6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Work Out at Home

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You've seen the infomercials for fancy treadmills, stationary bikes with screens for streaming workouts and professional-grade strength equipment. If only you had thousands of dollars to spare, you'd be able to get a quality workout without ever leaving home.

Although unlimited income or a gym membership offer access to a wide variety of exercise options, it's not a necessity to get fit. In fact, you can use the privacy and convenience of home to create a budget-friendly workout routine that works for you. Often the challenge isn't what equipment to buy, but rather, what to do with it once you get it home.  By learning a few basic movements, you can start simple, slowly building in complexity and difficulty to get stronger and healthier.

1. Resistance Bands

For less than $25, you can buy a set of resistance bands that will challenge your muscles in a variety of ways. A set of bands provides varying degrees of difficulty, which is useful since some muscles are naturally stronger than others. This routine targets your whole body in just five simple exercises. Do one to three sets of each exercise with eight to 12 repetitions per set.

Shoulder Press
Squats
Standing Rows
Kickbacks
Reverse Crunches

2. Stability Ball

Twenty dollars will buy you this versatile piece of equipment. Whether you're performing a seated shoulder press, crunches or split squats, adding the ball forces you to engage your core muscles to help stabilize the body during each movement. It also helps improve balance and increases flexibility since your muscles stretch more when they aren't on flat ground. Start with this routine, which will build core strength that not only improves your fitness level but helps you perform everyday activities with ease. Do one to three sets of each exercise with eight to 12 repetitions per set. 

Planks
Back Extension
Ball Pass
Knee Tuck

3. Jump Rope

Jumping rope isn't just for kids—it's a challenging cardio tool that you can use with minimal space and expense. Not only does a simple rope costs $15 or less, but it can be used as a quick way to get your heart pumping or add cardio bursts between exercises in your strength routine.

Beginners can start with 20 seconds of jumping, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle eight times to complete a four-minute workout. While four minutes might not sound like much, it takes time to become efficient and able to jump for longer periods of time. As you get more comfortable with one cycle, add a second and third until you're able to do 12 total minutes of jumping.

4. Yoga Mat

Why yoga? Workouts vary from relaxing to intense depending on the type of practice, so there are lots of options depending on what you're looking for. It helps to take a few classes with a certified instructor to get familiar with basic poses and proper form, but there are also a wide variety of instructional videos and workouts to choose from on YouTube or through subscription-based apps. Mat prices start around $25, so what are you waiting for? This 20-minute workout for beginners will help you stay mindful and feel refreshed.

5. Deck of Cards

This common item, found at most stores for less than $2, can add unlimited variety to your workouts. Your only limit is your own imagination. To get started, choose four exercises and assign each one to a suit of a deck of cards. The exercises can be cardio, strength, stretching or any combination of the three. The number on each card represents how many repetitions of each exercises you should do. Aces are one and face cards are 10. Decide on the length of the workout, set a timer, shuffle and you're ready to go! This sample cardio workout will get you started.

Burpees = hearts
Mountain climbers = diamonds
Plank jacks = spades
Frog jumps = clubs
 

6. Medicine Ball

If you’re looking to add some variety and explosiveness to your workouts, consider the medicine ball. While traditional dumbbells involve only a lifting and lowering movement, the medicine ball can be thrown, which allows for greater range of motion. Most range in price from $20 to $50 and take up minimal space in your home gym. This full-body workout has three exercises and takes just 10 minutes. Set a timer, perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds before moving to the next, continuing until time runs out.
 
Medicine ball squat press
Wood chopper
Side lunge chest press
 
Working out at home doesn't have to be boring or expensive. Whether you're a beginner or experienced exerciser, with minimal investment, you can create a wide variety of fun and challenging workouts.

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Comments

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2DAWN4 7/2/2020
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MSROZZIE 7/1/2020
Good need-to-know information! Thanks! Report
RACHAEL2020 7/1/2020
Jump rope is an excellent idea. Report
LOSER05 7/1/2020
thanks Report
CORVETTECOWBOY 7/1/2020
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2DAWN4 6/30/2020
I love the deck of card idea! Report
MJ7DM33 6/30/2020
TY Report
SHOAPIE 6/30/2020
Let’s get going! Report
SPINECCO 6/30/2020
Thanks. Report
DAWNGW 6/30/2020
Good article! I like the deck of cards idea. I've been working from home and also working out at home due to COVID-19... you really can get a good workout without having a gym to go to. Thanks! Report
ONLYME33 6/30/2020
Nice- Report
ELIR_KVOTHE 6/30/2020
Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely be trying some of them out. Report
DMEYER4 6/30/2020
thanks Report
DWROBERGE 6/30/2020
good auricle Report
RACHAEL2020 6/29/2020
With the Covid-19 the gyms have been closed for over 3 months. Therefore, these pieces of equipment are good to use when the gym is closed. Report
ZRIE014 6/29/2020
good article Report
DWROBERGE 6/28/2020
very helpful Report
ZRIE014 6/28/2020
thanks Report
RAPUNZEL53 6/27/2020
Great Report
SMJTELLER 6/27/2020
A deck of cards! That was a new one and fun! Report
SPANDY04 6/27/2020
nice Report
BJSIMPSON 6/27/2020
Thanks Report
SLIVERBULLET 6/27/2020
Thanks Report
GRALAN 6/27/2020
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WILDKAT781 6/27/2020
thanks Report
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_CYNDY55_ 6/26/2020
Thanks Report
MUGABI123 6/26/2020
Thanks for the tips! Report
FEDEXLADY47 6/26/2020
Thanks Report
ARNETTELEE 6/26/2020
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BIKE4HEALTH 6/26/2020
thx Report
NANCYPAT1 6/26/2020
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ZRIE014 6/26/2020
good info Report
DWROBERGE 6/26/2020
great information Report
SUNSET09 6/25/2020
This is very helpful;, SparkFriemd. Thank you Report
ATHENA2010 6/25/2020
A reason for working out at home - I can do sets in between taking care of the baby, or while she is crawling around me! Report
JORGED11 6/25/2020
thanks a thousand! In what you say about jumping the rope can I, combined with body weigth exercises, after or before the jump rope?
I will combine it with what I am doing https://bit.ly/3i6quNx to improve my results.
I wait your answer thank you !! Report
MWHIGGINS 6/25/2020
Thanks for the article Report
HEALTHYANDFIT27 6/25/2020
Great ideas! Thank you.

YouTube has equipment-free workouts for no charge. Report