Often it can be too much of an inconvenience to go to a gym and too easy to make excuses. Having a few key pieces of equipment in your home can help keep you motivated and consistent. It is easy to make a space-saving home gym on a budget.
Resistance training is the most effective form of exercise in most circumstances. If you were to get one thing to workout with at home, resistance bands would be it. Nearly any exercise for all body groups can be performed with resistance bands.
It is important to train all muscle groups as neglecting certain body parts can lead to muscle imbalances. Before you begin exercising it’s a good idea to perform one or more assessments to determine what you should be doing and a safe starting point.
It is relatively easy to construct an effective exercise program with some cheap equipment at home on a budget. Much of the equipment is low profile or storable. Let’s go over some cheap equipment that can go a long way:
Lowest priced ($10-$25)
Resistance bands are probably the most accessible and useful piece of home gym equipment. You can do nearly every kind of exercise with resistance bands, they are incredibly versatile. Most resistance band sets are around $20 and include handles and a door stopper. You can place the bands in a door frame and do rows, pulldowns, flys, presses, and movement exercises. You can stand on resistance bands and perform presses, rows, squats, deadlifts, side-stepping, curls, and arm extensions! The bands can be stacked together for extra resistance and can pretty much meet any exercises resistance requirements.
The Bionic Bar adds a whole other dimension to resistance band training. You can attach both ends of the bar to bands and get a barbell for curls, presses, rows. You can use it in a door frame anchor or stand on the bands and get any kind of bar work you want. You can attach one end of the bar and get cool movement exercises. The bar is under $20 and really adds variety to resistance bands.
These are incredibly cheap, you can get one for about $15 on A
Medium priced ($50-$100)
The TRX is the go-to suspension trainer, but there are many knockoffs on Amazon for around $40-$50. This is a great utility that you can easily anchor into your doorway. Suspension trainers are good for a wide variety of exercises that are different and often fun compared to traditional resistance exercise. Trx squats and pistol squats, pushups, pull-ups, muscle-ups, hamstring pedaling, planches, and lateral hopping are all good ideas for a suspension trainer. There are whole classes based around suspension training you can find online.
A weighted vest is a great idea to add an additional level of intensity to bodyweight movements and cardio. Great in HIIT workouts, performing exercises in rapid succession at light weights with a weighted vest can greatly increase your heart rate and therefore the number of calories you’re burning. Pull-ups and dips are great with a weighted vest, as well as many suspension trainer exercises.
An exercise bench is a good way to round off a home exercise setup. A bench can be used for pressing exercises, lat rows, step-ups, and dumbbell arm exercises. All of your seated exercises will be performed on a bench. A good bench will be able to do incline through decline positions. If you have more space a bench can be added to a squat rack setup for bench press and overhead press. Adjustable dumbells and an exercise gym are a must-have addition to a more serious home gym on a budget.
Higher priced ($150-$250)
Although the most expensive item on the list relatively speaking, adjustable dumbbells can cover a perfectly good range of workable weight. For around $250 you can get a set of adjustable dumbbells from 5 – 52.5 lbs and that’s enough for most people to cover most free weight exercises in their own homes. Adjustable dumbbells are more than enough for stability ball exercises like chest press and overhead press, ball wall squats. Adjustable dumbbells are perfect for arm and shoulder exercises like curls and shoulder raises.