The Best Gym Equipment and Gear Under $25

With so much high-tech gym equipment dominating headlines and social media, it’s easy to forget that it doesn’t have to cost more than a month’s rent or a mortgage to have gym equipment at home. In fact, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned exerciser, whether you have 10 minutes or a full hour, just buying a few strategic, budget-friendly products can help you organize and optimize your home workout sessions.

The weekly exercise recommendation, provided by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week (or some combination of the two), plus at least two Muscle-strengthening activity. No matter what the company wants you to believe, you don’t need a $2,500 exercise bike or an expensive, clunky rack to elevate your heart rate or make your muscles twitch (no, we’re not recommending that you use soup for your biceps crimp jar).

Ready to turn any space into your own gym? We polled several fitness experts for their picks for the most compact and affordable home gym equipment.

Best for Affordable DIY Massages

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“Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, a technique used to release muscle tension and increase flexibility and flexibility,” says Michael Hamlin, certified strength and conditioning specialist and founder of EverFlex Fitness . You can use a 12-inch foam roller like this one to work everything from your back to your calves, and although this roller costs less than $10, “the high-density foam holds the weight and pressure of your body so it doesn’t Regular use breaks down and provides more stress to the muscles, which helps tie knots more efficiently,” says Hamlin.

Best Budget-Friendly Strength Training Tool

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Resistance bands are an extremely versatile portable strength training tool, and this set includes five for less than $15. “One of the best ways to activate smaller, underactive muscles is to use lighter tension resistance bands,” says Hamlin. Placing it around the ankle and stepping to the side will activate the gluteus medius, while wrapping it around the foot and stepping in place will strengthen the hip flexors. If you get stronger, you can easily adjust the intensity by changing the straps. Plus, “high-quality natural latex watch straps are a more comfortable option because they resist chafing,” says Hamlin.

The Best Basics for Working Out at Home

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A good yoga mat isn’t just for asanas. It can be a stable foundation for bodyweight exercises and strength training—unlike a smooth wooden floor or an uneven back. “This one is 1/2 inch thick, which gives your joints plenty of cushioning, but not so thick that it affects your balance,” says Hamlin. And “the non-slip surface helps prevent injuries during dynamic movements,” he adds. A support point that is safe to exercise means exercising will be more comfortable — the more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Best for easy fit and upper body work

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Don’t worry, this pull-up bar won’t damage your door frame—it’s connected by a system of levers, so no drilling is required. Once it’s in place, “not only can you use it for pull-ups and pull-ups, they target multiple muscle groups, including your lats, biceps, forearms, and shoulders, but also for hanging legs and Keep your knees elevated, which engages your abs, hip flexors, and lower back,” says Erik Brown, UESCA-certified running coach and ACE-certified personal trainer.

Best for Upgraded Sit-Ups


Forget crunches—the ab roller fires more energy than your core. “If you roll the wheel away from your body, it requires balance and stability, putting progressive resistance on your abs, back, shoulders, and arms,” ​​says Brown, meaning the farther you roll, the harder you push Bring it back into your body. “This affordable option is lightweight, has a compact design for easy storage and transport, and is designed with a non-slip handle for a secure grip,” he says.

Best for Balanced Work

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“The most important benefit of using a medicine ball is that it challenges your balance,” says Olesia Stefanko, developer of the HitFit fitness program. Imagine doing a sit-up with a ball and the floor; the ball moves naturally, and you have to engage more of your muscles to try to keep the ball in place while you’re doing the exercise, she says. (On the other hand, “using a ball during exercises like squats or sitting against a wall can take some stress off your back,” she says.) “I like this particular exercise ball because it’s made of a soft but very compressive material that strikes a good balance between flexibility and stability,” says Stefanko. “The matte finish also makes it safer to use when you’re sweating.”

Best for Targeting Specific Muscles

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“There’s a reason the Pilates ring is called the ‘magic circle’: It’s a multipurpose tool that intensely targets your muscles, especially your inner thighs, core, and arms,” ​​says Stefanko. This isn’t just for Pilates; she explains that it’s only designed to add resistance to certain movements—it could be as simple as holding it between your knees while sitting and moving in and out with control. “This particular Pilates ring has a large diameter, the mat is the right size, and the ratio of material softness and resistance is perfect,” says Stefanko. “It works great in the long run without snapping or losing the spring.”

Best for improving simple movements


“Gliders are an easy way to take bodyweight exercises—like planks, knee flexions, hill climbs, and pikes—to the next level,” says ISSA certified trainer Jilliann Schembri; because they slide on the floor, they increase An unstable factor that engages your core better. They’re virtually weightless, which makes them easy to carry, and “these gliders are made of material that won’t ‘snap’ as you glide, making them perfect for laying on tile and won’t scratch your wood floors.”

Best for Cardio

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Jumping rope is a very effective aerobic exercise. “By working multiple large muscle groups at once, it forces blood and oxygen to flow around our body, keeping our heart rate up almost all the time,” says Schembri. rope because the slight increase in weight creates more resistance when you jump, which is essential for muscle building and building strength.”

Best Low Cost Smart Weights

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No need to litter your space with heavy objects. “I believe in using lighter weights and higher reps,” says Whitney Berger, certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and owner of WhitFit NYC. Sustained tension is just as challenging as lifting multiple weights for only a few repetitions. “With constant intense training, it’s important to keep track of your reps, and these smart dumbbells sync with an app via Bluetooth to help you monitor your workout.” In addition to reps, they can also log how many minutes you’ve worked out and have a Built-in countdown timer.

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