If quarantine has made you nostalgic for the sweaty, smelly gym you used to love going to in the morning before you went to work or on a lazy weekend morning, you’re not alone. Even if you sometimes viewed going to the gym as a chore, after many long months indoors, you start to miss your favorite exercise machines. You never know what you have until it’s gone, and you never know how much exercise equipment matters until you’re forced to work out at home. Sure, dumbbell exercises are great and can certainly help you build muscle, but they can’t be the only weapon in your at-home gym arsenal.
If you’re making the switch from working out at a gym to working out at home, it can get costly very quickly. High-quality at-home exercise equipment is durable, heavy, and versatile. When you purchase that equipment for home use, you’re paying for that quality upfront rather than on a month-to-month basis with your gym membership, but rest assured that your investment does prove its value over time. Luckily, there’s some great affordable exercise equipment on the market today that can give you more exercise options and help you grow stronger, faster. Once you outfit your home gym with this equipment, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Below, our top picks for exercise equipment that won’t break the bank.
Most exercise bikes require you to use hand weights purchased separately if you want to get an upper and lower body workout, but this exercise bike combines a calorie-burning cycling workout with upper-body resistance bands to get a killer full-body workout in just one machine. With a fold-up design, this bike is easy to put away in storage until you’re ready to use it. The bike doesn’t come with a fancy digital monitor you get from, say, a Peloton, but it doesn’t come with a frightening price tag, either.
This all-in-one exercise station is a home gym essential if you want to strengthen your back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles. Perform dips, inverted rows, pull-ups, and more with this compact, vertical exercise equipment. The wide loops provide tons of room for the arms during hanging leg raises. This is a great piece of starter equipment for a home gym if you love the results from bodyweight exercises.
When you think of suspension training, you think TRX. It’s the original suspension training system and by far the most popular among athletes. The TRX Suspension Trainer is a great addition to a home gym, especially if you’re low on space. You can get a complete workout using just your own body weight. The straps are versatile and easy to keep stored away. The system is easy and effective, whether you’re just a beginner or you’re a fitness pro. It helps you build a strong core, as well as enhance balance.
You probably haven’t ever seen an all-in-one exercise machine like this before, but your body will want you to thank us later. The vibrating workout equipment helps you burn calories and fat by igniting your core as you move through a variety of positions and exercises. Maximize the results you get from squats, planks, and bridge positions with the help of the oscillating motion, which causes your muscles to contract hundreds of times in a minute. The whole-body vibration supercharges your workout, so you can get better results in less time. It comes with resistance bands, and as you get stronger, you can swap them for bands with higher resistance. An added bonus: the exercise machine takes up very little space and can be easily stored away when not in use.
Target the muscles in the arms, chest, core, and back with this easy-to-use pull-up bar. Use it in the doorway or on the floor to perform situps, push-ups, and dips. You don’t have to worry about damaging the door frame or drilling any holes into the wall to install this piece of gym equipment. The different grips allow you to work your entire upper body and ensure maximum muscle engagement.
Dip bars are a great no-frills piece of strength-training gym equipment. Dips work your triceps and chest, and improve your strength in bench presses. This single-piece station has a U shape for stability and is padded so you don’t damage your floor. If you really want to challenge yourself, tie a weight around your waist so that it lands between your legs. Trust me, you’ll be feeling this one the day after.
This package of equipment is hailed as the world’s first portable gym, and while you might not be going anywhere with it anytime soon, it’s a great compact product if you’re running low on space. Featuring a sturdy base, bar, bands, straps, handles, and door anchor, you can simulate just about any exercise you would do at the gym in this lightweight, versatile home gym package. Forget the huge rack of dumbbells and squat rack – this is truly all you need to get a killer full-body workout in at home.
A strong core can help support and improve your form during every other strength-training exercise. This ab wheel strengthens your core and builds muscle in your middle section to give you ripped abs and cut obliques. As you roll it away from your body, you’ll feel the resistance and level of difficulty increase, while pulling it back gives you that full-body crunch that’s impossible to replicate on your back. Stability and balance are key to building all those muscles that keep your core engaged during this challenging workout.
If you’re serious about building a home gym that rivals Lifetime Fitness, you need a versatile bench station. This affordable option is ideal for doing bench presses, squats, step-ups, elevated push-ups, and more. With a maximum weight of 330 pounds, you can get a great workout with a wide range of motion on this one piece of equipment. It’s solidly built and a great value for the price, which makes it perfect for at-home use.
Looking to build your home gym from the ground up? Make sure to check out our guide to creating your home gym under $350. And, you can still find some serious savings with the best deals on dumbbells and exercise bikes.
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