Don’t you love how great you feel when you work out regularly? You’re alert, you sleep better, and it’s easier to stay calm and optimistic. Once you get in the routine of working out and keeping a healthy routine, it’s fun. But there’s always something that stops you. For most of us, it’s either time or money. We don’t have time, and gym memberships are too expensive. Let’s imagine a dream solution. You want the fitness tools you find in a gym but you want to do it at home so it’s convenient. You want aerobics, strength and stretching so you have a good holistic workout. And most importantly, you don’t want to spend more than $50 on any piece of equipment. But can you build a home gym with that budget? — Absolutely!
The Best Home Gym Equipment for Less than $50
Suspension Trainer ($30 – $165)
The core of an affordable home gym is a good suspension trainer. A suspension trainer has 2 straps with handles and foot cradles, usually fixed to a single point. Many come with a door attachment so you don’t need to put a hook in your wall. When you use a suspension trainer, you use your body weight for resistance. You lean in or out on the straps, increasing or decreasing the difficulty depending on the angle of your body. For a single piece of equipment, it’s hard to beat a suspension trainer. They have a wide range of exercises that work your upper body, lower body and core. Everyone can use them, from beginner to professional athlete. You can isolate individual muscle groups or do complex exercises that use your whole body. There are even exercises that have twists and stretches. Some suspension trainers are expensive, but if you do your research there are many affordable brands for less than $50. Make sure you buy a brand with strong, reliable clasps so when you hang your weight on the straps they don’t slip.
Resistance Tubes ($10 – $40)
Resistance tubes are another great strength building piece of equipment. These elastic tubes can be used for a variety of exercises for both your upper and lower body. Have you noticed that the elastic of resistance tubes functions similarly to the springs in Pilates equipment? With a little ingenuity, you can use your tubes for many Pilates exercises.
Balance Board/Stability Trainer ($17 – $45)
Balance is an important part of physical strength and becomes even more important as you age. Luckily your balance will increase the more you practice. A stability trainer is another piece of equipment that you can use at any fitness level. In the beginning it may be enough just to stand on the trainer without wobbling. Once you have that mastered, try closing your eyes or standing on one foot. Eventually experiment with doing your entire workout routine on the stability trainer. Even the simplest exercise becomes difficult when you have to maintain your balance.
Jump Rope ($3 – $30)
Every gym needs aerobics equipment and a jump rope can’t be beat when it comes to getting your heart pumping. If you haven’t jumped rope since you were a kid, you’ll be surprised about how challenging it can be. Once you have your rhythm mastered, there are many ways to make jumping rope interesting. Try jumping double time, backward, high stepping or back kicking. Put “jump rope tricks” into YouTube to get more ideas.
Chin-up Bar ($14 – $65)
Of course a chin-up bar is great for chin-ups. It’s a great tool for building upper body and core strength. But chin-up bars are good for your home gym for another reason–they are a great anchor for other equipment. You can attach suspension trainers, resistance tubing and yoga belts to the bar to get even more exercise options. There are two basic styles of chin-up bars. One style hangs from the upper door molding and the other type has fittings that you screw into the door jamb. When you choose a style, be sure to check the weight restrictions.
Foam Roller ($12 – $35)
Foam rollers are a great addition to your home gym for two reasons. First of all, the roller can be used to massage sore muscles and release tension. They stretch and release tightness and are very beneficial for preventing injury. With some creativity, you can roll and massage most muscle groups. Foam rollers can also be used to build core strength and increase the difficulty of many Pilates mat exercises. If you place the roller vertically under your spine, even warm-up exercises become challenging. You don’t need a special room with expensive equipment to have a robust workout in your home. In Summary: For less than $50, you can get exercise equipment that gives you a good workout, that grows with you as your strength and skill increases, and that provides a wide range of activities so you’ll never get bored. And of course most of these items will store easily in a small closet. Don’t let your misconceptions about gyms stop you from working out. It’s easy to get started. The biggest step is to decide to do it. I’ll be happy to give you more tips and tricks on working out at home. Contact me today for ideas.