5 Ways to Create a Cheap Home Gym – Clark Howard

by fitness journalist

With much of the country trying to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic, exercise is really important right now. But how do you keep your fitness routine going when many gyms are still closed?

This article is going to show you some ways you can create a home gym without busting your budget.

Because I’ve been stuck in the house for a long time now (perhaps like you), I’ve started researching weights and some other items I need to work out regularly.

The Equipment You Need to Create a Home Gym for Cheap

What I found out pretty quickly is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create your own home gym. Here are five basic items you may want to have.

Note: Prices and stock quantities are accurate as of December 28, 2020. Also, prices listed don’t include taxes and shipping costs.

1. Download a Free Fitness App

First, you may need some motivation to get into workout mode. You can use a free fitness app like Nike Run Club, Simply Yoga or 7-Minute Workout. Here is a list of 15 free fitness apps you can download.

I tried the Peloton app when there was a free 90-day trial, but now the trial is only 30 days before Peloton starts changing you money ($12.99/month).

As another option, Beachbody On Demand is like the Netflix of fitness and offers a 14-day free trial. You can read Team Clark’s full Beachbody review here.

2. Buy a Workout Mat

A workout mat is essential because you don’t want to slip when you get sweaty. How much does a cheap mat cost? Here are the lowest prices I found at three major online retailers.

Each of these mats, by the way, gets a customer review of four stars or better. The money you spend on a good mat can go a long way toward getting the body you want. Not only can you do some serious stretching on a mat, but you can do yoga, push-ups and different types of calisthenics.

3. Get a Set of Weights

If you just want to tone your arms or even build some real muscle, weights are a great way to do it.

By doing some simple repetitions with 5- or 10-pound dumbbells, you can strengthen your upper body without investing in a bench.

Here are some 5-pound dumbbells I priced for cheap on the websites of three major retailers:

4. Grab a Balance Ball

A balance ball — some call it an exercise ball or stability ball — can do wonders for your core muscles.

The Team Clark office even had one, so yes, it can work as an office chair. You can do quite a few exercises with a balance ball. Here’s a full exercise ball class I found on YouTube.

If you think a balance ball costs a lot of money, think again. Here are some inexpensive balance balls (size 65cm) I found on the websites of three major retailers:

5. Buy Some Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are great because you can use them almost anywhere. The elastic bands allow you to add resistance to your arms or legs and can be used in conjunction with your weights.

Because I had a recent ankle injury, I had to use resistance bands as part of my therapy, and they worked great!

Here are some of the cheapest resistance bands I found online at three major retailers. (Note: At the time of this writing, Target.com didn’t have a 5-pack of resistance bands):

You can get some very good workouts at home if you set aside the time and stick to a routine.

Once you get used to it, you may come to realize that a home gym offers several benefits that a facility simply can’t match, including:

As you can see, many of the items I found for my home gym can be bought online. And if you don’t mind pre-owned stuff, you can try sites like Facebook Marketplace or Mercari.

Have you started a home gym? Let us know some of the items you have purchased in the comments below.

This content was originally published here.

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