles. Place weight in the box. Grab the ends of the rope and step back until there is no slack in the rope. Once the slack is out, you are ready to drag your “sled.” 

Squat

Equipment: Broomstick and long resistance band

Place the ends of the loop band on the broomstick, then stand on the other end of the band. Place the broomstick on your back below your neck. Now you will be able to perform a squat with some added resistance and make-do barbell. 

Split Squats

Equipment: Couch or ottoman

Make squats more challenging by using your body weight as resistance. Place one foot on the couch behind you, and your other foot firmly planted on the floor about two feet out from the couch in front of you. The majority of your weight should remain in your front foot. Lower yourself until your front leg creates a 90-degree angle, then rise back to the top. Add weight for an even greater challenge. 

All five of the above exercises have been recommended by Ansley Cummings, certified personal trainer, @Cummingsfitness

Woodchops

Wood Chop fitness exercise demo
Bree Turner

Equipment: Weight of any kind, like a grocery bag filled with canned goods or a suitcase with books.

With the weight held in both hands, keep your back flat with shoulders back and core tight. Twist in one direction, bend the back knee and hinge toward the ground. Pause, then bring the weight close to your body and twist in the opposite direction. Twist and point the opposite foot while bringing the weight overhead. Repeat. 

Deadlift

Stand up straight with weight in the right hand with slightly bent legs. Engage your core. Hinge at the hips, lift the right leg off the ground and slowly move downward, letting the right hand with the weight come towards the ground. Fix gaze at a point in front of the body. Keep hips in line with each other. Slowly reverse the movement to move back to a standing position. Repeat on the other side.

These two exercises have been recommended by Bree Turner, functional movement fitness coach, @everyminutestronger

Planks, Core Work, and Lunges

Equipment: Two pieces of paper

Use paper to turn up the intensity of your planks, core work, and lunges while still keeping it low impact, so you don’t disturb your neighbors!

Restorative Hip, Chest, and Back Openers

Equipment: Couch cushions

If you’re looking for a restorative stretch session, try using couch cushions or pillows as bolsters. Lay on your back with a stack of cushions under your head and spine with arms bent like a cactus for a chest opener that’s great for posture.

These two exercises have been recommended by Kara Liotta, celebrity trainer, @karaliotta

Lower Body Exercises

Equipment: Old sports bra

Use an old sports bra rolled up around your legs as a mini loop resistance band for a variety of lower body exercises.

This has been recommended by Lindsey Bomgren, certified personal trainer, @nourishmovelove

Can Exercises

Katelyn Page demonstrates lifting weights using canned food

Katelyn Page

Equipment: Soup cans, water bottles, wine bottles

Any exercise you would do with dumbbells can be done with cans instead. Think flies, curls, and tricep kickbacks. You can also bring them to your virtual barre class!

They have the weight written right on the front. This makes it easy for you to progress your weights as needed.

This has been recommended by Katelyn Page, certified personal trainer, @katelynpagefitness