When I think of strength training equipment for a home gym, I think free weights. Sold by the pound at most stores, which means the heavier the weight, the higher the cost. I also think weight bars, plates, and the equipment at the gym, all expensive. They take up a lot of space too, but for right now, we’re focused on cost. You’ll be happy to know there are some budget options when it comes to strength training equipment. This post may contain affiliate links.
Let’s begin with the obvious, your body weight. Not what you think of when you consider budget strength training equipment, but hear me out. Your body weight costs you nothing and is very effective for strength training.
If you don’t believe me, go run up a flight of stairs as fast as you can or try to complete as many triceps dips as possible during the next commercial break, followed by push ups. If you’re not worn out, skip this paragraph.
Without added weight you can fatigue the muscles of your legs doing squats, or a lunge series. Give your upper body a killer workout with push ups and a simple switch of hand positioning. Explosive moves like jump squats or lunges raise your heart rate and torch fat, all with no added equipment. You’re the equipment, and a fine specimen. 🙂
Resistance Bands with Handles
Resistance bands with handles come in a variety of strengths. Manufacturers use color coding and thickness to indicate heaviness. The darker colored, thicker bands are heavier with lighter color, thinner bands being lightweight. Now don’t quote me on that because there are many varieties in the workout world.
Handled resistance bands are lightweight, easy to store and fairly affordable. For a similar resistance in free weights, you can find resistance bands for under $20. Select a range of resistance levels, for your home gym, from light to heavy and still keep the budget under $50.
Use them just as you would free weights to perform exercises like squats and overhead press. Place them over the door to do lat pulls, or even sit on the floor and wrap them around your feet for rows. If you’re feeling full of energy, add some plyometric moves incorporating resistance bands too.
Loop Resistance Bands
The loop resistance bands trend more these days on social media. You’ve seen them wrapped around the thighs of a celebrity or model as she squats her way to a firmer butt. That could be you too because we’re talking budget resistance training equipment.
Looped resistance bands are used mostly for booty toning, or lower body workouts. Apply the same color coding principles here with darker colors being heavier.
Best for movements like squats, monster walks and clams, they tone the booty and thighs. An upper body move or two is available, but I consider them more physical therapy like, or isolated to one side at a time.
Unlike resistance bands with handles, the loop resistance bands usually come in a pack. So you can get everything you need; heavy, medium and light in one package for under $20.
Less of a form of resistance, the stability ball provides an unstable surface to work on. Coupled with your body weight or with resistance bands you can create a challenging workout.
Lean up against them on the wall to do supported squats. Place your shins on them, with your palms on the floor for push ups. Or in the same position, tuck your legs into your chest for a killer core move.
Get the ball, blow it up with the pump included in the kit and you’ve got yourself a piece of workout equipment at a nominal cost. They can take up more space than resistance bands, but easily hide in a closet for storage.
If you take group fitness classes, you’ve seen these sliding discs that you place under your foot and slide across the floor. Used for lower body exercise these provide a killer workout requiring coordination and your brain to fire in ways it’s not accustomed. They’re good to have at home too.
Use them to add variety to your standard lower body moves. If you’re feeling adventurous, place them under your hands when doing push ups and slide your hands out to the sides or front.
They come in pairs normally, and that’s enough. There are varieties for carpeted floors and hard surfaces, so be sure to get the pair that works best for your surface.
A kettlebell could get a little pricey but let’s avoid that by keeping it lightweight. Opt for a 10 to 15 pound variety for price to stay reasonable.
This is the pick over just one dumbbell because of the many uses. Because of it’s shape, you create an unstable source of resistance. The entire body has to work to help execute things like kettlebell swings, Turkish get ups and goblet squats.
I’m sure there are a few more things that could go on budget strength training equipment list, but for now let’s keep it fairly simple.
If you wanted to, I’m pretty sure you could buy everything on the list and still stay under $100. Combine equipment or use everything separately to create some killer workouts or moves.