Create a home gym for less than $100

Jennifer Blair

For best results, try to do 30 minutes of cardio at least three times a week and about 20 to 30 minutes of strength training three times a week.

For anyone with a busy schedule, getting to the gym on a regular basis can be close to impossible. But when you can exercise at home, it's much easier to fit in a quick workout every day. Assembling the right equipment for successful home workouts doesn't need to cost a ton of money. If you choose the right fitness tools, you can put together a great workout room in your home without breaking the bank.

Not sure where to start? Here are some essential items that can help you create a home gym for less than $100.

Grab some dumbbells

When you're trying to create a home gym on a budget, you won't be able to buy heavy barbells or weight-lifting equipment. But you can invest in a set of dumbbells that you can use to do a variety of upper body strength-training exercises, including bicep curls, shoulder presses, and upright rows.

And you don't always have to use the weights as a set -- you can do unilateral exercises to help build your core, too. As your fitness improves, increase the weight of your dumbbells to make your workout more challenging. You can find adjustable sets that allow you to add or subtract weight, though these can be a little pricier than standard dumbbells.

A pair of eight- to ten-pound dumbbells costs about $20 to $30, and that's typically a good weight to start with if you're just setting up a home gym.

Get swinging with a kettlebell

A kettlebell fits into a home gym in much the same way that dumbbells do. It works well for upper body strength-training exercises like shoulder presses and upright rows, but it also comes in handy for other workouts. Kettlebells are ideal for high-intensity interval training workouts that really get your heart pumping and strengthen muscles without requiring expensive exercise equipment.

Not convinced? A kettlebell workout can burn as many as 20 calories a minute, which beats plenty of other common cardio workouts. A 15- or 20-pound kettlebell is a good start for individuals at an average fitness level and typically costs just $20 to $30.

Have a (stability) ball

If you're trying to stick to a budget of less than $100, you probably won't be able to afford an exercise bench for your home gym. Enter the stability or exercise ball, which provides a convenient spot to sit for workouts -- and may even work better than a traditional bench because you can give your core a tougher workout when you're doing pullovers and other upper body exercises.

A stability ball is a highly versatile piece of equipment for a budget-minded home gym. You can also use it for a range of strength-training activities all by itself: hamstring curls, decline push-ups, wall squats, hip thrusts, and Russian twists are all ideal exercises for sculpting your body with a stability ball.

For most people, a 26-inch ball (65 cm) is an effective size, and you'll usually pay only $15 to $20 for one.

Break out the resistance bands

If you want equipment for your home gym that can provide a full body workout, a set of resistance bands should be at the top of your list.

Resistance bands are ideal for targeting specific muscles in both the upper and lower body, so you can have an effective workout for every major muscle group with a single piece of equipment. The bands are lightweight and compact, too, so you can take them with you on the road to keep up with your workouts even when you're traveling.

The bands are available in light, medium, heavy, and extra-heavy tension, which means you can customize your workout to your fitness level. The greater the tension, the tougher the workout. Best of all, you can find an effective set of resistance bands for around $25.

Jump for joy

Your $100 budget won't allow for any serious cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical machine, but you can still get your heart pumping and burn calories in your home gym with a jump rope. In fact, you can burn up to 16 calories per minute even if you jump at a moderate pace, so ten minutes of jumping rope can be as effective a cardio workout as running an eight-minute mile.

Like resistance bands, a jump rope is portable, so you can easily pack it even if you're taking only a carry on. And you can buy a high-quality jump rope for about $10, making it the perfect budget-friendly piece of workout equipment for your home gym.

Having a gym in your home can be one of the best ways to guarantee that you'll stick to your workout routine. And as long as you choose the right items, building the ideal home gym doesn't need to cost big bucks.


Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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