Gym memberships can be costly – and worth it – but if money, time or long term commitments are an issue for your, putting together a truly killer cheap home gym that does more than just get the job done. Just stick to this equipment list – and away from the latest version of the Thigh Master – and you can’t go wrong.
Here’s our list of 8 Home Gym must-haves…
Dumbbells are essential for the home fitness gym! They’re necessary for presses, arm exercises and a few core exercises. There are many kinds of dumbbells on the market today from the cheap used ones to the quite expensive boutique ones. All of which fall into one of two types: fixed weight or handles only.
The handles are plate loaded which requires you to slide a weight plate on yourself and then fasten them with collars. Most handles are either standard or Olympic. Standard are smaller in diameter than the Olympic version. Standard handles start at around $8. while the Olympic handles are pricier. Price: $8 to $100.
You need a good barbell, and, like dumbbells, they come in standard and Olympic. Again, definitely be sure that they’re compatible with your dumbbells. Although, an Olympic bar won’t fit on a standard bench, a 7-foot standard bar will work on an Olympic bench.
A standard barbell set includes a 20 pound bar, 2 dumbbell handles (with collars) and 85 pounds of plates. A unit like this will run about $100. This isn’t a lot of weight, so you’ll probably want to buy more before too long. Price: $100.
#3: Workout Bench
For a truly cost-effective home gym, you can use just about any old bench for simple presses and one-arm rows, but make sure it’s at least 2-to-3 feet wide and very solid. Something like a piano bench might work if it’s sturdy enough, otherwise, a picnic bench or something similar will work too. You can you can put something under the front or rear to have an incline or a decline bench. Price: $0 or ~$200.
#4: Chin Up Bar
A chin up bar can be constructed out of any material that will support your weight. They range in price from $10 to $40. Price: ~$25.
#5: Swiss Ball or Stability Ball
Although swiss balls – those large inflatable balls you see everywhere – can be somewhat overused, they can add some variety to your home gym workouts when you want to work on your core muscles You can also use stability balls in place of your chair if you are having back pains. Price: $20.
#6: Jump Rope
What other piece of exercise equipment can you get for under $20, fits into a purse and improves gives you a heart-pounding cardiovascular workout while toning muscle all in one move? Plus, just 15-20 minutes with the rope will burn off the same amount of calories as a candy bar? Simple… a jump rope. Price: $5.
If you have a set of stairs in your house there is no-additional cost and you can add a do a couple of outstanding exercises, like lunges with a step-up. Since they increase heart rate, they’re also good for circuit training. Plus, if you live in an apartment high-rise, you have yourself a free stair-climber included. Price: Free.
#8: Backyard or Front Lawn
If you have a backyard, you can always do sports conditioning style drills, like sprints and other short intervals. Make sure to build up your joints and tendons first with slower, more deliberate strength training to avoid injury. And if you have solid walls, you could also bounce a medicine ball off of it, which is great for the abs and keeping your heart pumping. However, if you don’t have a house with a lawn, it could get costly… Price: $0 to $250,000 for a new home!
Now that you’ve built it, don’t forget to use it!