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The Best, Affordable Home-Gym Equipment That Actually Works

Andrew Chapados Contributor
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Nearly everything can be done from home these days: work, shopping, school…it’s called the ‘digital era’ for a reason. Even at-home workouts have made leaps and bounds technologically. For those of us who don’t live close to a gym or find the idea of waiting 20 minutes for a machine less-than-ideal, exercise with home-gym equipment is the best viable option.

Gone are the days of Sweatin’ to the Oldies and those weird machines that just made your stomach jiggle; todays at-home fitness equipment is much more affordable and practical, as sports science and technology advances far beyond what even Richard Simmons could imagine. Today it’s actually feasible to create an affordable home gym.

Here’s the best, new workout equipment you should add to get your fitness on:

1. Adjustable Dumbbells

A common complaint about purchasing dumbbells is: “What do I do when I’ve outgrown the weight?”

A fair point; no one wants to dish out hard-earned cash on a set of weights only to be stuck with them once their fitness level has advanced. The Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights let you lift from 5 to 52.5 pounds in 2.5-pound increments. This is great for gym beginners, all the way up to intermediate strength training.

For heavier weights, try these Ativafit weights that boast a 71.5-pound limit.

2. Advanced Exercise Bench

The biggest problems people have at the gym with adjustable benches are usually staying comfortable, and the height of the seat.

For certain exercises (such as shoulder presses), you want to be seated lower and more upright. Usually, this is achieved with simply a smaller seat/bench rather than an adjustable one. An adjustable bench will get you low to the ground. It’s also very cost effective and should work for all your other bench-related exercises.

The Flybird bench is a little pricier, but comes with more adjustable positions, better quality padding and more safety features.

3. Kettlebells

Kettlebells offer new exercises (pain) that you never knew you wanted. In just the last few years, technology has taken big forward steps.

Popularized by celebs like Joe Rogan, kettlebells have become their own monster and that stands to benefit the consumer. This set of Yes4All kettlebells are available in packages of two or three, depending on your preference.

You also have the option of stylish, cast-iron pieces that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are effective. Or, step into the future with an adjustable kettlebell from Bowflex that’s as easy to set as an egg timer.

No matter your choice, research the material (iron, vinyl) and style you want, then look up exercises to accompany them. There may be a learning curve involved, but they are very effective.

4. Plyo Box

If the first question you may have is: what the heck is a ‘plyo box’?.. You are not alone Seems silly, but they’re incredibly effective and are in wide-spread use in the sports world.

No, it’s not a work bench. What started as people literally jumping on boxes to increase their vertical, has advanced into intricate stepping, jumping and lunging workouts. This a great way to increase core strength, flexibility and of course explosiveness.

Like kettlebells, this at-home exercise equipment can be found in a litany of styles and materials, but the Stamina | X plyo box adjusts for height, has a non-slip surface, and can support a lot of weight due to it’s design.

Additionally, NFL Super Bowl Champ Rob Gronkowski has his own design, a sleek, wooden plyo box that has three dimensions/heights, made of ‘sturdy Russian plywood’. Get that heart rate up and get ready for some weight loss.

5. Resistance Bands

In case you are unfamiliar, resistance bands are cheap, effective and stylish fitness bands that enhance workouts by activating multiple muscle groups at once during an exercise.

As exercise science (and Instagram) pushes us forward, resistance bands have become must-haves for any at-home gyms. Instantly enhancing work-outs such as squats, lunges and hip thrusts, resistance bands activate the hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes turning a simple exercise into a complex one.

While it deponds on the type of exerciser and their needs these GYMB bands are stylish and high-end, even with a seemingly low price.

Don’t forget, there are also resistance bands for weight training. When used on a bench press for example, they activate stabilizer muscles, letting you perfect form in a slow and controlled manner.

Short of a treadmill or elliptical, you’re only a few hundred dollars away from a complete home gym. But don’t worry, a track or a road doubles as a perfectly good ‘manual treadmill’. If it was good enough for Rocky Balboa in the Rocky movies, it’s probably good enough for you!

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