Like most families, we have a tight budget these days and have to be smart about where we put our money. We also had no fitness gear after moving back to our home state years ago but I needed more than going for a jog in the ice and snow to get my body back in shape after having a baby in my early 30s. This meant I had to build up my home gym bit by bit and choose the most effective items to help me get the most value for my money.
Yoga mat and block
When you are first starting out gathering home fitness gear to start getting into shape a yoga mat and block are a great investment. This gives you the cushion and necessary block for adopting moves you are not ready for to dive into working out right away.
You can find a lot of great free yoga workouts online or even on streaming services like Amazon Prime Video. I personally have fallen in love with DDP Yoga that helped me regain strength and stabilize my hips.
I have dumbbells in several sizes and thought that was my best option for training my upper body with weights. They were a blessing as I worked through physical therapy exercises for recovering from a major accident but the real benefits of weight training didn’t kick in until I gave kettlebells a try. It turns out kettlebells can really torch the calories and tone your body quickly. If you need a budget-friendly weight training option give kettlebells a try.
Look for an adjustable kettlebell to set the most value and workout options for your money-making kettlebells more affordable for your budget.
If you are looking for an affordable and space-saving way to add weight training to your fitness routine. Resistance bands allow me to train with higher weights without finding room for large heavyweights in the house or paying the $2-$4 a pound average for heavyweights.
An exercise ball is one of those things that just makes sense to have in your home. These exercise staples are great for use in your workout to help build your core or even act as a bench for resistance moves. They can also be used in place of a chair to help work your core while you are working on the computer.
Heavy bag – Punching bag
This purchase is a bit expensive, and I was really sad to let the last one go, but it was easier to sell than to pack it up and travel across the country with it. When I was ready we purchased a new one with a stand and pairs of MMA style gel training gloves for everyone. The punching bag is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories and build strength in your upper body.
The punching bag did wonders for helping to get my upper body strong again and makes a great workout that I can enjoy with the kids. We gather together and chat while taking turns on the heavy bag. Occasionally even my husband will join me for a while just like we used to when we were young. If you have teens this can be a great healthy outlet for stress and pent-up energy.
A heavy bag allows you to really throw your weight into your punches helping activate more muscles and burn more calories making this style of punching bag more value for your investment. Look for a punching bag you can fill yourself with old clothes and such to save money.
Next, I needed a cardio machine of some sort. I spent forever looking at my options online and ultimately went with a cheap full-motion rowing machine. This choice allowed me to get the cheapest cardio machine for my family while getting the most calorie burn for my time.
Before my research, I was looking at exercise bikes, treadmills, and my favorite ellipticals but the rowing machine won out on both effectiveness and budget. As a bonus, it can be leaned up against a wall when not in use. It slides behind my punching bag stand perfectly.
If you are looking to add a cardio machine to your home gym gear then you want to give a rowing machine a chance.