You are home all day.

You are busy working or home schooling your kids.

You need a break. You need to move and get the blood flowing.

You need to start exercising. But there’s a lockdown in place, and the gyms are closed.

So here is an idea… Set up a DIY gym at home!

It does not have to look pretty nor sophisticated, just practical and enough to give you that 30 minutes of sanity you need, where the kids aren’t all over you. 

See the picture below, where one of our users transformed the kids play area into a mini outdoor gym. The basic tools you see in the picture, are pretty much all you need to work out your legs, arms, back and even do cardio.

Find a space in the garden or in the lounge

As for space for the actual workout, your backyard or balcony would be the perfect spot considering the weather is lovely right now. If you don’t have access to one, you can move some furniture around in the living room and set up your workout zone there.

Pick out your equipment

We understand that money may be tight for a lot of people right now. But you can do a lot with some pretty basic and minimal equipment. Below, we’ve listed some budget-friendly equipment available online to help you get started. Mix these up with what you have around the house, and your gym at home can be set up very easily.

Arms and back

Gymnastic rings are great to work out your back and arms. Click here to view some easy exercises you can do with this very versatile equipment.

They can be bought online for around AED 150 – AED 200.

Kettle bells are a great piece of equipment to exercise your arms as well. You can pick them up for around AED 300 – AED 400.  These are great for upper body workouts and do not require a place to hang like the gymnastic rings.

The cheapest way of course is to use a bench or your own body weight to work your arms with triceps and biceps push ups. 


The only essential for an abs workout is a yoga mat, which you probably already have at home. If not, you can get one from any online store. It costs between AED 100 – AED 150.

Get yourself a stop watch for your planks and you’re all set.


For cardio, you can use a simple bench to jump up and down and get that heart rate up.

You can also use a skipping rope, which is quite fun actually, and would take you back to your childhood! If you have kids, they would love to join you on your skipping routine. If you do not have a skipping rope, you can grab one for around AED 50 at an online store.

I have the equipment, but I have no idea what to do with it!

Now that you have the equipment, all you need is some motivation and guidance. There are so many apps out there at the moment offering free subscription that can help you set up a routine. These apps allow you to pick a different work out every day, decide its length and even choose which part of the body you want to focus on.

Given the Coronavirus-caused lockdown, some popular apps are now offering their services for free.

The Nike Training Club (NTC) app is a great example. Nike is giving all its app users free access to NTC Premium – A brilliant way to stay healthy and active, without spending on subscription fees.

Other workout apps offering free services or an extended free trial period include…

  • Down Dog (for yoga lovers, free until May 1st)
  • Active by POPSUGAR (cardio, yoga & high intensity interval training or HIIT)
  • LES MILLS On Demand (cardio, strength, core & HIIT) among others.

You can also check for alternatives at the gyms and fitness studios you normally go to. For example, Urban Yoga is doing live-stream classes on Zoom for AED 45 per class.

Set fitness goals for the kids too

Are your kids bouncing around the house? They obviously have too much energy to burn, and aren’t able to tire themselves out enough. You can get your kids involved in a daily workout routine as well. Teach them by example, showing them a few simple exercises they can do along with you in the evenings.

Check out free virtual classes from personal trainers

Many fitness centers and yoga studios across the UAE are using instagram to upload free workout videos for residents. This is such a great initiative. Check out Fitness First Middle East (fitnessfirstme), Yoga La Vie, Crank ( and Barry’s Bootcamp (barrysuae) for videos and live home workouts.