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How to Create a Home Gym on a Budget | The Best Exercise Equipment for Busy Moms

I recently created my own home gym on a budget to make my workouts both more accessible and more affordable for my family. No more paying to work out. No more buying all kinds of massive equipment that takes up a whole room. No more dragging kids out of the house or paying a sitter so you can go to the gym. No more putting yourself and your health last!

This post is all about building you a home gym on a budget so that you can be the best mom possible for your kids! 

home gym on a budget

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Home Gym on a Budget

Why build a home gym?

Working out consistently does a lot more than we realize. It can help reduce stress, improve your mood, boost energy, improve the quality of your sleep, and even help you be more confident. Sometimes working out feels unattainable for moms because of the logistical nightmare of trying to schedule babysitters or daycare in order to get to the gym. Creating a home gym makes working out and each of these benefits more accessible to you. 

Additionally, creating your own home gym will help save your family A LOT of money in the long run. The average gym membership costs $50 a month! That is $600 a year before the initiation fees and the gas money to get there. This post breaks down how to create a home gym on a $300, $500, and $700 budget. So no matter which home gym you choose, you will end up spending right around the same amount (or less) than you would have on a gym membership for a year. Except you get to keep your home gym equipment and keep using it year after year! (Or sell it at a premium the next pandemic that rolls around)

How much space do you need to make a home gym?

This home gym on a budget won’t take up a ton of space in your home either! Since so many people are looking for a small home gym set up, I have designed each of these three set ups to be space saving options. In fact, my home gym is set up in the corner of our bedroom in our tiny two bedroom apartment! You don’t need to have a completely separate room or area to create your own home gym. 

$300 Home Gym

Gorilla Workout Mat (4x6)

Even a home gym on a budget needs a good mat! Prior to purchasing my Gorilla Mat, I hadn’t found a workout mat that actually stayed in place! The puzzle style workout mats are very affordable but they come apart if you do any sort of dynamic movement such as mountain climbers or burpees. Since most people move when they workout, I didn’t find my puzzle mat to be very effective. This 4×6 Gorilla Mat is extremely affordable and I have absolutely loved it. It stays in place, absorbs shock very well, and is a simple clean look for any workout space. 

Dumbbell Set with Stand

If you are just starting working out or getting back into it, this Adjustable Dumbbell Set is a great option. It adjusts in 2.5 lb increments so you can use exactly what you need for each exercise. If you need a little more weight for your workouts, check out the adjustable dumbbells in the $500 Home Gym section. 

Kettle Gryp

When I used to workout at the gym, I was a huge fan of kettlebell exercises. Once I started working out at home, I quickly came to realize that a set of kettlebells can cost hundreds of dollars. So when I saw this Kettle Gryp on Shark Tank (one of my favorite shows), I knew that I needed to order one. For the price of a single kettlebell, you can turn any dumbbell into a kettlebell, making this a great option for a home gym on a budget. 

Ball Bearing Adjustable Jump Rope

When you are looking to build a home gym on a budget and/or one that doesn’t take up too much space, treadmills, rowers, ellipticals, and other cardio machines just aren’t practical.  Jumping rope is a great option that can be done almost anywhere. It requires very little space to use and even less to store.This Ball Bearing Jump Rope rotates smoothly to save your wrists and avoid the annoyance of the rope getting tangled over itself. I have loved using it and will never go back to my old jump rope I used before! 

Fabric Resistance Bands

You can exercise or stretch almost any part of your body with resistance bands. While I do keep a set of silicone mini bands on hand, I’ve found them to get rolled up and dig into me for certain exercises. So, I went on a search for fabric resistance bands and found these long fabric bands and short fabric bands that I love. The short ones even have silicone strips on the inside to keep them from slipping when you are using them. 

 

PRO TIP: If you order the medicine ball from the $500 home gym, they send you a slip in the box for free silicone resistance bands!

Mirrors

Wall mirrors are a great addition to any home gym. They allow you to check your form on exercises and also see the progress that you are making. However, wall mirrors can be extremely expensive and you don’t need (or probably want) an expensive mirror in your workout space, as it could get damaged. I personally bought three of Walmart’s door mirrors for only $7 a piece and they have worked great in my home gym. Beware that they do not come with mounting hardware. If you don’t want to mount them to the wall, you can also use 16 pound velcro command strips like I did. They have held up great. 

$500 Home Gym

To build this $500 Home Gym, please take all items from the $300 home gym (except for the Dumbbells) in addition to the following items. 

25 lb Adjustable Dumbbells

These Adjustable Dumbbells give you get 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pound weights for a fraction of the cost. I personally use my adjustable dumbbells every day and love how much space they save. They have no pins or bands to change the weights, you just twist the handle with them in the base and lift them up.

Unfortunately, if you are looking for something more than 25 pounds, you will have to spend quite a bit more money. However, I would recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell if you do choose to go that route. They are some of the best rated on the market and the price point is far more reasonable than some of the other heavy adjustable dumbbells I’ve seen. 

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are a great option for cardio and core exercises. I like this BalanceFrom Medicine Ball because the texture on the outside makes it much easier to grip when your hands are sweaty. I included the 10 pound size in my calculations for the $500 and $700 home gyms but they offer a variety of other sizes too! (Bonus: And don’t forget they will send you a slip in your box to register for free resistance bands and a two year warranty!) 

Pull Up Bar

My husband and I have lived in an apartment since getting married so we wanted a pull up bar we could use without drilling into the wall or scuffing up the door frame.  If you’re in the same position, this doorway pull up bar is the perfect solution. I was amazed by how sturdy it felt too! 

$700 Home Gym

To build this $700 home gym, take all items from the previous $300 and $500 home gyms (leaving out the mat and dumbbell set from the $300 gym)  in addition to the following. 

Gorilla Workout Mat (5x7)

The $300 and $500 home gyms include the 4×6′ version of this mat. This 5×7 ‘Gorilla Mat  is the same style with a little extra space for your workout. As you probably read earlier, these Gorilla Mats are extremely durable and high quality workout mats that I highly recommend! I use mine almost every day and it never slides around regardless of what I’m doing.

Plyo Box

Plyo boxes are a great piece of exercise equipment and they are far more versatile than they get credit for! In addition to standard box jumps, you can also do step ups, incline exercises, and even use it as a bench to save space. But any one who has done a lot of box jumps in their lives has wrecked their shin on one at least once. This foam plyo box is a great option to avoid those annoying shin injuries. Plus with each side of the box offering a different height challenge (20″, 24″, and 30″) you can work your way up as your fitness improves. 

Foam Roller

Foam rollers are one of the best ways to work through sore muscles quickly. The ProsourceFit High Density Roller pictured here is one of the best rated on Amazon with over 12,000 reviews and 4.5 stars. I personally own the GAIAM Foam Roller  which is a medium density roller that is a little easier on extremely sore muscles.

Yoga Mat

Even though you now have a nice mat for the floor of your workout space, it’s nice to have a yoga mat on hand for fun outside workouts or workouts on the go. Whether it be on the beach or in your backyard, it’s fun to occasionally workout outside in the sun to get some Vitamin D. Yoga is a great option for these workouts. The Gray Yoga Mat pictured here has a little extra cushion to be easy on your knees and joints. However, if you are new to yoga, this Yoga Mat  with 70 different poses to guide you is a great option too! 

Wall Mount

This Wall Mount is a great option to both organize and decorate a home gym on a budget. The top three spots hold yoga mats or foam rollers and the bottom hooks are great for resistance bands. If you don’t want to mount this to the wall, you can easily hang it with a larger command hook like I did. This is the command hook that I used to hang mine! 

More Ideas for Your Home Gym on a Budget...

Motivational Quotes or Pictures

A large portion (if not all) of the success and consistency that you will have with fitness is based upon your mindset. Having motivational quotes up in your workout space is a great way to stay motivated on those days when you just don’t want to work out or finish those last few reps. Then you can look over at your wall and remember why you started in the first place. Whether you choose to frame them or simply tape them up to easily change them out like I did, they are sure to give you a little extra motivation for your workout. If you like the quotes in my workout space, they can all be found on the, “Mom Fitness” board of my Pinterest. 

Shop Facebook Marketplace for Free Weights

Buying a set of free weights can get pricey quickly. Once you buy a good barbell, all the different weight plates, bumper covers, collars, and a weight tree (if you are an organization freak like me), you’ve spent at least a few hundred dollars. If you are trying to build your home gym on a budget and want to add free weights to it,  buying these things brand new is not really an option. While all the weights and the barbell that I have would have cost me hundreds brand new, I got my entire weight set on Facebook Marketplace for $40! It took me a while to search out a good deal, but it definitely paid off! 

Plants & Windows

While plants and windows are totally unnecessary to your workout in every way possible, a little plants and sunshine can turn your workout space into a space you love and want to be in! I highly recommend putting your workout space near a window or two if you can and add a couple cute plants that make you smile. (If you are terrible at keeping plants alive like me, I highly recommend lucky bamboo and a snake plant) Loving the space you workout in might just be the extra push you need to get your workout in that day!

A Few More Items that are Nice to Have...

A few other items that I like to have on hand are a lacrosse ball, a yoga block, and a muscle roller stick. My rest days often involve a lot of walking, yoga, or stretching. I usually find yoga videos on YouTube and they often use a yoga block, so this can be helpful to have just in case. And when it comes to working out knots and super sore spots, lacrosse balls and beaded muscle rollers are both great ways to speed up your recovery. 

This post was all about building your own home gym on a budget to make working out more accessible to the busy mom life! I hope you have a few ideas now to start building your own home gym so you can start making your own health a priority again. 

-Beautifully Busy Mom

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