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How to build a home gym for $100 or less

How to build a home gym for $100 or less

Sarah Jordan January 24, 2018
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If your New Year’s resolutions are to step up your fitness goals and save money, you’re in luck! It’s easier than ever to skip the expensive gym contracts and get fit at home on a budget. You don’t need any bulky treadmills or a ton of equipment either. In fact, some of the best home fitness equipment is small and cheap!

Routine exercise has benefits for your wallet too. According to a study done by the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who maintain a fitness regimen can save up to $2,500 annually on their medical costs.

RELATED: Research shows working out can save you over $2,500 per year

9 home gym essentials for exercise on a budget

Free weights

Free weights or dumbbells are easily one of the most essential pieces of equipment for your home gym. They’re great because there are so many strength training exercises you can do with them. Small dumbbells can usually be found in thrift stores and garage sales, but if you want to buy them new, you can get them for as low as $0.85 at Walmart! Not sure where to start? Check out this simple full body workout you can do with free weights.

Yoga or exercise mat

You may not think a yoga mat is necessary for a home gym, but if you’re planning on doing any exercises like push-ups or crunches, it will come in handy. Yoga mats not only provide extra padding but also a non-slip surface that’s moisture resistant and easy to clean. Yoga mats are available at retailers such as Five Below and Walmart for under $10. If you like a little more padding, look into purchasing an exercise mat like this one available at Walmart. Exercise mats alleviate the pain of doing exercises on your knees. Plus, they’re great for stretching, Pilates and other floor exercises.

Resistance bands

Similar to free weights, resistance bands are another versatile piece of fitness equipment. You can target your entire body with these bands and mimic most machine-based moves. They are normally available in multi-packs with different resistance levels to suit your needs. You can find 4-packs available Walmart for just $8 or 3-packs available at Five Below for $5! Resistance bands are particularly good for leg and butt exercises. However, you can use them for yoga and stretching too!

Bosu Ball

A Bosu ball or stability ball is another great addition to any home gym. It is similar to an exercise ball, but it has a flat platform on one side and a rubber dome on the other. Bosu balls can help sharpen your reflexes and improve your balance. It is a great tool to intensify workouts because it requires you to use more muscles to stabilize your body, making you burn more calories in the process. Bosu balls are also great for older adults looking to improve their stability to reduce the risk of falling. Walmart has the best price found on one right now — the Ktaxon Fitness blue yoga stability balance trainer kit is $52. If you don’t want an entire kit, you can grab this Bosu ball at Aldi for just $10. You can also find these stability balls at stores like T.J. Maxx and Ross.

Ankle weights

If you’re looking to increase your endurance and strength you’ll want to add ankle weights to your home gym collection. Adding additional weight to your workouts requires you to exert more force which increases your stamina and promotes cardiovascular and pulmonary health. You can use ankle weights when doing stationary exercises like leg raises, knee ups and kickbacks. These exercises will improve the strength and tone of your lower body. You can also use these weights while walking. However, you’ll want to avoid using ankle weights every time you walk because your muscles and joints need rest between workouts. Ankle weights vary in price based on their weight. You can find them for as low as $6 a pair at Walmart.

Jump rope

Sometimes some of the simplest fitness equipment can give you the best results. One great example is a jump rope. They’re lightweight, portable and easy to store. Plus, they are available at many stores for under $10. For example, Walmart has an Everlast jump rope on sale for just $7.77 right now. Jump ropes are great for completing a quick cardio workout. They also help develop lean muscle and burn calories fast. If you’re looking for a more intense workout, you can opt for a weighted jump rope. However, you may find that a plain and simple jump rope is all you need.


The best way to stay on track with your fitness goals is to have a plan and be consistent. That’s where a whiteboard comes in handy! Simply write down five to ten workout moves on the board and hang it in your workout space or somewhere you walk by often. Every time you complete an exercise, cross it off the list and you’ll be one step closer to your goal. You can find a whiteboard and marker set at Dollar Tree for just a buck!


When you think of exercise, a mirror is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind, but they are actually very beneficial for workouts. They make your workout space much safer by allowing you to see your posture when you’re stretching or lifting. Because of this, you can ensure you have the right form and avoid any injuries. Mirrors like this one available at Walmart for $14.22, are great because they hang over the back of any door which saves you space. If your workout space doesn’t have a door nearby, you can use this full-length mirror available at Target for just $5.99!

Foam roller

If you’re like many people and you feel sore after your workouts, you’ll want to consider purchasing a foam roller. This tool increases the blood flow throughout the body, which results in better movement and increased range of motion. It also cuts down on pain, soreness and recovery time after workouts. You can find them at Walmart for just $6! If these things aren’t convincing enough, foam rolling is like getting a great massage without spending the money!

Prices may vary slightly depending on where you buy your equipment, but if you comparison shop you can buy all of these items for around $87! If you’re new to working out, you don’t have to spend a dime to find fitness instruction or workout routines. Just do a quick search for a workout routine using your equipment on Pinterest or Google and get moving!

RELATED: Warning: Canceling a gym membership can be a total hassle

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