Last Updated on June 10, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Fitness equipment doesn’t have to be overly expensive. In fact, there are many things you can pick up for less than $10 at your local Walmart or other discount store. Although there are sophisticated and highly-productive items on the market, home fitness equipment doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. As long as you use these items on a regular basis, even the small purchases can be very effective in losing weight and getting into shape.
Cheap Home Fitness Equipment
When you don’t have a lot of money, such as myself, you need to be a bit conservative when buying home fitness equipment. You don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on something that you’ll use a handful of times. Keep a regular workout schedule with what you have and it will make a difference in your life. Here are some of the things I use at home.
1. Weighted Gloves
I bought a pair of Gold’s Gym weighted gloves a couple of years ago for about $9. These add an additional 1.5 pounds to each hand. Out of everything on this list, the gloves turned out to be one of the best home fitness equipment pieces I’ve bought. I burn anywhere between 20% and 50% more calories during workouts and have noticed a significant difference in strength and speed. For instance, I wear these when playing the Xbox Kinect Tennis game. My arms and shoulders get an increased workout and I workup one hell of a sweat. If you only buy one thing today, the weighted gloves should be at the top of your list.
2. Ankle Weights
I don’t use ankle weights all that often, but they do the same thing for your legs as the gloves do for your arms. These enhance the workout by making your body work a little bit harder when you move about. I know a lot of people who use them when training for marathons. When the weights come off, the body feels lighter and faster. When you add them to exercises such as the Lying Leg Raise, the work on your abs is much greater. These are also usually about the same price as the gloves and often come in a range of difference colors and sizes.
3. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are great for working out virtually anywhere you go. They are light-weight and can easily fit into travel bags. Mine come with the door link so I can do things like a chest press or tricep extension in my bedroom when the living room is full of people. I bought the 10 pound equivalent and have since added more “weight” to my set. Essentially, the bands are developed in a way to simulate the same effect if you were to use specific weights. It’s their mobility that I like the most as it will let me work out virtually anywhere.
Dumbbells are usually my go-to weight training item. These are often relatively cheap, and you can slowly build your own weight room one pair at a time. I bought 10-pound dumbbells and have experienced quite a bit of difference in my regular day-to-day activities. I would suggest starting with a lighter size and working your way up. I started doing three sets at 30 reps each, but I was already a bit of a big guy to begin with. I can continue to use the lighter weights as I don’t want to bulk up. I might not have to get a larger size for the outcome I am looking for.
5. Exercise Ball
My wife loves her exercise ball. We bought the sand-filled unit that helps keep balance. Since there are a lot of exercises that center around these balls, you can get quite a bit of use out of one. They come in a wide range of styles and sizes to fit your height. You don’t want to use something that is too small for you. If I remember right, the unit we bought was about $20. However, there are cheaper ones that don’t have the sand installed.
6. Floor Mat
Although you probably don’t absolutely need a floor mat, it can actually be quite an effective piece of your home fitness equipment. We have hard, wooden floors where we work out. The floor mat takes a lot of the discomfort out of the experience and makes exercises much easier to complete. For example, I hated doing planks on the wooden floor as it hurt my elbows. Instead of using a couch pillow, like I did in the past, the floor mat relieved the pain. Now, I uses it for just about everything when exercising.
7. Xbox Kinect
The Xbox is the most expensive item on this list. We have a 360 with the Kinect plugged in. It’s by far one of the most utilized home exercise equipment pieces we have. Most of our games are for the Kinect, and I have an affinity for Kinect Sports Season 2: Tennis. You may not consider just how much of a workout you can get from playing games for a half-hour until you put everything into the experience. I remember playing Avengers: Battle for Earth and damn near passed out after 45 minutes. It was quite the grueling exercise. Eventually we’ll get the Xbox One; we just don’t have the money for it.
In reality, almost anything can be used to help when working out. The sky is the limit when looking for things that can boost your routine. At one point, I was lifting 50-pound bags of dog food to simulate barbell curls. You could even fill cat litter tubs with rocks or water to create weights of all kinds for lifting. The bottom line is that home fitness equipment doesn’t have to be overly expensive when you don’t have the money to spend.