Affordable Essential Fitness Equipment for Your Home

Here is a list of must-have exercise tools for your fitness “toolbox” at home to keep you in shape year-round.

Fitness Mat

This one is easy. If you don’t have much room to devote to exercise equipment, designate one corner to call your “gym”. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but think about creating a unique and happy place where you will most enjoy your workout. Think of your fitness mat as the “foundation” of your fitness “gym” to perform various exercises, from crunches to yoga poses. Fitness mats provide comfort by helping to protect your knees, feet, and ankles, while also giving you a clean place when lying on your back or stomach. We like the Danskin Deluxe Fitness Mat


Another fitness tool that facilitates a variety of exercises is the physioball. A physioball is essential for core work, chest routines, and leg toning exercises. It can aid you in wall squats, as well as be a substitute for a bench when doing bicep curls. Physioballs can be used in place of a leg curl machine when working hamstrings, and are the essential for decline pushups. We like the durable FitBALL USA

Bender Ball

Essential for any great ab routine, the Bender Ball targets specific ab muscle groups, providing beautiful results. Developed by Leslee Bender, the Bender Ball allows for both flexion and extension when working on your abs. These exercises are fun, easy, and engaging.


Core work, agility training, stability training, balance work, and beyond, I love the BOSU ball. With “ball” side up, it’s great for doing ab work, or you can concentrate on your upper body while standing the BOSU to create an added element of stability work. Flip it over and hold the edges while doing pushups. The BOSU is highly versatile but small enough to be stored under your bed! 

4 Pound Medicine Ball

Always a staple in the boxer’s gym, the medicine ball is the fourth and final ball to add to your fitness repertoire. Excellent for ab work, arm work, chest work, and leg routines, the medicine ball allows you some creative fun in your home routine. Available for as little as $15, check out

Two Different Sets of Weights

Any good home gym will have at least two sets of weights, ideally varying by two or five pounds. 5 pounds and 8 pounds, 8 pounds and 10 pounds, or 10 pounds and 15 pounds, for example, is a good place to start, depending on your current strength routine. For example, I choose 15 pounds for bicep curls, but I prefer 12 or 10 pound weights when working the antagonistic muscle group, the triceps. Most free weights can be purchased by the pound at your local sporting goods store.

A Good Jump Rope

A jump rope is the cheapest investment in cardio you can make. In between strength training exercises, work in two minutes of jumping rope for some killer cardio to keep your heart rate elevated.

The best home workout is one that continues to evolve so it remains interesting and challenging. With a small investment in a few basic pieces of exercise equipment, you can have a productive fitness workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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