You really can get in shape at home!

Ditch that gym membership. Our personal trainer shows you the budget-friendly way to get fit at home

Get in shape at home

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Each week personal trainer Barb Gormley answers your most pressing fitness questions.

I don’t have time to get to my gym anymore. How can I get a good workout at home?

The at-home DIY workout is a great solution when you’re too busy for the gym or on a budget. Here’s how to get fit without leaving the comfort of home.

Go shopping
You can go all out and buy a fancy weight training machine plus a treadmill, bike or elliptical, but it’s definitely not necessary. I suggest starting with these basics: an exercise mat (go for a comfy thick one, not a thin yoga mat), a large stability ball, and three or four sizes of dumbbells. If you have limited space and do lots of weight training, check out PowerBlocks, quick-change dumbbells that become lighter or heavier using a pin system.

When you need more variety, add gliding discs, a small sticky ball and an exercise tube with handles. For the cardio portion of your workout you can run, walk, jump rope or bounce on a mini-trampoline (it’s a surprisingly fun and challenging workout).

Do it right
Don’t waste your time by guessing how to use your equipment. Learn from the printed information that’s supplied with most pieces, check for YouTube videos, ask an experienced friend, or hire a personal trainer for an at-home session or two. Attention to the finer technique details of each exercise (like the proper speed, posture throughout the move and breathing pattern) will always get you the best and quickest results.

Up the fun
The home workout can be lonely, so invest in a few good DVDs to bump up your energy. The on-screen instructors will teach you proper technique and keep you moving when you might be tempted to slack off, call it quits early or head to the kitchen for a snack break. (Collage Video distributes almost 1,000 DVDs from bootcamp to Latin dance to muscle toning).

Track your progress
If you don’t keep a log of your efforts, it will be tough to tell if your hard work is paying off. Use a simple spreadsheet to track your improvement and you’ll have tangible proof of how your hard work has paid off.

Barb Gormley is a certified personal trainer and a freelance health and fitness writer. You can contact her at

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