Best Budget Home Workout Equipment
By Sharon Irish
So how do we find out what is the best budget home workout equipment?
Finding the motivation to begin an exercise routine can be tough, especially if you are just starting out.
It’s difficult to know what you should be doing and what you should be using in order to get fit and healthy but it doesn’t help when there are a hundred different infomercials showing you new pieces of home workout equipment that have just come onto the market.
There are so many companies telling you their product is the best piece of budget home workout equipment and that it makes working out so much fun and it’s hardly any effort at all, blah, blah, blah.
Lets get to the truth and that is that exercise can be fun and it can be made easier but it doesn’t have to break the bank – in fact believe it or not, you don’t actually need to spend any money at all!
What home workout equipment do you need?
Well that is a good question because there is a lot of home workout equipment out there. Some of it can really help you and does indeed make your workouts more fun.
However, there is also a lot of home workout equipment for sale that is very overpriced and, in some cases, totally useless.
If you want to get fit without wasting your money or if you are low on funds, how do you know what is the best budget home workout equipment that will suit your needs and exercise style?
I am going to go through a number of options which I have used myself. They have all helped me to keep fit but some I liked more than others.
Some of these options cost a little money and others cost nothing at all so let’s get started!
What is the cheapest and best budget home workout equipment?
You already have the answer to this question, literally.
The absolute cheapest way to workout is not to use any home workout equipment at all.
You already have the most important piece of home workout equipment – your own body!
Body weight workouts require no equipment, you can do them at home in your living room (or bedroom or garage) and they cost nothing at all.
There are literally millions of workout videos available for free on YouTube and the majority of them are body weight workouts.
This was how I began working out at home as I had no idea at first what exercises I should be doing or how I should put them together to get the best out of my time.
The videos I watched helped motivate me to carry on and the ones I preferred were real time workouts which I could actually follow along.
Some workout videos show you a few exercises and then tell tell you how many to do and for how long.
Those types of workout videos didn’t motivate me enough. I liked to keep up with the person in the video to see how well (or badly in some cases!) I was doing.
The problem I faced was that there were so many videos out there, it can take forever to find some that you like and that will keep you motivated to carry on.
It is a good idea to set yourself up with a playlist of videos you want to use when you have some spare time and you will find that over time you choose certain channels and trainers to work out with over others.
Now I know I said that you don’t need to spend any money to work out at home, and while that is true, there are a few things that will definitely make it easier for you improve the quality of your workouts.
1. Exercise Mat
To work out at home comfortably it is wise to invest in a quality exercise mat. If the room you are using has a rug or carpet then this may not be an issue at first but it is a must if you have hard floors as I do.
Not only will it protect your knees and back while doing floor exercises, a good exercise mat will reduce your chance of slipping and causing injury.
There are lots of types of exercise mats available and the one you should buy will depend on the type of workouts you want to do. While a cheap, thin all-purpose mat is fine for cardio workouts, it will probably not be padded enough for yoga and Pilates, where you spend most of your time on the floor.
If you are doing a lot of jumping then you may be better off with a crash mat, like the ones used in gymnastics, to cushion your landing a little more.
I have used a few different exercise mats and yoga mats and I find that the thin ones are too thin and I hurt my knees when using them. I also have had trouble with a very thick mat because they tend to stretch as you put pressure on them and so it is difficult to maintain a yoga position for any length of time.
I prefer medium thickness yoga mats as they are thick enough to cushion my sensitive knees but thin enough to keep their stability without any stretch.
If you have trouble with your knees and need extra padding, there are extra thick knee mats made especially for this purpose which can be used only when you need them and can be moved out of the way for the rest of your workout.
Exercise Mats I would recommend: (These are affiliate links and so should you purchase these I will receive a small commission)
2. Fitness Wear
When working out at home you could wear your sweats or even your pajamas if you like (I am not ashamed to say that I have do this sometimes!). However I find it much more comfortable to wear clothing that I only wear when working out.
I like to wear a supportive sports bra (a must for cardio!), along with fitness leggings and a tank top.
Again you don’t need to spend much – there are a lot of shops and even supermarkets nowadays who sell good quality and affordable fitness wear.
I like to be supported while I work out, especially when doing cardio and for that I always wear a sports bra. I have tried expensive top brand sports bras and cheaper ones and to be honest I think they all perform similarly.
If you are doing cardio then you need more support as you will be jumping around and don’t want to give yourself a black eye!
If you are doing yoga, pilates or strength training then you probably only need light to medium support and there are lots of designs to choose from which can look amazing but are relatively cheap to buy.
I like to wear fitness leggings during my workouts as they stay on, don’t fall down while I’m doing high knees and there are no loose parts to get stuck in anything or flap around to distract me from the job in hand.
The best fitness leggings I have ever owned came from a budget clothes shop and cost me a fraction of the price of the top brand ones.
I usually wear a tank top over my sports bra and this is just so that my skin is covered when I am using my mat for floor exercises. This is just personal to me, when I don’t do this I find that any little speck of dirt or fluff on the mat can irritate my skin and distract me from my workout (I am very easily distracted).
Fitness Wear I would recommend: (These are affiliate links and so should you purchase these I will receive a small commission)
3. Fitness Footwear
I’ve put fitness footwear at number 3 because you may not need any specific footwear if you are only going to be doing yoga or Pilates workouts. Usually these workouts are done barefoot.
However if you are doing cardio or strength workouts then you are going to be much better off using the correct footwear to protect your feet.
I have flat feet and so I like to wear fitness footwear or trainers that have a supportive arch when I’m doing strength training.
When I’m doing cardio I prefer court shoes or crossfit trainers because I want to help to build up the arches in my feet during these workouts.
If you have flat feet like me it is not best to always wear supportive arch footwear as this means you will always have to rely on it and will not be able to wear any other type of footwear without there being an issue.
I also wear trainers when I’m not working out, I just love my feet being comfortable and this is what I find best for me.
Please remember that everyone is different and what is best for me may not be best for you. I would however recommend that you spend a little more getting some good quality fitness footwear.
I have learned from experience that the cheaper trainers do not last and can cause damage or injury to your feet.
Keep in mind that many brands have slightly different sizing when it comes to length and width of their fitness footwear. For this reason I would recommend either going to buy your training shoes from a shop where you can try them on or make sure you are able to return them if they don’t fit correctly when ordering online.
Fitness Footwear I would recommend: (These are affiliate links and so should you purchase these I will receive a small commission)
4. Resistance Bands
I love working out with resistance bands and that is why they are on this list.
Resistance bands help you to do a lot of exercises that strengthen and tone your body more effectively than by body weight alone.
They can transform any body weight exercise to a more advanced exercise and can be taken anywhere with you. Not only that but they are cheap to buy and last a very long time.
If you compare the price of resistance bands to the price of actual weights, the value for money is incredible.
Resistance bands can be used in conjunction with cardio, Pilates, yoga and practically every type of workout you can think of.
They make the movement harder by creating resistance as weights do, but can also help you to stretch more, provide support and add a little something extra when you need it.
As with any piece of home workout equipment, there are a ton of YouTube videos out there to show you exactly how you can use resistance bands if you have never used them before.
5. Skipping Rope
Skipping is one of the best cardio exercises you can do as jumping keeps your heart rate up and keeps those calories burning super fast.
My problem with jumping is that I find it exhausting and usually give up after a short time.
I found that if I used a skipping rope I was much more motivated and enjoyed the exercise more, at least when I wasn’t accidentally wrapping it around my ceiling fan!
There are a lot of expensive skipping ropes for sale at the moment. Some count your jumps, some are made of wire and some are weighted to advance the exercise.
I prefer one with rubber handles for better grip but apart from that, I have a cheap one that I have used for a long time and I am very happy with.
Some skipping ropes are adjustable for your height and so that you can use them indoors, but I find I can just wrap it around my hand to keep it at the correct length, it is personal preference.
6. Paper Plates, Magazines and Cloths
Believe it or not you can get the most amazing ab workout with a couple of cloths or paper plates used as sliders.
I discovered sliders on a workout video once and have done this type of ab exercise regularly ever since.
You basically get into a plank position and move your legs in and out in a variety of different ways, using cloths or dusters on hard floors or paper plates and magazine pages on carpets.
You can buy fitness sliders which you can use on any surface but if you are doing your workouts at home there really is no need. However if you were going to the gym, they may look a bit better than your old washing up cloths!
You can do more exercises with sliders, for example side lunge slides which are very good for toning your legs.
I find these exercises very effective and fun, they definitely made a workout more interesting!
In my opinion there isn’t really anything else you need to work out at home on a budget.
I hope this post has been helpful to you if you are looking for a low cost way to work out.
There will be more posts about fitness wear and equipment along with some reviews in the future so until then, keep up the good work!