Cheap exercise equipment – the essentials for a home gym

Do you want to achieve Functional Fitness?  Do you want to save money?  Do you want to work out at your house instead of a crowded gym?  Are you overwhelmed with the amount of equipment in the stores? Do you want to save money?  Oh, did I mention that one already?  Hmm.

You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on free weights and barbells. Don’t get me wrong – I love kettlebells, but they are extremely expensive. I know that cables are great for many core building exercises, but any version of a cable system is expensive. I use barbells and dumbbells a great deal when I work out at the gym at my job, but I’m spoiled with a free gym. 

But if I did not have this free gym, I would be like many of you out there – struggling to save money on exercise equipment. This these tips are intended to guide you so that you can get all the benefits of Functional Fitness while still being able to afford your kids’ little leagues.

TIP #1 – Save money on shoes. Simple…just work out barefoot. I have been doing this for quite some time now and love it. If you need some protection, buy some $9.99 water shoes or make.

TIP #2 – Download The Low Cost Gym from the resources page to learn how to making your own equipment.

TIP #3 – Choose wisely. I would dare to say that you do not need both a Physioball and a Slosh Tube.  Click here for a post on a comparison. If you can afford both, great!  If not, either one will turn any movement into a core-centered exercise.

TIP #4 – You need a heavy weight. Build your own sand bag, or do what I do – put a bunch of heavy crap in a beach bag. Depending on the season, I also usually have a salt or fertilizer bag lying around that I can use. Some of those are 70 lbs!!

TIP #5 – Let’s talk bare essentials.  Homemade medicine ball, Pull-up bar, heavy weight (see tip #4), Physioball or Slosh Tube. You can have tons of variety and get total body Functional Fitness with those 3 pieces of equipment.  A Physioball costs around $20. The medicine can be made from a $1.99 basketball and a tire repair kit. The heavy weight will be free since it uses junk at your house. I made my Slosh Tube for $15, but I hear that it would be triple that price in some parts of Europe. Still, we are at a pretty low cost so far.

TIP #6 – Put a few more on your Christmas list. Your family will laugh and ask twice when you give the idea of a cheap basketball and tire repair kit, but this is a great way to slowly build up your home gym.

TIP #7 – If you have a little cash, try something gymnastic like homemade rings or homemade parallettes.

TIP #8 – If you have even more cash, get some dumbbells.  Pick a range like around 20 lbs to 40 lbs and you will be able to greatly amplify the tools in your workout toolbox. You can also make your own.

TIP #9 – Still more cash left in the fitness fund?  Cool, priortize at least 1 Kettlebell, which is easily the best strength building piece of equipment ever!

Now all you have to do is search my At Home workout page for ideas.  Pay attention to some of the posts that talk about how I created the workout.

There are no excuses left!  Get to work.

So what tips do you have for working out cheaply?  What resources do you use for ideas? Leave a comment for others to see and learn.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Tracy Johnson

    The build your own sandbag is genius. Thanks for the great tips!

  2. Kemme Fitness

    Wait until we get our miniature Slosh Tube variations figured out. Harvey Barker is designed several “cheap” versions.

  3. Billy

    Hey friend, Nice blog. I will post a link on my tumblr page.

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