10 of The Best: Affordable Workout Equipment

In this article we’ll take a look at 10 of our favourite items of affordable home workout equipment. We won’t be focusing on treadmills, bikes or multi-gyms, but instead will highlight the best 10 items you can buy for less than $100.

Adding a few extra items to your home workouts can be an excellent way to improve the quality and variety of your exercise and for improving your results.

Top 10 favourite affordable home workout equipment:

Dumbbells

dumbbells

Adding extra weights to your workouts is a great way to improve strength and muscle tone. Dumbbells are an incredibly versatile piece of equipment that can be used in hundreds of ways to target almost every muscle in your body. Make sure you buy a dumbbell set that comes with a range of weights as you will need to adjust the amount of weight you use for different exercises.

Kettlebells

kettlebells

Kettlebells, like dumbbells, are incredibly versatile and can be used to target many different muscles in the body. They are also great for getting a full body workout in a very short period of time by using the compound movements such as the kettlebell swing. Kettlebell movements are a little harder to master than are dumbbells so we always advise you to seek professional instruction before attempting to use them. We also recommend starting with a lighter kettlebell that you can easily control while you are perfecting the technique. Once you get in the swing of it (sorry!) kettlebells are one of the most efficient and effective items of equipment you can use. We love them.

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great way to add resistance to your workouts in a way that is safer and less likely to cause injury than with weights. Resistance bands can be applied to almost every natural movement of the body to add an extra challenge and to force your muscles to do more work. This is great for gradually building strength and muscle tone. We particularly like resistance bands in combination with mat Pilates exercises, it’s our preferred form of exercise for coming back from injury.

Swiss Ball

swiss ball

The swiss ball is a classic example of affordable home workout equipment that many people simply don’t know how to use or are using in the wrong way. Swiss balls are great for much more than just situps and can be added to all sorts of regular exercises to give an added dimension. Using the Swiss ball forces your body to make hundreds of micr-adjustments to keep balanced and stable on the ball. This challenges your muscles to work in unusual ways and provides an incredible workout for your core strength. Try putting your feet on the ball while holding a plank or doing pushups, you’ll soon see what we mean!

Jump Rope

Jump Rope

It’s easy to think that skipping is only done by young girls or professional boxers, but in truth, skipping is an incredible cardio workout that will work wonders from everyone in between those two extremes. Not always the best if you are in an apartment with neighbours downstairs, or if you have low ceilings, but as long as you have room outside or in your yard, then skipping is a perfect edition to your affordable home workout equipment collection.

Barbell

barbell

Although less versatile than Dumbbells, and particularly if you don’t have a weight bench at home, barbells are still an awesome piece of kit that can transform your body. Barbells enable you to lift heavier weights that you can with dumbbells and some of the most effective exercises of all time are best performed with a barebell. These include squats, dead-lifts, military press, and bent over rows, to name just a few. Like kelltebells, a barbell is a serious piece of equipment so get some professional instruction and keep it light until you have perfected the technique.

Step

step

You may not be old enough to remember the step craze in the late 80 and early 90s, but take our word for it, steps were all the rage back then and with good reason. Incorporating a step into your workout is one of the best ways to push your body even harder, increase your heart rate, and burn extra calories. It’s a great cardio workout that we’ve seen becoming popular again with CrossFit, albeit a box instead of a step.

Chin-up bar

chin up bar

Everyone finds chin-ups difficult, especially when you’re first getting into shape. Once you build strength in your upper body and gain confidence with chin-ups, you’ll find them to be one of the best exercises you can do (and even incorporated into some P90X programs). With different hand positions and body movements (e.g. chin-up vs pull-up) you can work and incredibly wide range of muscles using only a bar. Stomach, back, arms and shoulders, even your legs if you are feeling particularly adventurous. My only criticism with chin-up bars that you buy (instead of a bar in situ) is that it’s very difficult to find ones that can hold your full weight securely, without having to make permanent alterations to your home.

Yoga mat

yoga mat

Your range of affordable home workout equipment would not be complete without a yoga mat. We prefer using yoga mats for most forms of exercise because the good ones are more rubbery and sticky, giving excellent grip and reducing the risk of injury.

Ab wheel

ab wheel

This paragraph comes with a warning. Please please be careful when using an ab wheel for the first time. It’s extremely easy to overestimate your strength and fall face-first onto the floor. Your hands will be out in front of you (on the wheel) so they won’t be there to protect your face from hitting the floor. We’ve seen too many bloody noses over the years from exactly this piece of equipment. The key is to start slowly, on your knees, and remain in control at all times. Once mastered, the ab wheel is a great piece of equipment for building strength in your core.

Summary

So there you have it, our top 10 favourite pieces of affordable home workout equipment that you can buy for less than $100 each. With a few of these, or even just one to begin with, you can add a completely new dimension to your home workouts, keeping it fresh, varied, and effective. Enjoy.