Athletes, celebrities, titans of industry: these are the people you expect to splurge on home gyms, but the truth is you don’t need a thousand-dollar treadmill or a bulky weight rack to get a great workout. Most folks with a regular 9-to-5 gig can afford a home gym if they choose the right equipment. Here are five budget-friendly items to help you get started.
1. Jump Rope
You want a cardio workout, but you don’t want to spend the money on fancy cardio equipment? Buy yourself a jump rope. You may think of jump rope as child’s play, but you’ll reconsider that position after a 10-minute jump rope workout. With a combination of jump rope and bodyweight strength drills, it’s easy to create your own high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout at home. You can find a good jump rope designed for workouts for about $10-$20.
2. Resistance Bands
Bands can safely increase the intensity of an exercise without the need for extra weights. Want to build on a simple move like a squat jump or side lunge? Just add a resistance band around your ankles or thighs.
If you need further proof that this cheap, compact tool works, consider this: Kirk Meyers, owner and founder of the Dogpound gym in New York, frequently uses bands when training his supermodel clients. Best of all, you can get these cheap, effective bands for less than $10.
3. Stability Ball
For a combination of core and stability, buy a stability ball. The ball is great for plank-to-pike ab exercises, hamstring work, and oblique challenges because it forces you to maintain proper posture and alignment through each move. If you decide to invest in dumbbells—or you already have a set at home—a stability ball can stand in for a weight bench to support your upper body while you do chest presses. A well-made stability ball, depending on what size you choose will cost about $30-$40.
4. Wall Ball
A wall ball is more than what the name suggests. A “wall ball,” as it’s known in the CrossFit world, is a total body conditioning exercise that combines a deep squat and shoulder press with the weight of a medicine ball. The wall ball, as a tool, can be used for everything from wall throws to traditional trunk twists, squats, sit-ups, presses, and off-set push-ups to improve endurance, explosiveness, and core strength.
Prices for a wall ball or medicine ball will vary according to the weight, but you can find a sturdy version in the 10-20 pound range for about $90-$120.
5. TRX Suspension Trainer
There are a lot of highly-specific types of exercise equipment on the market, but the TRX Suspension Trainer™ is one of the best values you’ll find for a full-body workout. If you’re overwhelmed by the number and variety of tools you can buy, the Suspension Trainer can be your all-in-one home gym. Use it for squats, rows, chest presses, pull-ups, and much more. It’s easy to install because it doesn’t require holes or a drill, and you can pack it when you travel so you never have to miss a workout.
The Suspension Trainer, which retails for less than $200, is the most expensive item on this list, but it also the most comprehensive workout tool. Plus, it comes with app-based coaching that’s like having your own personal trainer.
Fitness goals and financial goals don’t have to be at odds with one another. With these five budget-friendly workout tools, you can build the home gym you need while still saving for the things matter most.