How to Create a Home Gym on a Budget

At an average price of around $60 per month, a gym membership has an annual cost of $720 dollars. These memberships are not only expensive, but they’re also inconvenient. Even a short commute to the nearest gym will take thirty minutes out of your day.

The solution? Bring the gym home.

You might know some friends or neighbors who spent thousands of dollars on bulky and unnecessary equipment. But you can have a fully functional home gym for a fraction of the cost. In fact, you’ll save money in the long term by saying goodbye to your overpriced and outdated gym membership.

Even if you have limited space, you have room for home gym necessities. This guide will cover the essential items you need to keep you and your wallet in shape.

1. Home Gym Mat

You can find these branded as either yoga or exercise mats. The name makes no difference. What you’re looking for is a decent amount of cushion for your workouts. Even if your home is carpeted, you’ll tear up your skin doing planks or crunches.

You may be tempted to ignore the gym mat, but trust me, you don’t want to skimp on this. The padding will reduce discomfort and risk of injury during your workout.

2. Dumbbells

Add some resistance training to your workout with the help of dumbbells. They’re a versatile item that can be used in conjunction with most home workout plans. That said, the price of dumbbells might surprise you since their cost increases with weight.

Keep it simple with a pair of lighter dumbbells and optionally a larger, heavier pair that you might aspire to train towards. A large collection of dumbbells can be quite expensive. They’ll also be a pain to store and organize unless you have a weight rack.

3. Kettlebells

Kettlebells have become something of a trend in recent years, but they’ve been around for centuries. They are not a dumbbell replacement, although they can be used in place of dumbbells in certain exercises. So why might your home gym need kettlebells?

You should add kettlebells to your home gym if you want to increase your endurance. They’re designed for longer, faster reps, which take advantage of their uneven weight distribution.

4. Workout Bench

A simple workout bench is more affordable than you might think and perfect for a cheap home gym. While you can do many types of exercise on a floor mat alone, some workouts depend on a workout bench. For example, you need some sort of elevation to perform a proper chest press.

And a workout bench isn’t just about weight training. It can be a convenient option for step-ups if adjusted to the correct height. Although workout benches can be bulky, you can fold most modern versions to maximize storage space while not in use.

5. Resistance Bands

If you’re building a home gym, you need resistance bands. They’re inexpensive and effective for most workout goals.

Just like weights, they provide resistance that causes your muscles to contract and strengthen. However, resistance bands are much safer than traditional weights, which is one of the reasons they’re often used by physical therapists.

When you’re done with your workout in your DIY home gym, you can tuck these compact bands away in a drawer or cubby until you need them again.

6. Mirror

Even a home gym on a budget needs a mirror. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s a necessity to ensure good form and avoid some common workout injuries.

You may have a minor mirror fixed on a wall somewhere — but that’s not going to do the job. Opt for a full-length mirror so your entire body stays in view.

It’ll cost you about as much as two pairs of dumbbells. And when you’re not exercising, you can make use of the mirror elsewhere in the house.

7. Jump Rope

Treadmills aren’t the only way to get some great cardio indoors. Jump ropes may be associated with playgrounds, but they’re an adult way to step up your workout. You’ll get your heart pumping and your legs and arms moving, ensuring a robust and balanced session.

A jump rope is just as good if not better than a treadmill. It’s also a hundred times smaller. That’s perfect if your home gym doubles as the living room.

8. Ab Roller

Kick up your core with the help of an ab roller. This deceptive little wheel is a convenient way to get the most out of your workout. An ab roller keeps you in what is basically a fluid plank, activating your abs, deltoids, and more.

To get the most out of this bad boy, make sure you activate your abs. A common mistake is rolling with your arms rather than your core. 

9. Exercise Ball

A PVC exercise ball is a flexible and affordable item for any home gym. If you’ve never used one before, they can be awkward to work with. Since they challenge you to maintain balance and work your core muscles, that’s sort of intended by design.

An exercise ball also provides elevation, just like a workout bench. And when you’re done with it, you can deflate it for storage.

Don’t worry. These things inflate quicker than you might expect.

Skip the Trip With a Home Gym

More people are starting to discover the convenience and efficiency of a home gym. It’s as easy as moving the coffee table to make room for your balance ball or yoga mat. You’ll skip the trip to a local gym and also avoid judgmental eyes and dirty machinery.

So what are you waiting for? You don’t need a dedicated room to make your home gym a reality.

Make your shopping experience even easier by taking a look at our workout equipment.

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