If we think about a home gym setup, the first thing that comes up is how expensive is it. Machines cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and one of them is not enough to have a great workout at home.
Most of us cannot afford to pay so much. But that does not mean you have to neglect home workouts. There is some effective cheap home exercise equipment.
What if I tell you that you can have a complete strength and cardio workout at home from less than $100 (or even $50)?
That is a really low budget, isn’t it?
You just need to get the right type of cheap workout gear that is multipurpose and proven to work.
Well, read on, and I will show you what to buy if you are on a budget.
1. Adjustable Dumbbells (about $1 per pound)
Adjustable dumbbells are the most versatile pieces of cheap exercise equipment for home use that can be used for both strength and cardio training. With the help of them, you can build muscles or make your cardio sessions harder.
Since they are adjustable, it is easy to add or remove the plates to find the load that is the most suitable for the practice you would like to do. They provide safe usage by tightening the weight plates with the help of a collar. Plus, they require only a little workout space. I think dumbbells are the best home exercise equipment for the money.
An excellent product of this kind is the Yes4All Dumbbells. Purchase a 40 lb pair for around 35 bucks, which enough even for strong ladies. But, if you are a big guy who needs more weight, get a 100 lb pair under 100 dollars. That will be enough for you in the long run.
2. A flat bench (from $40)
A compact flat weight bench seems to be a not so versatile item, but actually, it is one of the most beneficial things for weight training. If you have a pair of dumbbells, you can have a total body conditioning.
Do presses for your chest, rows for your back, shoulder presses in sitting position, Bulgarian split squat for your legs, leg raises for your abs, to mention some.
On top of that, a flat workout bench lets you do bodyweight exercises for strength and cardio. For example, you can use it as a jump box or for doing decline push-ups.
What about the prices? You can buy a piece of middle-class fitness equipment with adequate weight capacity for about $50. And if you ask me, the Marcy SB-315 is the best buy for the average Joe. It worths the money.
3. Power Tower (under $100)
This is the most expensive item on this list, but it is possible to get one still under 100 bucks. However, it is such a useful and cheap equipment that must be listed here since it supports the most beneficial calisthenics activities.
When we want to get stronger and build muscles, most of us think about lifting weights or using machines. However, there are tons of practices when we can use our body weight as resistance. Your muscle groups do not care if the resistance comes from a barbell or dumbbell or your weight; they will gain.
On top of that, calisthenics has many benefits. For example, it helps to build functional strength that you use in everyday life. And since the exercises are natural to your body, the risk of injury is far less.
The power tower or pull up dip station is such affordable exercise equipment that lets you perform all the best upper body exercises. Do pull-ups/chin-ups for your back and arms, dips for your triceps and chest, leg raises for perfect abs. And these are just a few. Power towers worth the money for sure.
The negative thing is that they are not suitable for lower body training and require a place to use and store.
4. Ab Wheel (about $10)
The name suggests that this standard fitness equipment is suitable for only one thing strengthening your abs. But, the ab roller does more than that. It is almost a total upper body and core trainer.
You need to roll out and in, but since the resistance is almost your entire weight, it is tough to perform. Your core, back, chest, shoulders, and arms must work hard to keep your balance and to complete the movements.
It is a simple yet potent tool for a home exercise routine that costs only a few dollars.
5. Kettlebells (about $1 per/lb)
The kettlebell training is prevalent these days, although this cheap workout equipment for home is used for hundreds of years in Russia.
It looks like a bell, and with that load distribution is uneven. The handle part is lighter than the ball. This way, when you use it, your body needs to adapt to the always-changing gravity.
Like the dumbbells, kettlebells are as versatile that they can be used for both strength and cardio exercise. The difference is that it is not possible to adjust them. So, you may need more pieces.
The best price/value products are the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebells that you can buy in various sizes (5-45 lb). And since they are covered, you do not have to be afraid of the damage of the floor. Check this guide if you do not know how to pick the most suitable kettlebell for you.
Tip: If you have a small space at home instead of buying single items, get an adjustable kettlebell.
6. TRX Suspension Trainer (around $50)
Like the mentioned power tower before the suspension trainer is a piece of affordable workout equipment for bodyweight workout routine. There are hundreds of powerful exercises for a full-body fitness routine.
The TRX is the most well-known straps out there, but it is pretty pricey. Thanks to other tricky manufacturers, you can purchase the GRASEP Bodyweight Resistance Straps bands at a half-price, for about 60 bucks. And, it does the same as TRX. Why would you spend your hard-earned money?
7. Fitness Ball (from $10)
The stability ball is an excellent tool to enhance various exercises. Since it gives an unstable state, almost every muscle of your body has to work together to keep your stability and balance. With that, the exercise ball makes movements harder, leading to muscle development.
For example, when you do decline push-ups with it, your feet are placed on it, it is much harder to perform as if you were putting your feet on something stable. Both your lower and upper body have to work together with the contribution of your core muscles to avoid falling over.
The exercise options with a Swiss ball is endless.
8. Jump ropes (under 10$)
A home workout would not be complete without an affordable home fitness equipment for aerobic exercise. A treadmill or a rowing machine costs a lot of money, but there is an inexpensive alternative, the jumping rope. Yes, this little thing can be as almost as useful as those shiny machines, plus you can train anywhere.
Even a short jumping rope workout can help you to burn calories and develop your endurance. Perfect for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The best boxers and fighters utilize it for a good reason.
9. Push up stands (about $10)
Small push up bars does one thing, letting you go deep. Hence, the range of motion will be more extended, so your pecs will grow better. But, it is also a useful tool for such exercises as handstand push-ups or L-sits.
10. Medicine balls
Medicine balls are good alternatives to weights. We can buy them in different sizes, shapes, and even with handles. I prefer the traditional balls as they are harder to hold but this way they improve the gripping power. The med balls are also a cheap piece of equipment that you can apply for both power and cardio workouts.
11. Doorway Pull-Up Bar
The pull-up bar is the best tool for those who want to do bodyweight training at home. We can do chin-ups and pull-ups that are the best movements for the back, shoulders, and arms. Also, we can do hanging leg lifts that work the entire core.
A doorway pull up bar is affordable, and we can easily install it on the frame then remove it if we don’t need it. Although we must careful with the fixing and choose an item which is suitable for our weight. The free-standing and wall-mounted pull-up bars are much safer to use.
12. Budget Power Rack
The squat rack is a multifunctional strength training equipment. Usually, a power rack is expensive, but there are cheaper models called half power racks. These items include two upright posts and a stable base, but they have a few hundred pounds capacity. With the rack, you can perform the most beneficial barbell exercises such as squats, bench press, shoulder presses, etc. Also, they typically include a pull-up bar.
A cheap power rack is suitable for moderate weight lifting, but they don’t fit for guys who want to lift heavy weights.
13. Yoga Mat
Most people don’t think about yoga as the best way to exercise, but it shapes and strengthens muscles effectively. Also, besides the physical benefits, yoga keeps the mind healthy as well.
With the help of a mat, we can do many exercises comfortably. There is a lot of ab, chest, back, leg, and shoulder exercises we can do on the floor. A yoga mat absorbs the sweat and gives a comfy feeling while working out.
14. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are available in different lengths and resistance therefore they are suitable for all fitness levels. They are versatile since we can use them to strengthen all the muscle groups. Also, the rubber bands behave differently compared to free weights. The resistance increases in the pulling phase which gives a different engagement in muscle fibers.
What equipment should I buy for a home gym?
That depends on your workout goal.
If you want to do a strength workout, you need to buy bumper plates, an Olympic barbell, dumbbells, a weight bench, and a power rack if you prefer lifting weights. If you prefer bodyweight training, you need a pull-up and dip station.
If you want to do mainly cardio workouts to burn fat and boost heart rate, then you a jump rope, exercise bike, treadmill, or an elliptical.
What is the best exercise equipment for beginners?
For strength training, adjustable dumbbells are best since they are versatile, compact, and cheap. With the help of the hand weights, we can have full body workout, and we can set it to our fitness level quickly.
For cardio, I say walking, brisk walking, jogging, running, and jump roping are the best cardio exercises. And, for those activities, you need a good pair of shoes. You may invest in a treadmill, but it’s not necessary. Also, you can do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with bodyweight exercises.
What are the best cheap workout machines?
Bowflex, Marcy, and Body-Solid offer affordable multi gym machines that provide almost full-body conditioning. These are compact pieces that cost under 500 bucks. Each of them allows for at least 30 types of exercises to do.
Check out our comparison of the best cheap home gym machines.
How would I spend my $100?
Since my primary aim is building muscle and developing functional health, I would go with a pair of dumbbells, suspension trainers, and an ab wheel. This way, I could do both calisthenics and weight training.
Before buying, think about what your primary goal is. Do you want to get stronger, lose weight, or both? Do not spend on something that you do not need.
How do I set up a home gym on a budget?
To sum up
I hope you find this guide to budget home exercise equipment useful, and now you have an idea of what you will buy. Working out at home is, without a doubt, comfortable, and it can be as efficient as going to the gym. Just do it!