Last Updated on October 21, 2022 by Michael Brockbank
Can cheap home fitness equipment help you lose weight and get in shape? Not everyone can afford a gym membership, and some just don’t want to work out in public. Whatever the case may be, you can get fit at home without spending a lot of money.
In fact, you can find affordable fitness gear from Five Below and other similar stores. It really all comes down to how you use the equipment and whether you’re putting in the effort to work up a good sweat.
With that being said, you could technically work on your biceps simply by filling up old cat litter tubs with water. But that’s a topic for another day.
Cheap Home Fitness Equipment Anyone Can Afford
Although I have a gym membership, I have a bit of a home gym built in my living room. This is so that I can still work out if for some reason I can’t make it to Planet Fitness.
For example, I don’t have a moving vehicle at the moment and I don’t want to walk a mile in the snow during winter to get to the gym.
In any case, you can get decent fitness equipment for your home for cheap as long as you use what you get. Don’t let it be like the millions of DVDs that are sitting in closets around the world collecting dust.
Some of the things you can get without spending a lot of money include:
Weighted gloves come in several sizes which you can usually find in a variety of stores. Essentially, they strap to your hands and force your arms and shoulders to exert more energy to compensate for the additional weight.
Even a single pound on each hand can have a profound impact on various exercises and activities.
Over the years, I’ve bought three pairs of weighted gloves. That’s because I use them an awful lot, especially when it comes to playing the Xbox Kinect. Unfortunately, they don’t fit right while playing the Oculus.
Wrist Weights are similar to gloves, but they wrap around your wrist with a thumb lock. They work better for certain activities as it leaves your hand free for gripping.
You can also find wrist weights in varying sizes to add quite a bit more umph to your workouts.
As wrist weights work better for swinging motion, I’ll use mine when playing games like tennis. A punching motion could cause the weights to slide back and forth too much, which has rubbed my skin raw in the past.
As with the above, ankle weights are fairly obvious. These are weights you strap to your ankles to add greater impact to leg workouts. In fact, you could simply strap them on and go for a walk, jog, or run to increase the difficulty.
Some sets are also adjustable, meaning you can increase or decrease the weight depending on your needs.
The set I have is a standard, 20-lb pair. Though, I don’t really like how they fit across my Achilles tendon. Then again, my pair wasn’t necessarily made for comfort. There are some nice ankle weights out there that might fit better.
Resistance bands are an extremely versatile and cheap piece of home fitness equipment you can use just about anywhere. They are essentially rubber tubes that offer resistance similar to actual weights.
You can use resistance bands for training virtually any part of your body while simulating nearly any weight machine from the gym. The best part is that some of them can be modified to simulate heavier weights.
My set uses two tubes that provide enough resistance to simulate 40 pounds, but I can increase it further if I wish.
Dumbbells are a common addition to any home gym. They are quite versatile, and you can use them to strengthen arms, shoulders, chest, abs, and even back with the right exercise.
At Five Below, you can buy dumbbells ranging from one to eight pounds. Sometimes, it’s better to buy dumbbells locally because their weight alone will increase most shipping costs.
I have a 20-pound set of dumbbells that I’ve been using off and on for several years. They’re actually the first real piece of home gym equipment I’ve ever bought…aside from the Xbox, which I’ll go over in a moment.
Among the most versatile pieces of home gym equipment would have to be the exercise ball. This goes by a variety of names, such as stability ball, yoga ball, and others.
It’s a ball that you can use for a plethora of exercises, or merely as an extra chair in the living room, like mine.
Everyone who comes over sits and bounces on it.
I use a Spri weighted stability ball for various routines. For example, using the stability ball when performing dumbbell chest presses or flies works out your thighs and glutes as you keep yourself balanced on the ball.
A balance board is a very misunderstood piece of cheap home fitness equipment. Not a lot of people put much thought into how well it works for type-1 muscle development.
By keeping yourself balanced on the board while working out, your body is making all kinds of micro-movements and adjustments to keep yourself standing.
I like the balance boards that also have grips on the sides. This lets you balance while using your arms during planks and other exercises.
If you’re looking for a way to gamify fitness, you should try the exercise dice. The idea is to roll the dice for your next set. So, you could roll “pushups” on one and “30 seconds” on the other.
There are actually quite a few different types of dice for exercise and could be something fun by yourself or as a group. Why not challenge friends and family to see who taps out first after each round?
I actually have two different sets. One is a pair of six-sided dice and the other is a 12-sided die, and both are geared toward bodyweight exercises.
Weighted vests work similarly to the gloves, wrist, and leg weights I mentioned above. The purpose is to increase the effort you put into virtually any activity by weighing you down.
The weighted vests can come in a variety of sizes and features. I’ve seen them cover the entire torso, and I’ve also seen some that merely have straps going across your body with removable weights.
Regardless of the style, the idea is to provide decent resistance training without breaking the bank.
Floor mats aren’t just for yoga. They can be exceptionally useful for those who have hardwood floors, tile, or thin carpets. The purpose is to offer a bit of a cushion when exercising.
After all, you don’t want to grind your tailbone into the floor when doing something like a lying leg raise.
I’ve had my floor mat for many years. And I even have cats who think unrolling it is the greatest thing in the world. I can tell you that it’s made a huge difference in my comfort level when working out.
The last time I was in Five Below, they had a massive selection of designs. Though, I’m quite partial to getting the tiger print mat from Amazon.
Exercise Apps Galore!
No list of cheap home fitness equipment would be complete without mentioning free exercise apps. Regardless of the device you use, there are tons of them out there you can start using right now.
Currently, I use Exercise.com’s app to keep track of workouts and exercises. I like how it monitors my progress while keeping track of my personal records.
I also use MyFitnessPal to track food intake and Runkeeper to monitor bike rides.
Go through the list of apps on your phone and see which ones pique your interest. But remember, an app isn’t going to magically make you lose weight or get fit. Like any other tool, you have to get the most out of the app if you want to see results.
This means putting in the effort to accomplish your fitness needs.
Can Really Lose Weight with Cheap Home Fitness Equipment?
You don’t need overly expensive gym equipment to get a decent workout. Case in point, Bowflex had a commercial back in the day that made it seem like you needed their device to burn 15 calories per minute.
In reality, I can burn 15 calories per minute playing the Xbox Kinect while wearing the two-pound wrist weights. It all comes down to how intense you play.
In the end, cheap home fitness equipment has the potential to be just as effective as paying for a gym membership.
Instead of forking over $30 to $50 per month, you could invest that into something you can have at home. Then, you wouldn’t have to wait for someone else to finish using something or worry about someone else’s sweat.
With a decent home workout routine and keeping an eye on what you eat, it’s quite easy to lose weight without spending a ton of money.
Can You Build a Home Gym for Less than $100?
It doesn’t take much to build a decent home gym with cheap fitness equipment. It all comes down to the workouts you want to do and how you’re going to motivate yourself to use that gear.
So many people will buy fitness equipment, both cheap and expensive, and maybe use it for about a month. Then, it sits in the corner because the person either lost interest or simply isn’t motivated enough to use the equipment.
For less than $100, you could buy a variety of home gym equipment to get in shape and lose weight.
But will you put in the effort to do so? Or, will it be something you throw in the closet and forget about after three months?
Yes, In 2022, I Still Play the Xbox 360 Kinect
Initially, I was going to put the Xbox Kinect as a piece of cheap home fitness equipment, but that’s not exactly true. The Xbox itself isn’t exactly cheap when compared to the other gear I mentioned.
However, you can get cheap fitness games for the Xbox, which is why I am mentioning it in this post.
I have several games that are my go-to for working up a sweat. And one of my favorites is Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, which I picked up from Gamestop for $0.99. So, I’m considering the game itself a piece of cheap equipment.
Anyway, using the weighted gloves, wrist weights, and ankle weights, I’ll throw myself into these games and burn a lot of calories doing so. In fact, the Xbox has contributed a great deal to the weight I’ve lost thus far.
I know there will come a day when my unit breaks and cannot be replaced. But until then, I’m going to use it to have fun while shedding the pounds.
Cheap Home Fitness Equipment Can Get You Started
There are cheap alternatives for just about everything in life. While in most cases, you’ll get what you pay for, I haven’t had to replace much of the cheap stuff.
Though, I do wear down gloves and wrist weights relatively quickly. But that’s because of how often I use them.
What kind of cheap fitness equipment do you have in the home?