Build a Home Gym for Under $50


One of the greatest challenges that I hear from women is that they simply do not have time to get to the gym.  I completely understand this dilemma.  The good news is you don’t have to go to the gym to get a great workout.  In fact, most of my clients workout at home.  I have been training at home for the last six months and have had the best results of my life.  I am stronger, leaner, and happier than I have every been.  I save time without the commute back and forth and money without the monthly gym membership fees. Best of all?  I have no more mommy guilt for leaving the kids to drive all the way out to the gym, workout, and drive back just for some “me” time.  Now I can simply roll out of bed, hit a comprehensive, 45-minute session in my garage or living room before the kids even Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 4.10.19 PMwake up.  What once consumed two hours of my time is done in under an hour.

Not only is it fast, but it can be cost effective too.  You can outfit an entire home gym for the price that you spend on just one month of a gym membership.  With just a few pieces of equipment, you can do almost any exercise.  Here are the key pieces to getting a great workout at home for under $50:

Dumbells.  These run about $12 a pair on the site linked here.  This is
probably the mostversatile piece of equipment you can own.  You can push, pull, press, squat, lunge, lift, carry, and crunch these.  There is no limit here.  The majority of my workouts are done with dumbbells and I have yet to get bored with them.  I can not say enough about how useful a tool these are!

(Upgrade: Kettlebells are a little more expensive and run about $25 each. You can do the same things with a kettlebell, but they can be easier to handle for more complex movements like Kettlebell Swings and Turkish Getups simply because of the way that they are balance.Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 4.17.50 PM

Resistance Bands run about $12 and are great for getting nice muscular cuts, or getting “toned”.  The different resistances allow for varied rep ranges.  Plus these are portable, so you can take them anywhere.  Sometimes I will bring them out for a quick workout when the kids are playing in the yard or at the park.

(Upgrade: Battle Ropes are more expensive, but a really fun way to get Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 12.58.11 PMin some HIIT cardio and build the arm muscles. Despite it’s higher price tag, it is a great treat.  This is probably the piece of equipment I enjoy most in my home gym simply because it is so fun and so simple!  I “earned” my rope when I accomplished a goal I had set for myself; it was a great incentive! )

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 4.26.55 PMAn Exercise Mat will only cost you about $20, and is worth every penny.  Providing comfort and support on the back and hips during movements will prevent discomfort, and help keep you injury-free.  One thing I love about having a mat is that it establishes boundaries when I workout with the kids, “The purple mat is Mommy’s space and the blue mat is your space.”

(Upgrade: Stability Balls run about $27 and can add some difficulty to your workout.  They provide an unstable surface which strengthens the core and provides even more variety in movements.)

Now that the weather is turning colder, running is not as feasible as it once was.  Luckily, you can get a great workout inside where it is warm without breaking the bank!

Pro Tip:  Don’t forget to foam roll to keep your muscles healthy and prevent injury!

If you have questions about home workouts, equipment, or exercise, don’t hesitate to ask!

About the Author:
Mandy Skinner is the author of the Soccer Mom with Muscles blog.  She is the proud mom of two, Sean and Sarah, as well as a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach devoted to living healthy and happy.  She has competed in CrossFit, Powerlifting, and is currently preparing for several Figure competitions in 2015.  In addition to her athletic endeavors, Mandy is a constant advocate of healthy and active living.  
Follow Mandy on Instagram @mandyjskins or Twitter @mandyskinns

8 Responses to “Build a Home Gym for Under $50

  • Great advice! I haven’t been allowed to do any kind of weight lifting since being discharged from the hospital a couple months ago, so I’m preparing for Winter with a treadmill (so I can at least keep myself moving) and light dumbells. My poor husband was expecting a few thousand dollars to end up dumped into this all, but I’ve gotten enough equipment for a mini gym for under $500.

    • mandyjskins
      2 years ago

      Bands may be a good place to start for strength training if you are easing back into it. They are more gentle and you can even use them sitting down if you need to.

  • I need to send this post to my husband!!! He keeps talking about how we need a gym membership and we have an elliptical already at home -and we run regularly outside! Maybe this would inspire him to add a few things at the house and make our own little gym right here!

    • mandyjskins
      2 years ago

      That’s awesome! Winter is great time to start a home gym because running out in the cold can get weary!

  • I love this post. I also sneak out of bed early and go to the garage to workout. Plus, it beats paying for a gym membership!!

  • Thanks for the rundown! I’m far more likely to work out if I don’t have to get myself to the gym first…home gym it is!

      2 years ago

      Me too! It takes away all of my excuses, so I just have to start and once I do it is easy to keep going!

  • We have our garage set up like this. It is awesome to have these in the comfort of our home! great post!

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