Are you equipped?
Okay first things first. I think by now you probably already know a gym membership is not necessarily a “must have” for getting fitter. With fees upwards of $20-30 a month or more, it can get pretty pricey especially for someone on a budget not to mention the excuses that pop up as to why you can’t go in today (kids, work, exhaustion, time, etc.). When you work out from home these excuses because almost obsolete.
In all transparency, I do have a gym membership and participate in a few other fitness programs/events (to be discussed at a later date), however I’m proud to say 70% of my exercise happens in the convenience of my own home.
Nowadays there are SO many great exercises that can be done outside of the gym and it only takes a few key items. I’m going to list some of MY favorite must-have pieces as well as show you just how inexpensive getting set up can actually be.
I know this seems so elementary. Kids use jump ropes! But yes, jump ropes are an incredibly convenient, inexpensive piece of cardio equipment that can really kick-start your calorie burn.
Jump ropes can range from $8 on up depending on the type and use. I personally like a rope with good weight in the handles but thin, wiry adjustable rope. I’m still learning the ropes (pun intended – hee hee!) but I have most recently started trying to incorporate more jumping rope into my work out routines as either a warm up or part of an “active rest” during a work out.
Average price for quality rope – $10-20
Kettle bells are tremendously versatile pieces of equipment for not only your arms but your back, legs, abs, you name it. I have about three different sized kettle bells (15, 20, 35lb). It’s good to have different weights to help challenge your strength training to continuously improve your progress.
Average price for one kettle bell – $20-30
T-Bar and Weight Plates
Lifting is not just for the guys! Bench presses, weighted squats, clean and presses, thrusters. All these exercises will jump-start your calorie burn and help to define those muscles like you’ve never seen before. I have a number of weight plates ranging from 2.5lbs to 35lbs with the bulk them being 7.5-10lbs for better flexibility.
Average cost for starter bar and plates: Wide range of prices based on brand and material, but you can get a good set for around $200-300. I suggest Play It Again Sports if you have it in your area to minimize costs.
Like the weight plates and t-bar, I use these a lot for a host of weighted exercises where larger barbells just won’t work.
Average cost each: $20
Yoga or Exercise Mats
Suggested primarily for floor exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, planks, and to keep from slipping when doing yoga. I have at least four mats that I put together at times when I jump rope since I workout on carpet and sometimes it can get in the way of my rope revolutions.
Average cost each: $8-10
Get on the ball, girls! Sit-ups, leg lifts, in-out ab crunches, V-ups – who knew you could do SO MUCH with a big plastic ball?
Average cost: $20
Small and dense, these balls are great for ab, shoulder and bicep exercises. Not to mention, I use mine for wall balls since I don’t have a large one. The weight I have is 12lbs but I plan to get more in the future – heavier and larger.
Average cost:$20-30 (depending on weight and size)
Tricep dips, leg raises, push ups… another multi-purpose piece of equipment I can’t live without. Although they can be substituted with two chairs, there’s something about the versatility of these bars. Try it! You’ll love it.
Average cost: $100
What are some of YOUR go-to exercise elements?