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It's about that time of year when the spring days are warm enough that many feel the urge to kick their fitness journeys into high gear. Whether you're dreaming about having abs to flaunt at the beach or you're just on a health and wellness kick, you may be looking to get a good sweat session or two in. Below are 21 things that are less than $40 and perfect for working out and helping you achieve all your fitness goals.
No list of home gym equipment would be complete without a set—or two or three—of dumbbells. While they’ve been selling out online due to the coronavirus outbreak (and the fact that gyms have closed), you can still find them at Target. These weights, which are available from 2 to 15 pounds, have a non-slip neoprene coating that reviewers say is easy and comfortable to grip.
2. Jump rope
Cardio doesn't have to be hardio. Or rather, it doesn't have to be boring. Jumping rope is a fun way to get your heart rate up—and this rope in particular has high ratings for its comfortable-to-hold handles and light weight.
3. Resistance bands
No weights, no problem. You can get just as good of a strength training workout with resistance bands like these ones. They come in five varying degrees of resistance from XX-light to XX-heavy, and reviewers like that they're durable (i.e. they won't rip easily) and versatile.
4. Pull-up bar
Thanks to this easy-to-install bar, all you need to achieve the toned back of your dreams is a doorway (and a lot of hard work and patience and sweat, of course). It has three different grip options—normal, close, and hammer—and happy customers like that it's super simple to assemble. Plus, if you're tired of pull-ups, you can use it on the floor for pushups, sit-ups, and dips.
5. Stability ball
It’s no secret that stability balls are a great piece of workout equipment, whether you’re looking for a killer ab workout or simply a core-toning alternative to your desk chair. This one from Walmart is praised for being durable and high-quality, plus it even has workouts printed right on the ball if you're in need of ideas.
6. Ab roller
Sit-ups and planks aren't the only ways to tone your core—you can also use an ab roller. This one has built-in resistance and can roll in any direction, so you can work everything from your lower abs to your obliques. Reviewers claim the ergonomic handles are comfortable to hold and maneuver and the extra-wide wheel provides just the right amount of stability.
7. Booty band
Leg day just got a lot harder thanks to this booty-sculpting band. Made of thick, non-slip fabric, it's designed to add resistance to your leg and glute workouts—just slip it across your thighs or hips while doing squats or bridge lifts, for instance. I use the Cheeky band when I'm working out at home and it makes my workouts burn a lot more (in the best way!) and the material is comfortable against my skin.
8. Exercise mat
Working out on your living room's hardwood floor is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. An exercise mat can solve that. And while our all-time favorite mat from Lululemon is more than $30, this budget-friendly alternative also comes highly rated. People love that it provides just the right amount of cushioning—whether you're doing yoga or a HIIT workout—and is non-slip so you won't be slipping and sliding while you sweat.
Kettlebells are one of those things I have a love/hate relationship with. I love that they make me stronger but also hate that they can be such a challenging workout (have you ever done a straight minute of kettlebell swings?!). You can get affordable kettlebells at Dick's Sporting Goods—like this steel one, which comes in 10, 15, and 20 pound weights and has an ergonomic handle for better gripping.
10. Foam roller
Whether you’re dealing with sore muscles from yesterday’s workout or stiff joints from watching one too many episodes on Netflix last night (no judgment!), a foam roller can help with that. People love this one because it's sturdy and effectively relives aches and pains by providing the perfect amount of pressure as it massages.
11. Subscription to virtual group fitness classes
If you’re a group fitness junkie like I am (I live for my daily yoga sculpt class!), you know that working out at home on your own just isn’t the same. But fear not—thanks to services like ClassPass and Alo Moves, you can take your favorite classes from your own living room. Both apps offer access to classes taught by expert instructors, with everything from barre to spin to boxing to mediation.
12. Blender Bottle
Love protein shakes but hate the time-consuming process of making them in the blender or, worse, trying to mix them in a cup and ending up with a clumpy, chunky mess? I get that and I’ve been there—which is why I’m now obsessed with my Blender Bottle. The metal mixing ball blends drinks perfectly with just a few shakes and the leakproof lid is perfect for taking on the go. Bonus: You can just toss it in the dishwasher when you’re done.
13. Yoga block
As a yoga teacher who has been doing yoga for 12 years, I still never go to class without at least one block. Why? Yoga blocks are not only a great prop to help you get into more difficult poses but they can also be used for restorative variations of some of your favorites (think: placing a block under your lower back for supported bridge pose).
14. Ankle weights
Sometimes you need just a little more weight when you’re doing leg lifts. Or you want to shoulder press 17.5 pounds but you only have 15-pound dumbbells. That’s where ankle weights like these come in. According to reviewers, the neoprene fabric wicks away sweat while the straps are easy to adjust to fit securely around your wrists or ankles. Psst: While you can use them as extra resistance for bodyweight exercises or strap them to other weights, you shouldn’t wear them when walking—they can increase your risk of injury.
No, this isn’t the ‘80s but yes, steppers are back in style (or maybe they never left?). The aerobics accessory is an easy way to get a cardio session in at home, especially because you can make it as low or as high impact as you'd like. Reviewers like this Tone Fitness stepper because it's adjustable (you can easily raise/lower it to four or six inches) and it has non-skid feet and a sturdy platform.
16. Medicine ball
Looking for a creative way to add more weight to your workout? Look no further than a medicine ball, which you can use with exercises like Russian twists or crunches, for example. While medicine balls tend to cost over $40, this compact medicine ball (which is squishy and filled with sand) is more budget-friendly. People rave that it's incredibly grippable and versatile.
17. Core sliders
Planks are hard. Planks with your feet on core sliders are even harder. The slippery little discs—which you can place under your hands or feet—are used to improve your stability and engage your core even more. These have thousands of glowing reviews because they're double-sided so you can use them on any surface (plastic for carpet vs. foam for hardwood) and the perfect diameter for any size hand or foot.
18. Pilates ring
Bring the Pilates studio to you with this ring, which has padded foam handles and a soft rubber coating. Reviewers rave that it offers the ideal amount of resistance to challenge any area of your body from your inner thighs to your biceps. Also, unlike other rings, the AeroPilates ring has handles on both the inside and outside so it's much more versatile.
19. Weighted workout bar
Weightlifting at home is great. But by the time you order a bar, different size plates, a rack, etc., it adds up really fast. A more affordable solution? A weighted workout bar. This one—which comes in varying weights from five pounds all the way up to 30 pounds—is made of sturdy steel so it won't bend or warp yet has a soft foam coating so it won't slip while you lift.
20. This belt for runners
Running outside sounded like a good idea—until you realized you’d have to carry your phone, house key, ID, chapstick, extra hair ties, and towel in your hand. Ugh. Fortunately, however, the FlipBelt exists. Runners rave that the multiple pockets are roomy enough to hold all of your things while the belt itself sits snugly and comfortably around your waist (i.e. no bouncing and jiggling while you move!).
21. Resistance tubes
Similar to resistance bands, resistance tubes are an easy (and cheap!) way to intensify your at-home workouts. This set is highly-rated because it has three interchangeable tubes that you can swap out for different resistances, making it perfect for all skill levels. Additionally, it has squishy foam handles that are comfortable to hold (i.e. no painful callouses or aches here).
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 21 fitness products for at-home workouts under $40