How to Create an Inexpensive Home Gym

Staying in shape doesn’t have to break the bank. You can skip the hassle, the commute, and the expense of a gym membership by creating a low-cost, high-performance gym right in your home. Here’s how.

Choose a Space

If you have an extra room, turn it into your fitness space. You can decorate with inspirational posters and add a screen for watching fitness content.

Also, consider adding a decent speaker—or even a full stereo system, if you have a spare one not currently in use, to play blood-pumping tunes.

If you don’t have a room to convert into a home gym, look for ways to carve out a portion of another under-utilized space, such as a corner of your garage or a basement rec room. Perhaps you can make a bedroom or a home office perform double duty.

It’s even possible to create a home gym-in-a-box! Utilize small, portable, and packable equipment and tuck it all away in a trunk, drawer, or even a coffee table that offers a bit of storage.

A home gym doesn’t require a lot of space or money. You only need desire and a bit of dedication!

Low-Cost, Highly Effective Gym Equipment

Consider outfitting your homemade gym with several pieces of inexpensive, multi-purpose exercise equipment that can be easily stored when not in use:

Resistance Bands

These super-compact tools can do the work of larger machines in a more economical and low-profile way. Resistance band exercises can target your legs, arms, back, core, stomach, glutes, and everything in between.

To create your own resistance band routines, visit YouTube. Search for “Resistance Band Exercises” or “How to Use Resistance Bands” for a plethora of options.

A Yoga Mat

Regardless of age, yoga is an excellent way to stretch and strengthen your body. Other benefits include improved heart health, reduced inflammation, improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, and enhanced quality of life.

Beginning classes (as well as advanced yoga) can be found on YouTube. Yoga with Adriene is a highly rated free series.

A yoga mat can also be used as a high grip surface for pushups, sit-ups, and plank exercises.

A Kettle Bell

This single piece of equipment can be used for kettle swings or traditional weight exercises—and it will fit in your home gym without taking up too much room. Google “Kettle Bell Exercises” for inspiration!

A Jump Rope

Want to get your heart rate pumping? Try a jump rope. They consume very little space and offer great cardio benefits.


Hand-held dumbbells don’t take up much room and offer numerous easy-to-use weighted exercise options. Select three sets—light, medium, and heavy—to expand your weight resistance exercises.

Pull-Up Bar

Turn a doorway into a fitness opportunity with a pull-up bar. Use it to experience an intense, strength-building upper body workout.

Other Budget-Friendly Ways to Get in Shape

Walk. Who needs an expensive treadmill taking up space when you can walk outside in fresh air? If it’s too hot, cold, or wet, you can substitute with an indoor workout using a step-riser system, a jump rope, or even marching in place to keep your legs moving.

Dance! Play your favorite tunes or music videos, a video on dance instruction, or a movie with great dance sequences and dance it out! You will have fun and get fit at the same time.

Inconvenience yourself. When shopping, pick a parking space far from the doors. In a building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Look for ways to build a little more movement into each day.

Stand up! If you are working from home, consider setting up a way to work, at least part of the day, while standing. This will help you avoid the health risks associated with extended sitting.

Get a fitness buddy. An accountability partner and a cheerleader will help you (and them) stay on track to get and stay in shape. Regular check-ins, taking walks together, or doing virtual exercise classes by phone or video can make a big difference in your shared success rates.

Spending time at home doesn’t have to sabotage your fitness goals. With a little planning, some simple equipment, and dedication, you can be in the best shape of your life, right at home!