CNET Coupons
CNET Coupons


When you make a purchase using one of these coupons, CNET may get a commission.

Dreaming about having a home gym to avoid going to one every day? Learn how to build one with a reasonable budget.

Gyms may offer state-of-the-art equipment and the chance to work out with others, but they come with their disadvantages too. They can be expensive, and when life gets busy, trying to carve out time to hit the gym can get complicated.

This is where home gyms come in. They cut out the trickiest part of working out, removing all obstacles between you and exercise. Having a home gym can also help you keep to your workout schedule. And the time you save on the commute (and waiting in line) can then be spent on more relaxing activities (or a few extra exercises). 

Keeping your affordable workout equipment at home also allows you to work out at a time that suits you, with no closing time limiting your access. 

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to build a home gym, from budget-friendly cardio machines to budget-friendly fitness gear and other cheap home gym essentials. 

Start with a multi-purpose strength-building machine

gym equipment
gym equipment

The best way to enjoy affordable strength training gear is to buy one machine that meets multiple needs. A multi-purpose strength-building machine allows you to engage in diverse workouts, ensuring that more than one muscle group is targeted. 

While these machines are gaining popularity at gyms too, their main advantage is how perfect they are for home gyms. With one machine used to replace several, the space used up is significantly reduced. Most machines are also built to slot into a corner to save space.  

Another advantage comes with their durability. These high-quality machines can last a lifetime and are designed to be safe and easy to use without the help of a professional. 

Whether working your abs, shoulders or biceps, these compact machines help you build muscle and burn fat at the same time. This makes them the perfect machine to start with when working with a low budget.

Find one high-tech cardio machine you can't live without

A home gym must-have is a way to get that cardio in when the clouds are gray. While exercising outdoors can work wonders for your mental health, the fact is that for most of us, it’s much easier to keep it indoors. 

Pop on a podcast, pump up the tunes, and get your heart racing on one of our favorite cardio machines. From rowers and bikes to ellipticals, treadmills to steppers, there’s a range of machines to choose from.

Dick’s Sporting Goods offers a top-rated selection of cardio equipment, and their helpful staff are happy to assist you in choosing the best machine for you. For example, exercise bikes are ideal for anyone with joint issues, they tend to fit a smaller budget and help you save space too.  

And while treadmills work wonders for weight loss journeys, mini steppers are far more compact, and you can find them at Dick’s Sporting Goods for a fraction of the price. 

Savings enthusiast tip:

Once you find a treadmill you love, it's time to get running! Find the best shoes for treadmill and outdoor running in our shopping guide!

Save on smaller exercise equipment

small gym equipment
small gym equipment

Free weights and compact equipment are ideal for smaller home gyms, and from affordable weights and dumbbells to cheap resistance bands, there’s so much choice. And from boxing bags to weight racks, and inversion tables to cushioned yoga mats, Walmart is your go-to for cheap fitness accessories. 

Shop online for budget barbells, digital body weight scales, and even the perfect pull-up bar to maximize your space. You’ll also find stylish smartwatches to help you track your steps, heart rate, and weight loss, vibration plates to polish those toned muscles, and interconnecting foam tiles to add some give to those floors.

Our favorite cost-effective home workout equipment tends to come in smaller sizes too, and when paired with the many workout videos available online, the results come quickly.

Suspension training equipment offers another fantastic way to save space and often comes with an affordable price tag. Installed into walls or ceilings, suspension equipment allows your body to go through a whole range of moments too, developing functional strength. 

Something that will make your workouts more fun

exercise equipment
exercise equipment

If the main advantage of a home gym is its proximity and accessibility, one of the main disadvantages is how many distractions are nearby. While one way to handle this is to break down your workout into manageable 10 to 20-minute sections, another top tip is to work some fun into the activities. 

Exercise dice are one great option. Each side of the die shows a short workout option, so you can mix up your circuits every day. Flashcards are also a popular option, with yoga cards and weight training cards available in many varieties. 

Or, why not take it old school? Mini trampolines are fun for adults too, and self-standing punching bags help you de-stress in no time. An exercise ball offers a diverse range of workouts and adds a little bounce to your routine too. 

Jump ropes offer the perfect mix of childhood fun and intense cardio and come with the added advantage of being easy to use outside, too. 

Savings enthusiast tip:

A great set of activewear that you love can help motivate you to hit the gym and achieve your goals. We're here to help you find the best workout clothes for less!

Some great tools for stretching and recovery

When shopping for your home gym essentials, don’t forget the key part - recovery. While shopping for exciting cardio equipment and inexpensive home gym storage equipment might be more exciting, you should pay equal attention to your stretching. 

An effective stretching routine helps you bounce back quicker after an intense workout, so investing in recovery tools is a surefire way to keep your progress steady.

Pick up a soothing massage ball, a weighted sauna blanket, or a foam roller to really work ease those muscles and soreness. Yoga is another effective way to handle your recovery, and a cold plunge bath will have you floating away in bliss.

Whether you prefer to work out alone, or simply want to cut down those commute times, a home gym is an excellent way to stay happy and healthy. Even if you live in a small space, there are so many ways to enjoy a gym-style workout for less. 

We’ve shown you some of the best ways to get started, so now it's time for you to find your own way to succeed at home.