Create a home gym for $50 or less

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – If you’re trying to be healthy on a budget, expensive machines and large pieces of equipment probably won’t fit your lifestyle or your budget.

“You don’t have to spend any money to have a home gym,” says NiCole Keith, PhD, Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “You can start by using your own body weight.”

Gr8 Health Home Gym
Senior Exercise Science major at IUPUI, Hailey Macke demonstrates a plank exercise;

Body weight training was named the number one fitness trend of 2015 in the ACSM’s annual survey. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness. If you want to diversify your at-home workout, Keith outlines a few items you can add.

Dumbbells, $18:
Dumbbells are easy to use and great for improving strength in the upper body, lower body and core. “They’re relatively inexpensive and they take up no space,” says Keith who says one set of dumbbells is sufficient for most people. For women looking to build muscle, consider having three sets, weighted at eight pounds, 10 pounds and 15 pounds. For men with the same goal, Keith says consider having 15 pounds, 20 pounds, and 25 pound dumbbells.

Resistance bands, $8:
The most obvious advantage to using resistance bands in a fitness routine is how much easier bands will fit into your luggage compared with free weights. “Instead of having to carry around a bunch of different weights, you can change the variability depending on the length you make the band,” says Keith. For example, on bicep curls using a resistance band, stand on top of the band with feet closer together to lessen the resistance. Stand with your feet further apart for more resistance. For more exercise ideas using resistance bands, Keith suggests using Youtube or Pinterest as a resource.

Kettlebells, $14:
A kettlebell is a cast-iron or cast steel weight that can be used in a similar way as dumbbells. “Kettlebells have been around for a really long time and they just came back — it’s just something to do to keep your workout a little more interesting,” says Keith.

Gr8 HEalth home gym
Senior Exercise Science major at IUPUI, Hailey Macke demonstrates a core exercise using a weighted toning ball;

Weighted toning ball, $8:
For amped up core work, try a weighted toning ball or a medicine ball. The weighted balls range from 1 pound to 25 pounds in weight and can be relatively inexpensive.

Jump rope, $2:
For an indoor cardiovascular workout, it’s hard to beat jump rope for its price and portability. By jumping rope at a fast pace, a person can burn as many calories as they would if they were running an 8-minute mile. Jump rope can be excellent interval workout.
These five fitness items total $50 and can bring variability in training.

“The fitness industry is a billion dollar industry so there are lots of different types of equipment you can add to keep it interesting or make things more challenging, but you don’t need them,” says Keith. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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