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Home Workout Equipment: Beyond The Dumbbell

By Charlene Bazarian and Angela Campos

With stay-at-home and social-distancing guidelines still enforced throughout much of the world and public access to gyms restricted in these uncertain times, many people are looking for ways to improve their strength and fitness training at home.  While creating a home gym may seem like a challenging and expensive task, especially now, when weights and dumbbells are in short supply, it does not have to be.   We have compiled a budget friendly list of innovative equipment that requires little space to help you build muscle in the comfort of your own home.

Body Bar: Starting at $35.99

Photo courtesy of Body Bar

Body Bars are a weighted fitness bar that are encased in comfortable, easy-grip rubber.  They come in a variety of sizes and weights and are designed to improve your strength, endurance, balance, and core strength.  The Body Bar can be used for squats, lunges, bent over rows, chest presses, and many other standard weight training exercises. They can also be utilized in Barre and Pilates workouts, in addition to strength and conditioning workouts, and can easily be stored under a bed or couch.  Save 30% with coupon code BBCBP20

 Wearbands: Starting at $79.95 

Photo courtesy of Wearbands

Wearbands are, as the name implies, a wearable resistance training system.  By incorporating various tension level resistance tubing that the user wears while performing virtually any motion, they help increase strength and endurance while burning calories.  Wearbands go on and come off with ease and can improve your results when incorporated with any workout.  They can also be worn to provide resistance while doing everyday activities, such as walking the dog, doing yard work, performing household chores or just moving around the house.

 Acumobility Cotton Resistance Bands: sale price $26.95

Photo courtesy of Acumobility

These small, portable bands have become very popular to help increase strength, agility and mobility. They come in three different levels of intensity (light to strong) and are made of a combination of durable cotton and latex. There are a number of different exercises that can be done with these comfortable, cotton bands for both the upper and lower body.

 Kettlebells: Starting at $17.99

Photo by Cordele Photography

Kettlebells are an effective and versatile piece of fitness equipment and a great tool for increasing strength and building power.  Kettlebells can be used, not only to build muscle and strengthen your core, but also to provide excellent base metabolic conditioning as well.  In a variety of sizes and weights, they can be incorporated into countless exercises and the momentum provides the bonus of a strong cardio component as well.  They also have the added benefit of not taking up a large footprint if space is limited. 

Medicine Ball: Starting at $10.99

Photo by Dana Lane Photography

Medicine balls are medium sized, firm rubber balls that range in weight from 2 to 20 pounds. They are a terrific addition to any home gym because they take up limited space and are portable.  There are dozens of creative strength training workouts for every area of the body that can be done with these compact balls.

Fitness Ball: Starting at $9.95

Photo by Dana Lane Photography

A simple rubber fitness ball can provide a range of exercises to tone and strengthen the core and lower back. They are also great to use for a low-impact cardio workout.  They can be used in conjunction with a couch or chair to add more of a challenge to dips or knee tucks.  The exercise ball takes up limited space, but it can also be deflated after each use if necessary.

Pull-Up Bar: Starting at $18.99

A simple Pull-Up Bar installed in a doorway is an excellent piece of strength training equipment to add to your home. The space friendly bar is not just for upper body strength as there are a range of bodyweight exercises that can be done with it, including core work.

Adding even one or two of these affordable strength training items to your home is a great way to get started with an exercise plan! Even when the fitness centers can safely and fully reopen their doors, many people may not be eager to jump right back in. Having a few basic pieces of equipment at your immediate disposal will allow you to build and improve your muscle strength from home, no matter what the circumstances.

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