Fitness Equipment on a Budget

Written by Justin Walls on . Posted in Health & Wellness

One of the challenges of personal fitness is trying to justify the start-up costs of having workout equipment in your home. A basic weight set can start at $30 for small weights under six pounds, but skyrocket as you increase to 15, 20, or 25 pounds. If you do buy weights, then you may also want to purchase a bench. A new bench can start at $100 to $150. How about a home system with multiple exercise stations? The price tag on those can start at $1,000.

I’m going to suggest some inexpensive in-home solutions costing no more than $120.

BOSU Balance Trainer, $99 on Amazon

The BOSU brand has been around since the late 1990s; this product encompasses a stable platform on an unstable round surface. There are plenty of total-body workouts you can do using the BOSU — these come with the balance trainer or can be found on YouTube. The advantage of this device is the versatility for training the total body without having to resort to smaller movements to work stabilizing muscles like adductors and abdominals. Those muscles will work while stabilizing the legs and torso on the BOSU. The weighted platform will also allow you to target arms, for example, to improve muscle tone with curls or front raises while holding the handles on the BOSU.

Hyperwear Sandbells, $15 to $75 on Amazon

I first used a sandbell at a fitness conference four years ago. Yes, it can be used for traditional weight lifting like rows, presses, or curls. What makes this thing so much fun is that it is a durable bag of sand that you can toss, swing, and throw to increase the dynamics of your workout. Your workout could be as simple as flinging the sandbell up and catching it, jumping up and slamming it, holding it in one hand and swinging it, and throwing it far and retrieving it. Change the way you perceive working out by turning it into play time instead of work time.

TRX GO suspension trainer, $99 on Amazon

The TRX suspension trainer has become a staple at gyms across the U.S., but it began as a consumer product for people on the go or working out in the outdoors. Originally selling for close to $200, the company has made a more affordable version of their single-joint suspension trainer. The basic workout teaches you how to leverage your bodyweight to perform classic moves like rows, lunges, and bicep curls, then proceeds to demonstrate novel movements in the chest, shoulders, and abdominals. There are plenty of free workout ideas on YouTube and the TRX app. The TRX comes with a door attachment, but wall mounts are available for around $20.

Lebert Equalizer, $99 for the pair on Amazon or LebertFitness.com

I first saw these eight years ago and finally met Mark Lebert, the inventor, a few years ago. He was great at demonstrating the versatility of the bars for bodyweight training, toning, sport conditioning, and balance. The DVDs come with workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced training levels. What I really like about this product is that it’s the best equipment to train your body for pull ups and straighten your wrists for push-ups. They’re also weighted, and that can replace the need to buy pairs of dumbbells for arm exercises.

By Justin Walls

 Justin Walls is an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer with several specializations. He also has expertise in lifestyle/health management and meal planning, and a background in psychology. Learn more at justinwallsfitness.com.