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6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Work Out at Home

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You've seen the infomercials for fancy treadmills, stationary bikes with screens for streaming workouts and professional-grade strength equipment. If only you had thousands of dollars to spare, you'd be able to get a quality workout without ever leaving home.

Although unlimited income or a gym membership offer access to a wide variety of exercise options, it's not a necessity to get fit. In fact, you can use the privacy and convenience of home to create a budget-friendly workout routine that works for you. Often the challenge isn't what equipment to buy, but rather, what to do with it once you get it home.  By learning a few basic movements, you can start simple, slowly building in complexity and difficulty to get stronger and healthier.

1. Resistance Bands

For less than $25, you can buy a set of resistance bands that will challenge your muscles in a variety of ways. A set of bands provides varying degrees of difficulty, which is useful since some muscles are naturally stronger than others. This routine targets your whole body in just five simple exercises. Do one to three sets of each exercise with eight to 12 repetitions per set.

Shoulder Press
Standing Rows
Reverse Crunches

2. Stability Ball

Twenty dollars will buy you this versatile piece of equipment. Whether you're performing a seated shoulder press, crunches or split squats, adding the ball forces you to engage your core muscles to help stabilize the body during each movement. It also helps improve balance and increases flexibility since your muscles stretch more when they aren't on flat ground. Start with this routine, which will build core strength that not only improves your fitness level but helps you perform everyday activities with ease. Do one to three sets of each exercise with eight to 12 repetitions per set. 

Back Extension
Ball Pass
Knee Tuck

3. Jump Rope

Jumping rope isn't just for kids—it's a challenging cardio tool that you can use with minimal space and expense. Not only does a simple rope costs $15 or less, but it can be used as a quick way to get your heart pumping or add cardio bursts between exercises in your strength routine.

Beginners can start with 20 seconds of jumping, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle eight times to complete a four-minute workout. While four minutes might not sound like much, it takes time to become efficient and able to jump for longer periods of time. As you get more comfortable with one cycle, add a second and third until you're able to do 12 total minutes of jumping.

4. Yoga Mat

Why yoga? Workouts vary from relaxing to intense depending on the type of practice, so there are lots of options depending on what you're looking for. It helps to take a few classes with a certified instructor to get familiar with basic poses and proper form, but there are also a wide variety of instructional videos and workouts to choose from on YouTube or through subscription-based apps. Mat prices start around $25, so what are you waiting for? This 20-minute workout for beginners will help you stay mindful and feel refreshed.

5. Deck of Cards

This common item, found at most stores for less than $2, can add unlimited variety to your workouts. Your only limit is your own imagination. To get started, choose four exercises and assign each one to a suit of a deck of cards. The exercises can be cardio, strength, stretching or any combination of the three. The number on each card represents how many repetitions of each exercises you should do. Aces are one and face cards are 10. Decide on the length of the workout, set a timer, shuffle and you're ready to go! This sample cardio workout will get you started.

Burpees = hearts
Mountain climbers = diamonds
Plank jacks = spades
Frog jumps = clubs

6. Medicine Ball

If you’re looking to add some variety and explosiveness to your workouts, consider the medicine ball. While traditional dumbbells involve only a lifting and lowering movement, the medicine ball can be thrown, which allows for greater range of motion. Most range in price from $20 to $50 and take up minimal space in your home gym. This full-body workout has three exercises and takes just 10 minutes. Set a timer, perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds before moving to the next, continuing until time runs out.
Medicine ball squat press
Wood chopper
Side lunge chest press
Working out at home doesn't have to be boring or expensive. Whether you're a beginner or experienced exerciser, with minimal investment, you can create a wide variety of fun and challenging workouts.

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I like this! Report
CPROKASKI 8/1/2020
Definitely like that deck of cards idea. Report
I also like the deck of cards idea, sounds like fun! Report
I like the deck of cards idea and will share it with others. Report
KATHYJO56 7/27/2020
Thanks Report
1LITTLECLOUD 7/23/2020
great article! Report
JULIJULINN 7/22/2020
The deck of cards....now, that's a stretch. Report
DWROBERGE 7/21/2020
great post Report
I love these ideas! How about a story about ways to keep your equipment up in a tiny living space! HA! Report
GOFORGIN 7/20/2020
ok Report
NASFKAB 7/19/2020
Great post Report
BIKE4HEALTH 7/19/2020
good suggestions Report
METAFUKARI 7/18/2020
Interesting article with fun tips! Report
DWROBERGE 7/18/2020
fantastic Report
NANHBH 7/17/2020
Interesting idea to use the deck of cards and assign exercises to the suits and the face value equals the # of repetitions! Report
GOFORGIN 7/16/2020
ok Report
CYBRVELD 7/16/2020
Good read Report
GOFORGIN 7/15/2020
ok Report
I never heard of the "Deck of Cards" exercises but that does sound interesting.may have to try it just to put something different into my exercise routine. Report
EOWYN24241 7/12/2020
I have a gym ball and an exercise mat Report
GOFORGIN 7/12/2020
ok Report
SNUZYQ2 7/12/2020
Timely article! Many of us are working out at home these days. Thank you for the information. It is excellent! Report
NANHBH 7/11/2020
Love my jump rope and resistance bands! Report
KATRENIAH 7/11/2020
I prefer to exercise at home, because I can fit in workouts between my chores and other familial obligations. I discovered these 10 minute workout DVD's, and I use those, Abs of Steel on YouTube, and the great workouts here to keep variety in my life. I have an exercise ball and a fitness band that I've picked up, so that helps too. Report
JUNEAU2010 7/11/2020
I love the deck of cards idea! I never would have thought of that! Report
DWROBERGE 7/10/2020
great tips Report
ELRIDDICK 7/9/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
GOFORGIN 7/9/2020
Ok Report
DWROBERGE 7/9/2020
informative Report
Thanks for the info Report
GOFORGIN 7/6/2020
ok Report
MJ7DM33 7/5/2020
Thanks Report
DWROBERGE 7/4/2020
great ideas Report
EOWYN24241 7/4/2020
good ideas Report
GOFORGIN 7/4/2020
ok Report
GOFORGIN 7/3/2020
ok Report
ROCKRS 7/3/2020
Thanks Report
MUGABI123 7/3/2020
Thanks! Report
DWROBERGE 7/3/2020
great article Report
2DAWN4 7/2/2020
Thanks Report
MSROZZIE 7/1/2020
Good need-to-know information! Thanks! Report
RACHAEL2020 7/1/2020
Jump rope is an excellent idea. Report
LOSER05 7/1/2020
thanks Report
Thanks Report
GOFORGIN 7/1/2020
ok Report
2DAWN4 6/30/2020
I love the deck of card idea! Report
MJ7DM33 6/30/2020
TY Report
SHOAPIE 6/30/2020
Let’s get going! Report
SPINECCO 6/30/2020
Thanks. Report
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