No Gym Access, No Problem: College Student Edition

Home Gym Equipment for College Students All

As college students, we tend to move around a lot from year to year or even semester to semester. Sometimes we do not have a lot of space to hold a lot of gym equipment and sometimes we don’t have time to make it to a physical gym during gym hours even if the gym is on campus. 

Some people, like me in undergrad, are also intimidated by the gymgoers who seem to know what they are doing (Side note: No one actually knows what they are doing. There is a lot of bad forms out there.)

These are some of the equipment that I have accumulated over time and use when I am not in the mood to be in the gym physically or if I just do not have time to be at the gym.

Also, I let you in on a secret: I haven’t been to the gym all semester but, that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked out. I think I’ve worked out most weeks with the exception of the week before Thanksgiving. That week was too hectic to stress me out about working out. I barely had time to eat but now to the actual post.

Resistance Bands

Home Gym Equipment for College Students Resistance Bands

I absolutely love resistance bands. I use them a lot when I want to do resistance training and I cannot make it to the gym. They are similar to using cable machines and they do not take up much space.

When you are done you can pack them up and stuff them in a drawer. These are one of the first home equipment that I picked up. You can purchase them in groups. My resistance bands came in a set that you can adjust by adding on more resistance bands.

Collectively, my resistance bands have 75 pounds in resistance which is a lot. I can pretty much emulate a lot of cable gym exercises with these bands using a sturdy pole, a door or just my bodyweight.

Suspension Trainer

Home Gym Equipment for College Students Suspension Trainer

I purchased my suspension trainer in a phase in my life and I rarely use it but, when I do, it is always a very challenging workout. You can definitely challenge your balance and core strength with this and it’s so easy to set up and break down.

Some people bolt theirs to a wall but mine can be placed in between the top crevice of the door and taken down when done. You may also know this as a TRX trainer but some of us cannot afford the real thing so…there you go.

Suspension trainers are also great for some of us who need assistance with our pistol/ one-legged squats (I don’t think I will ever not need assistance) and to do horizontal pull-ups.

Unfortunately, the one I purchased is no longer being sold on Amazon anymore. So, I cannot recommend any specific one that is decently priced based on personal experience.

Resistance Loop Bands

Home Gym Equipment for College Students Resistance Loop Bands

I love resistance loop bands. I take this with me even when I go to the gym. You can get different resistance levels and they are great for targeting glute muscles (Maximus, medius, and minimus).

You can also use the bands for some light stretching. They usually come in light, medium, heavy and X-heavy resistance. I like to label mine with the resistance in pounds so I can track my progress and know where to start the next time I go to the gym especially if I have not been there in a while.

I do the same for my other resistance bands.  I’m guilty of these being my second set. I popped my first set going to hard my jumping lunges in undergrad. But, those bands were a different brand. So far, these bands seem pretty stable. I’ve had them for some time now, maybe over a year.


Home Gym Equipment for College Students Sliders

This is a relatively new addition to my collection of workout equipment. It really worked my core and balance even when I wasn’t trying to. I got challenged on a whole new level when I used these.

I find these great for hamstring curls! It is really hard to work your hamstrings with just bodyweight, no partner and little equipment so this helped.

No more trying to do Russian Curls under my couch, don’t ask. The broke version of this is to use paper plates as sliders on carpet or wear socks if you are exercising on wood/ tile/ laminate flooring.

Pullup Bar

Home Gym Equipment for College Students Pullup Bar

Pull-ups and chin-ups are complex exercises that work multiple parts of the body so you can get a lot of bang for your buck with a pull-up bar. You can also do hanging leg lifts and other exercises.

You can easily find a pull-up bar that is removable or one that is bolted into the door. The choice is yours. I ordered mine off of Amazon and put it together myself.

If you have no money, you can even use the door itself to do pullups or try modified horizontal pull-ups using a table. Google it or YouTube it if you are curious. There are even books for this. I wrote about one of these kinds of books, Body By You, in a past book review. There are many modifications out there. A pull-up bar just makes things easier on your wrists.

Pullup Bands

Home Gym Equipment for College Students Pullup Bands

Yes, this is just another resistance band. I love them and they take up almost no space in my life. If you can’t quite do a pullup just yet. This is what you need. These are stronger than your regular resistance band and can take some of the weight from you when you are trying to complete a pull-up.

You can figure out the type of band you need by how many pull-ups you can currently do and your weight. As you can see these bands are thick enough to hold someone’s body weight so it is a great addition to my collection.

You can also use this to get a heavier resistance band for squatting or doing exercises such as Good Mornings. The only downside is that you have to purchase one band at a time so as you progress you will need to purchase more bands.

Jump Rope

Home Gym Equipment for College Students Jump Rope

Jump ropes are great for cardio and contrary to what they look and sound like, they are actually not that hard on your knees. I love to jump rope! I would take that over running any day.

Don’t let anyone know but sometimes I jump rope in my apartment. I just move my chairs and tables to the side to give me some space. I also take this jump rope with me to the gym because then I don’t have to worry about finding a jump rope that is perfect for my height.

This jump rope is adjustable so I can always modify the length. Jump rope can be very instrumental for HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training).


Wow, I didn’t expect to write so much. I also have 2 yoga blocks and a strap which is optional for people who practice a lot of yoga. I am surprised I got this far without them especially since I started practicing more yin yoga.

This is what I have, for now, in my home gym equipment. I look forward to doing some expansion but, I need to take into consideration the space that I have and the fact that I live on campus and will need to move out in a year or two so, I am in deep deliberation.

Thanks for reading my rant,

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Updated on 11/30/2018: Title Change from Home Gym Equipment for College Students to No Gym Access, No Problem: College Student Edition

Updated on June 17, 2019

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacist who graduated from Mercer University (2020). She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, life struggles, creative side hustles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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