If we think about setting up a home gym, 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 give your home training up going back to the local gym or doing nothing at all.
What if I tell you that you can have a complete strength and cardio workout at home from less than $100 (or even $50)?
You just need to get the right type of cheap gym equipment for home that is multipurpose and, most importantly, is proven to work.
Well, read on, and I will show you what to buy if you are on a budget.
Most Useful Cheap Workout Equipment
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 exercise 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 space.
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 strength workout.
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. Learn a lot of moves here.
What about the price? You can buy a piece of middle-class equipment with adequate weight capacity for about $50. And if you ask the Marcy Utility Flat bench is the best buy for the average Joe.
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 home workout equipment that it must be listed here since it supports the most beneficial bodyweight exercises.
When we want to get stronger and build muscles, most of us think about lifting weights or using machines. However, there are tons of exercises when we can use our body weight as resistance. Your muscles 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 bodyweight 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.
The negative thing is that they are not suitable for lower body training and require a place to use and store.
Recommended: Check out the best pull-up dip station reviews here.
4. Ab Wheel (about $10)
The name suggests that this standard fitness equipment is suitable for only one thing strengthening your abs. But, it 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 move.
It is a simple yet potent tool for home training that costs only a few dollars. Choose from a lot of inexpensive wheels here.
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 weight 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. Read more about kettlebell benefits here.
Like the dumbbells, kettlebells are as versatile that they can be used for both strength and cardio workouts. The difference is that it is not possible to adjust them. So, you may need more pieces.
The best price/value items 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.
6. TRX Suspension Trainer (around $50)
Like the mentioned power tower before the suspension trainer is a piece of affordable gym equipment for bodyweight workouts. There are hundreds of powerful exercises for a full-body workout.
The TRX is the most well-known straps out there, but it is pretty pricey. Thanks to other tricky manufacturers, you can purchase the Ultimate Body Press Resistance bands at a half-price, for about 40 bucks. And, it does the same as TRX.
7. Fitness Ball (from $10)
The stability ball is an excellent tool to enhance various exercises. Since it gives an unstable state, almost every muscle of your body has to work together to keep your stability and balance. With that, it makes joint exercises harder, leading to strength development.
For example, when you do decline push-ups with it, your feet are placed on it, it is much harder to perform as if you were putting your feet on something stable. Both your lower and upper body have to work together with the contribution of your core muscles to avoid falling over.
The exercises and variations with a Swiss ball are endless. And they are very affordable.
8. Jump rope (under 10$)
A home gym would not be complete without an affordable home fitness equipment for cardio. A treadmill or a rowing machine cost hundreds, but there is an inexpensive alternative, the skipping rope. Yes, this little thing can be as almost as useful as those shiny machines.
Even a short workout can help you to burn a lot of calories and develop your endurance. Perfect for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The best boxers and fighters use it for a good reason. Get one for some bucks here.
9. Push up stands (about $10)
Small push up bars do 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.
More info: Find more details about push up equipment here.
How would I spend my $100?
Since my primary aim is building muscle and developing functional strength, I would go with a pair of dumbbells, suspension trainer, and an ab wheel. This way, I could do both bodyweight 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.
What are the best cheap workout machines?
Bowflex, Marcy, and Body-Solid offer affordable home gyms that provide almost a full-body workout. 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 gyms here.
To sum up
I hope you find this guide to inexpensive home gym 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!