DIY: Home Gym for Cheap!

by Jennifer on July 9, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I much prefer working out at home to going to the gym. My sister recently asked me what equipment you would need to make your own basic home gym for cheap. This is SO easy to do!

Free Weights
I have two sets of dumbbells, 5lbs and 10lbs. These are great for toning moves like arm circles, biceps curls, or walking lunges (just to name a FEW). You can usually find these ranging between 5-15 dollars each at Walmart, Target or Dicks. If you have a little more cash to spare, you can purchase one like an Adjustable Chrome Dumbbell. This way, you don’t have to buy more as your strength increases. These can range between $75-$399 dollars.
For our price quote purposes, lets say you get one pair of 10lb dumbbells from Walmart for $16 dollars.

Resistance Bands
These are another great tool for your at home gym because resistance bands are cheap and there are so many great exercises you can do with these. Typically, these can range from $5-$40 dollars at a store like Walmart or Target.
For our price quote purposes, lets say you get one tube for $10 dollars at Target.

Yoga Mat
This is a great piece of your collection because you can use it to workout comfortably in any room of your house, or outside! I like to use a thick yoga mat because I love working out on my deck but it is not comfortable lol. These range from $15-$50 at stores like Walmart and Target.
For our price quote purposes, lets say you get one from Walmart for $20 dollars.

That’s it! for about $36 dollars you can have your own gym at home!

Did you notice there is no treadmill or elliptical on there? That’s because you can go without! Do jumping jacks between exercises, jump rope, or go outside for a run or a bike ride to incorporate cardio into your workout. Check out my 200 Tone Up Workout Video, that is a great total body workout that keeps your heart pumping and only uses dumbbells and a yoga mat!

Other things I have at my house?
Iron Gym Pull Up Bar (I love pull ups, and you can use this for dips as well!)
A Step(for step aerobics, but I use mine as a mini-bench)
A Punching Bag (for those days I am angry)
A Bosu Balance Trainer – a little pricey but worth the investment! There is so much you can do with this!
A foam roller, great for stretching, injury prevention & recovery, and feels like a massage!

One of my favorites is Bobbi’s home gym, which shows you don’t need to break the bank to get a great workout in at home! Check it out in the video below.

What are your favorite ways to work out at home? Do you have a home gym? Tell me what is in it or what you would put it in if you had one!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie July 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

Love these ideas for home! I also have dumbells, 8 lb ones, that i use for toning my arms and lunges and squats!!

I also love my medicine ball too!!!

Love ya girl and thanks for the sweet comment, Im so glad that long drive is in the past, it was no fun, lol!!



2 Laury @thefitnessdish
Twitter: lauryannraik
July 9, 2010 at 10:19 am

LOVE this post!! My lively hood depends on people having in-home gyms…You are right, you don’t really need much to get a great workout!!! I really want to get a TRX, I just don’t have the space to hook it up as of yet…but it would be great for my clients!

I love my on demand workouts…my yoga mat, strap, block and my medicine ball are what I personally use the most…for clients I use all the stuff you mentioned–a lot of them don’t have treadmills you said…using your own body for cardio drills are GREAT!



3 kalli@fitandfortysomething July 9, 2010 at 10:52 am

yes great ideas for home. i really prefer working out at home too. the adjustable dumbbells are a must. hope you have a great weekend planned!


4 Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans July 9, 2010 at 11:14 am

I don’t have a home gym and I don’t mind the gym I work out at but if I could create a home gym I would include hand weights, resistance bands, punching bag, kettle ball and a spinning bike.


5 highonhealthy July 9, 2010 at 11:20 am

Free weights and using my own body are what I like to use at home! I definitely want to get a medicine ball eventually though, and a pull-up bar.

We don’t have a home gym but we do have a treadmill.. that no one hardly uses. I prefer doing my DVDs or going for a run outside and my sister and mom prefer to do the same.


6 Crystal July 9, 2010 at 11:26 am

Even though I have a gym membership, I love doing my strength training at home. I have 5lb dumbbells, a resistance band, a yoga mat, an elliptical (which is never used, heh), and one of those huge inflatable balls, haha. I need to buy heavier dumbbells, though. I love to come up with my own sets. :)


7 suki
Twitter: suki
July 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

i’m glad you linked to your video b/c i totally missed it last week. :)

hooray for a cheap home gym!


8 Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice)
Twitter: JoannaSutter
July 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I think the best equipment in my “home gym” are my Valslides and my foam roller. Oh, wait…I also love my spinning bike!


9 Lexie
Twitter: pennylaaaane
July 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I have a jump rope that I like to use at home. Although you could just pretend you havea jump rope and get the same effect. Workout DVDs (jillian’s, preferably) are also good. Oh, and Dance Dance Revolution. If you’re good at it, it’s a great cardio workout.


10 Amy B @ Second City Randomness
July 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I used to hate working out at home. A few hand weights and Jillian changed that. Usually if I have a good video to follow along to, I get a good sweat going! :)


11 Brittany July 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I love a medicine ball and a stability ball, too!


12 Meg July 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

LOVE this! I have an old stationary bike which is great for days I really just don’t feel like gymmin’ it, and some equipment my Dad uses in his place which I use sometimes as well :)

I need to invest in some free weights though!


13 Monique@She's Going The Distance
Twitter: monique_m07
July 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Oh man, Bobbi’s awesome. haha. I want to be like her.


14 Fit Chick in the City
Twitter: FitChickNYC
July 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I am totally with you! My general workout philosophy is that you don’t have to go to a gym to be fit.


15 Alycia @ Fit n Fresh July 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Uhhh totallyyy have a home gym! Mine includes: yoga mat, stability ball, jump rope, free weights (5lb, 8lb, 10lb), kettlebell and resistance bands! Oh and a huge boombox too, of course (:


16 Danielle (Runs on Green) July 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I love this! The reason I started running in the first place was because I couldn’t afford the gym anymore. It was the best thing I could have done :D I have a yoga mat & a resistance band from Target (although, be careful because it’s snapped on me twice)


17 Kelly Olexa July 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm

OMG!! What a great post!! So true girl. And now I KNOW I need a punching bag. People crack me up with excuses on not losing weight because they don’t have a gym membership! OY!
I’d like to interview you on my blog- would you be in for that? And we’d focus on this topic, working out without a gym……I think it will be great. Email me kellyolexa at gmail dot com if you are down with it. I’d love to profile you!! ;-)


18 Jessica July 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I would love to have a home gym but I fear I would never use it. Part of me needs to leave to really get that workout. But having some essentials at home is important in case I can’t make it. Oy.


19 Claire July 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Home gyms are way nicer in the fact that they’re convenient and nobody else is getting their germy and sweaty hands all over your equipment. However, I like the idea of joining a gym because then it forces me to go. Plus, it gives me an excuse to get out of the house, away from the husband, baby, and chores for a while! But mostly, I just run. So, no need for an expensive gym membership. All I need is a pair of shoes and some pavement!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: