Fitness trainers call these the cheapest, most effective things for home workouts – Mic

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Setting up a home gym can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. It’s important to not cramp your space with fancy (and expensive) gadgets that you’ll never actually end up using, but you also want to make sure you have things that will really help you achieve your fitness goals.
That’s why I reached out to fitness experts to find out what affordable and effective products they love for home workouts. These certified trainers and performance coaches have provided some top-notch suggestions that’ll make your very own living room feel like a premium exercise studio without spending thousands and thousands of dollars.
For instance, pick up a 23-piece workout set to grab a lot of equipment in one swoop or pick and choose between things that you feel like you truly need, like these non-slip booty bands or some massage balls. You’ll be working up a sweat in no time.
The five resistance bands that come in this set can not only be used separately (with weights that range from 10 to 50 pounds) but together as well for a combined resistance of 150 pounds. Marshall Weber, certified personal trainer and owner of Jack City Fitness, says that this unique feature is a “great way to work your entire muscle groups and target the muscles at various points.” He further suggests, “You can buy a set of different weight resistance bands to add a variety of options to your home workouts. You can use these bands in almost any type of workout and workout your entire body with them.”
Anyone who is looking for a “fun fitness piece of equipment,” this aerobic stepper is a great tool to add to your home workouts, according to Sarah Louise Rector, international fitness expert and certified trainer. The non-slip textured surface gives you stability, while the included raisers gives you a bit of variety and lets you adjust the height from 4 to 6 inches. “I love a stepper so you can incorporate light cardio into a workout without any jumping,” says Rector.
Rector also recommends this pilates ring, saying that it “can be used to add light toning to the arms, provide encouragement with your mobility, and to help stretch out the legs.” The 15-inch padded circle achieves all that and more all while being comfortable to use thanks to its lightweight flexibility and non-slip foam handles.
This mini pilates ball is made to stimulate your abs and inner thighs muscles, increase your flexility, and even help with some discomfort that comes with certain exercises. “If you need lower back support when working down on a mat when doing elevated core exercises then I highly advise trying out the ball,” Rector says. The small, non-slip, and soft ball is much more durable than you may think — it’s able to withstand up to 700 pounds.
Built with industrial strength aluminum handles and a durable coated alloy steel rope, this jump rope is meant to last through daily use. Certified trainer Ben Pavlovich recommends jump ropes for multiple parts of your exercise. “They are great as a warm up or to finish off a workout,” he states. The super thin handles and lightweight body are easy to carry in the felt case that is included.
Pavlovich says that booty bands are “a game changer for lower body workouts.” This set in particular includes three fabric bands all varying in resistance levels from 15 to 65 pounds. The durable elasticity will last through plenty of exercises and will stay in place while doing so thanks to the non-slip design, rubber grip, and thick material that won’t roll up.
Jake Dickson, CPT-NASM and contributing editor at BarBend, suggests using a kettlebell weight to complete a kettlebell complex which “can be completed in under 20 minutes and provides a serious, intense, and beneficial workout.” With a top handle that weighs just 5 pounds, this particular kettlebell is the perfect way to add just a twinge of extra challenge to your exercise, and it has the added benefit of being a compact thing to store, which is something Dickson also loves about kettlebells. If you want to up the ante, stack on the additional 3- and 4-pound weights.
Probably the most common purchase for at home gyms are hex dumbbells — and for good reason. Morgan Rees, Los Angeles-based ACE certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and health coach recommends them to her clients who are looking for equipment that can be used for full body workouts. This pair has contoured handles for a tight and secure grip. They’re easy to stack for storage and are encased in rubber so as not to damage your floors.
To kick things up a notch, Rees suggests adding this slam ball to your routine. “Having a slam ball switches up your workout by allowing you to include more power and muscular endurance focused moves,” she says. This one in particular has a textured surface that’s easy to grab on to and comes in a range of weights from 6 to 40 pounds.
Training ropes aren’t as intimidating as they may seem. Rees breaks them down in the simplest way saying: “This is an easy purchase that can be wrapped around a pole or anything stable sticking out of the ground.” Once doing so, use the rope to add a bit of cardio to your daily workout. The strong construction is made of a three strand twist that won’t come apart even if used outside on concrete, and it has heat shrink ends for a solid grip.
“Having a foam roller prior to and after exercise can improve mobility and muscle recovery,” Rees explains. This foam roller is extra dense yet still lightweight enough to carry where your next workout calls you. It also comes in a variety of lengths from 18 to 36 inches to best suit your body and its needs.
Christina Dorner, ACE certified trainer, group fitness instructor, and owner of CDornerFitness LLC recommends a weighted vest for a “cheap and easy way to create more intensity in your cardio or HIIT workouts.” The soft neoprene material that makes up this model stays in place throughout every movement so you can focus more on your goal instead of adjusting the weight. Choose between 4 and 30 pounds depending on how much of a challenge you’re looking for.
For a different kind of twist to your workouts, Dorner recommends these double-sided fitness sliders. “These exercise sliders are perfect auxiliary exercise equipment for mountain climbers, abs, crossfit, yoga stretches and so on. Toning your abdomen, back, arms or legs will be never be an issue again while you enjoy lunges, planks, bridges,” she says. Use this pair anywhere in your home as their foam and plastic sides can be used on a wide range of floor types, including carpet, wood, and tile.
With four for just under $18, this set of booty bands is as affordable as it gets, and Dorner calls them “a game changer for lower body workouts.” While each band is made of soft poly-cotton, they are all lined with a rubber grip to assure that they stay in place. These stretch to allow for a full range of motion, which is why this basic but essential set has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon.
If you’ve never had a yoga ball, you’re missing out on quite a lot. “A stability ball is a great way to incorporate core work into your workouts. It can also be used as a chair at your desk to help keep your core and posture in check,” Dorner explains. Additionally, this ball is anti-burst so you don’t have to worry about a surprise if you accidentally hit a sharp corner.
Dorner recommends these latex booty bands, which are small in size but big in impact. “They can be a great alternative for beginners or for upper body workouts,” she says. And it’s true. These can be used for so much more than building your booty. Use them on your ankles and wrists to help strengthen other muscles as well.
Lexi Moreno, performance coach at Future, notes that this pull-up bar is good to use for hanging core exercises such as knee tucks or as an anchor for a band. “If you loop a band around it you can get a variety of pull downs, rows, tricep extensions and more done effectively,” she says. This pull-up bar takes just seconds to install. No screws are needed. Just adjust the width and balance it on any door frame.
This wheel is small but mighty. As Moreno puts it, “This inexpensive piece of equipment is worth purchasing because you can take it anywhere and you can progress the exercise with more intensity over time. An example of this is holding strong in the extended position or rolling it diagonally, side to side.” Your abs will definitely feel the burn, but your hands won’t thanks to the contoured foam handles.
For those who was to improve their balance and coordination, Nathan Lloyd, a licensed personal trainer, recommends this balance cushion. Beyond helping your core while you sit, Lloyd says, “it is also very versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises, including squats, lunges, and crunches.” The raised massage points create a non-slip grip that keeps you in place throughout it all.
With five latex resistance bands, five loop resistance bands, core sliders, a jump rope, and more, this workout set will give you everything you need to set up a home gym in one go. “There are plenty of resistance bands that will allow you to increase the intensity of many different exercises without needing more weights. The core sliders can be used to isolate the abdominals in ab exercises. It also includes a jump rope which is one of the best forms of cardio. For the price and amount of equipment in this set, it is one of the most effective items you can buy on amazon to improve your at home workouts,” Kate Meier, NASM certified personal trainer and senior editor at Garage Gym Reviews says about her recommendation.
This massage ball set is actually a two-in-one that can be used both before and after a workout. Thea Hughes, a Brooklyn-based strength training coach and founder of Max Effort Training, says it’s a “great way to prep your muscles for movement or self-administer soft-tissue work on muscle tension.” Each ball varies in density so you can choose the amount of pressure you’re applying, and there’s a smaller ball that you can easily take with you on vacation.
If you see everyone using booty bands but aren’t sure of exactly what they do, start with this mini pair. Hughes says that this compact set is effective at doing what every band intends to do, which is “build lean muscle mass by resistance. If your muscles are under tension then you are working to build lean muscle mass. These bands give a great range of tension.”
According to Hannah Daugherty, NASM and ACE certified personal trainer and health coach, this is jump rope “one of the most effective pieces of fitness equipment that you can invest in for a home workout routine.” She likes it because it’s “lightweight, easy to store, and even easier to use.” This rope comes in various lengths from 4 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 4 inches as well as an adjustable length in case you want to share this durable rope made with a flexible cable.
When Connor Derrickson, performance coach at Future, says that “If I had $40 to spend on exercise equipment, this is what I would buy,” adding this solid cast iron kettlebell to your cart should be a no-brainer. “Buying one moderate weighted kettlebell will help you build strength in your whole body. You will be able to do multiple variations of squats, lunges, carries, and presses,” he goes on to explain.
“Having a foam roller adds a nice recovery piece to your workouts. Being able self massage with the roller really just tops off your workouts,” Derrickson explains. With 2 pounds per cubic foot density, it has the strength to help with spinal stabilization, tension, positioning, and balance. Each roller is 6 inches wide but feel free to choose from the various lengths to best fit your needs.
Gliding around on these core sliders will be as effective as it will be fun. That’s why Stephanie Thomas, a certified personal trainer, health coach, yoga teacher, and author of The Little Book of Rest, recommends them for anyone looking to maximize their core workouts. Use these lightweight workout tools on a gym floor, hardwood, tile, and even carpet to help with balance and stability.
For an all-in-one purchase, Thomas also suggests going for this resistance bands set. The set includes 11 pieces that’ll assist with many upper body exercises, including a door anchor and ankle straps to give you new ways to use the various levels of resistance. Plus, it all comes with a carrying case to keep things tidy.
Just because they’re a piece of workout equipment doesn’t mean booty bands have to be uncomfortable. Thomas recommends these booty bands, with thick fabric that feels plush and comfy on your body as you work on your glutes with squats and lunges. Each of the three bands vary in resistance so you can pick and choose depending on the exercise, but none of these non-slip bands will roll up.


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