How to Build a Home Gym on a Budget

It's not as expensive, or difficult, as you may think to build a home gym. You don't need a treadmill or expensive machines to strength train. All you need is a little storage space and a good pair of sneakers.

Use the following tips to help you get your cardio, strength training and stretching at home on a budget.

What You'll Need Cardio:

  • A pair of shoes. You should have a good pair of sneakers no matter where you're work out. Replace them every three to six months.
  • A jump rope. You can buy a jump rope for less than $10 and it's very effective to improve your cardiovascular health. Not to mention, you can burn about 10 calories per minute, which means you can blast away 100 calories in 10 minutes.
  • Your body. You don't really need any equipment to get a great cardio workout. Do jumping jacks, go for a walk, run up and down the stairs.
  • Workout DVDs. You can find exercise programs for any fitness level. There are programs that help you walk in place, learn to kick box, or dance in your living room.

What You'll Need for Strength Training:

  • A set of resistance bands. You can buy these for $10 to $30, it just depends on how many bands you want. Most resistance bands come with workouts you can do. Or, check out this total-body workout.
  • Free weights. You can buy hand weights for about $1 a pound. A set of 5, 10 and 12-pound weights will set you back about $55 (not too bad). You can also buy a barbell set that allows you to have a wider variety of available weights (the price will vary). Check out a used sports equipment store for great deals on either of these items.
  • Your body. Planks, push ups and squats are simple moves that utilize your body weight and are great to build strength. 

What You'll Need for Flexibility:

  • A yoga mat. You can get a mat for about $15. A yoga mat allows you to have a soft surface to work on if you have hard wood floors. It also prevents sweat dropping on your carpets and rugs.
  • A towel. You can use a towel to stretch out your body if you have very little flexibility. And to wipe off your sweat.
  • Your body. Touch your toes to stretch your hamstrings. Practice Downward Facing Dog to work your whole body. Open your hips with Frog Pose. There is no equipment needed.

Your home gym may cost between nothing (if you already have sneakers) and $200 (if you want to buy everything listed above).

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Charlotte Women's Fitness Examiner Jennifer Picicci is a wellness coach and personal trainer.

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