We are all in this together: stuck home as the world holds its collective breath during the pandemic outbreak of Coronavirus. Experts say maintaining some semblance of normalcy is one of the best things you can do throughout this journey. Easier said than done as people work from home, are homeschooling their children and cannot see loved ones. One thing you can maintain is your level of fitness. Working out from home does not have to be costly nor difficult. This is why we rounded up the best cheap exercise equipment for your home gym!
Cheap Exercise Equipment? We Recommend the Following!
Although resistance bands come in all shapes and sizes for a variety of different prices, you can purchase a set of bands easily for under $20. The benefits of resistance bands are:
✓ You can tailor it to your needs, based on being a beginner, light band, one with moderate resistance, or a tighter band that will make the workout more challenging.
✓ They are inexpensive tools that are easy to use
✓ You can use them to engage your whole body
✓ They take up almost no storage space
✓ Super easy to travel with these, so they work awesome when on vacation
YouTube: The Live Fit Girls offer an example of a great resistance band workout
Kettlebells are known for helping to increase your overall strength and stability. You are forced to engage your core, along with other parts of the body, as you engage muscles to hold the kettlebell in place.
The price of a kettlebell depends on the weight and material used for construction. The Kettlebell pictured above, in an 18 pounder, will cost just shy of $35.
✓ All in one conditioning tool
✓ Improves core strength and stability
✓ Improves balance and coordination
YouTube: 15 Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout is a great resource to get started with kettlebells.
Jump rope’s aren’t just for little girls on the playground! You can find an excellent fitness jump rope for under $20, and the perks are awesome.
✓ Improved coordination
✓ Small, compact, easy to store or travel with
✓ Burns calories
✓ Increases bone density
✓ Excellent form of HIIT training
YouTube: 5 Minute Beginner Workout with jump ropes!
A yoga mat is an excellent investment and cheap workout equipment for any workout area. First, the most obvious, you can use it to practice yoga. However, there are many other situations where you will find yourself using the mat.
During core work, for example, you will often find yourself on the floor. Yoga mats cost between $10 and $30, depending on the thickness and quality.
✓ Yoga – First and foremost, your mat can be used for yoga
✓ Comfort – If you have ever done core work on a hard floor, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Whether you are doing crunches or planks, a yoga mat is a nice addition to your workout area
✓ Pilates combines low impact exercise with light strength. Your yoga mat is excellent for this
✓ Barefoot exercises like pushups or burpees
✓ Barre is an exercise regime inspired by ballet, yoga and pilates
YouTube: 30 Minute Barre Workout we absolutely love!
Although these are big and take up a lot of space, you can get a lot of bang for your buck with a stability ball. You can use the stability ball for a multitude of things. A stability ball can be purchased for under $20.
✓ Core work and engagement
✓ Body weight exercises
✓ Improve your flexibility
✓ Improve your balance
YouTube: 10 Minute Beginner Workout with a stability ball.
A medicine ball is an inexpensive tool that can be used for some of the same exercises as a kettlebell. One additional benefit to a medicine ball is it is excellent for partner exercises. You can purchase a medicine ball for between $15-$40, depending on weight and material.
✓ This piece of equipment helps to build explosiveness
✓ Creates power
✓ Can be used to provide a full-body workout
✓ Excellent tool for team building and communication as you workout together
YouTube: Fitness Blender 9 Minute Workout with a medicine ball.
Plyo boxes are used for plyometric exercises. You can purchase them or, if you have some skills in the shop, build them yourself. Jumping up and down on these boxes helps work your body in many different ways.
You may think jumping onto a box over and over sounds easy… think again. A set of wooden ply boxes can be purchased for around $50. Benefits of plyometrics:
✓ Builds speed
✓ Builds agility
✓ Increases explosiveness
✓ Works on strength
YouTube: Plyo Box Workouts to try out.
Dumbbells or hand weights are an excellent addition to your home gym. Ideally you want three sets in various sizes, so you have choices depending on what types of lifts you are planning to do. The larger the dumbbell, the higher the price tag. For example, a neoprene set of 3s, 5s and 8s will cost roughly $50.
Benefits of dumbbells include:
✓ Increasing strength while working on stability
✓ Helps you to determine if you have imbalances in your strength
✓ Safer if working out alone (safer than free weights on a straight bar)
✓ You will experience an increased range of motion
✓ Conducive to cardio weight lifting and at home circuits
YouTube: Dumbell Training Strength Workout we recommend.
Pulling It All Together
If you are new to working out at home, consider starting with a couple pieces of equipment and some of simple YouTube videos like the ones embedded into the blog. Once you become familiar with the different pieces of equipment and how to utilize them each, you may be ready to create your own circuits.
When creating a circuit it’s important not to work the same muscles, in the same manner, every single day. Many runners find that they run four or five days each week and work strength training in a couple of days. If this describes you, a home gym and workouts created by you – for you – may be just the ticket.
An easy step by step for building a circuit is to:
- Determine how long you want to dedicate to this workout
- Choose an upper-body exercise
- Choose a lower-body exercise
- Pick a compound exercise (Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Squats while swinging a kettlebell up, for example, are an example of a compound exercise)
- Choose a sprint exercise (like jumping rope, jogging in place, etc.)
- Choose an exercise to work core
- Determine how long you will rest between sets
If you choose one exercise from each category to complete for 60 seconds, with 15 seconds rest to transition to the next exercise, it will take you six minutes and fifteen seconds to get through the routine once.
If you take an extra minute off between sets and repeat two more times, you have roughly a 25-minute workout start to finish.
It Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive Or Complicated
As COVID-19 has most people suddenly working out at home, we could all use it as an excuse to neglect our fitness. Sure, you could do that.
Or, you could invest in some of the best cheap exercise equipment we told you about and build yourself a pretty nice little home gym. Also, don’t forget some affordable home gym essentials that go hand-in-hand with any home gym equipment and home workout. For not a lot of money, you can get a lot of quality work done in the comfort of your own home!