Whether you’re an avid outdoor runner or cyclist but the weather makes getting out next to impossible or you can’t get to the gym for whatever reason, it’s nice to have a backup plan. And that’s where having a makeshift home gym comes into play.
It just takes a few (we argue five) key components, not counting your body weight, and — boom! — you’ll be working out in no time. “Fat loss and increasing conditioning levels, relative strength, mobility and flexibility can all be achieved with the right items at home,” says Andy Speer, co-owner of Soho Strength Lab in New York City.
Here’s what you’ll need for your impromptu home gym:
1. Two Sets of Dumbbells
Have one set of lighter weights and one set of heavier weights, Speer says. Use the lighter weights for exercises like lateral raises, chest flyes and overhead presses, and use the heavier ones for things like squats, deadlifts, chest presses and rows.
2. A Mat
It could be a yoga mat, but it could be something with more substance. “Select a thick mat, because most likely you will be either on concrete or a hard surface, so having that extra cushion is key,” says trainer Natalie Uhling, creator of NUFit. Speer adds that it also should have some grip so you don’t slip around when doing planks or downward dog.
In addition to core work, yoga and basic stretching, you can do some exercises you’d do on a bench (like chest presses) on the mat.