8 Best Budget-Friendly Pieces of Fitness Equipment for Home – CNET

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Updated on Oct. 13, 2023

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Giselle Castro-Sloboda

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Giselle Castro-Sloboda Fitness and Nutrition Writer

I’m a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys reviewing the latest fitness gadgets, testing out activewear and sneakers, as well as debunking wellness myths. On my spare time I enjoy cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run, hitting the weight room, or binge-watching many TV shows at once. I am a former personal trainer and still enjoy learning and brushing up on my training knowledge from time to time. I’ve had my wellness and lifestyle content published in various online publications such as: Women’s Health, Shape, Healthline, Popsugar and more.

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$48 at Amazon

Yes4all adjustable high-step aerobic platform

Adjustable high-step aerobic platform


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$331 at Amazon

bowflex select tech 552 adjustable dumbbells

Regular or adjustable dumbbells


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In the market for workout equipment to build up your home gym? It’s helpful to know that you aren’t limited to just expensive machines. There are many less expensive versions or items that are just as durable, easy to use and functional as the more expensive ones. For example, if you’ve been wanting a Peloton, but don’t have a Peloton budget, there are plenty of alternatives to pick from. It’s also important to acknowledge how much work space you have, so you are aware of the possible equipment options.

You can build a solid home gym without taking up too much room or breaking the bank. As an apartment dweller, I know a thing or two about how to optimize a space with fitness equipment to help you get a good workout in. Pick up some of the affordable pieces below to create your own workout space at home.

$11 at Amazon

Workout sliders

Workout sliders (also known as gliders) are one of the cheapest yet most effective pieces of equipment you can own. They’re typically flat and round, but are also available in different shapes. A set can cost less than $10 and can be found on Amazon or your local sporting goods store. These are a good tool to step up your core workouts at home, and because they’re dual-sided, they are hardwood floor and carpet-friendly. All you need is a smooth surface to use these and go. If you need exercise ideas on how to use workout sliders, CNET has a comprehensive guide. 

Workout sliders (also known as gliders) are one of the cheapest yet most effective pieces of equipment you can own. They’re typically flat and round, but are also available in different shapes. A set can cost less than $10 and can be found on Amazon or your local sporting goods store. These are a good tool to step up your core workouts at home, and because they’re dual-sided, they are hardwood floor and carpet-friendly. All you need is a smooth surface to use these and go. If you need exercise ideas on how to use workout sliders, CNET has a comprehensive guide. 

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Core sliders are a good way to get a full-body workout in.

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Workout sliders

Workout sliders (also known as gliders) are one of the cheapest yet most effective pieces of equipment you can own. They’re typically flat and round, but are also available in different shapes. A set can cost less than $10 and can be found on Amazon or your local sporting goods store. These are a good tool to step up your core workouts at home, and because they’re dual-sided, they are hardwood floor and carpet-friendly. All you need is a smooth surface to use these and go. If you need exercise ideas on how to use workout sliders, CNET has a comprehensive guide

$48 at Amazon

Adjustable high-step aerobic platform

You’ve probably seen a high-step aerobic platform during step classes, but this tool can be used for more than that. The high step is a good way to make your workouts more challenging by including step ups, rear foot elevated split squats, hip thrusts, elevated push ups, tricep dips and more. Some come in a long rectangular shape, while others come in a square shape. I personally prefer a square platform because it takes up minimal space if you don’t have the room for the longer version. Additionally, if you’d like to add more height to it, you can purchase extra risers separately.

You’ve probably seen a high-step aerobic platform during step classes, but this tool can be used for more than that. The high step is a good way to make your workouts more challenging by including step ups, rear foot elevated split squats, hip thrusts, elevated push ups, tricep dips and more. Some come in a long rectangular shape, while others come in a square shape. I personally prefer a square platform because it takes up minimal space if you don’t have the room for the longer version. Additionally, if you’d like to add more height to it, you can purchase extra risers separately.

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An Adjustable High-Step Aerobic Platform takes up minimal space and can make your lower-body workouts more challenging.

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$331 at Amazon

Regular or adjustable dumbbells

Dumbbells are a common piece of strength training equipment to have at home. Typically they’re inexpensive depending on the weight, but sometimes having multiple pairs around your home isn’t the most convenient. That’s why some people prefer adjustable dumbbells instead. Adjustable dumbbells can make up to 15 pairs of dumbbells in one set. However, they can be pricey. Some people prefer adjustable dumbbells since they save space and because sometimes they end up costing more or less the same as purchasing multiple pairs of dumbbells. 

Weight Range 5 to 52.5 lbs

Size 16.9″ L x 8.3″ W x 9″ H (43 x 21.2 x 22.8 cm)

Warranty 2 years

Storage Base Included Yes

Dumbbells are a common piece of strength training equipment to have at home. Typically they’re inexpensive depending on the weight, but sometimes having multiple pairs around your home isn’t the most convenient. That’s why some people prefer adjustable dumbbells instead. Adjustable dumbbells can make up to 15 pairs of dumbbells in one set. However, they can be pricey. Some people prefer adjustable dumbbells since they save space and because sometimes they end up costing more or less the same as purchasing multiple pairs of dumbbells. 

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You can’t go wrong with a pair of dumbbells or adjustable dumbbells for your home gym.

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Whether you choose regular or adjustable dumbbells depends on the weight ranges you prefer and if you need extra space in your home. Either way, you can’t go wrong with having one or the other in your home. Just make sure if you’re going to buy regular dumbbells that you have various weights as you progress in your training. If you are considering adjustable dumbbells, take a look at some of CNET’s favorite picks.

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$140 at Amazon

Suspension trainer

If you’re just learning to master your body weight, a suspension training system like a TRX is a good tool to have. These lightweight straps are portable and can be anchored to a door, outdoor posts and trees. They’re trainer-approved for assistance for full-body workouts — no matter your fitness level. Suspension trainers can also withstand bodyweight up to 350 pounds so it’s versatile for most people. There are many to pick from and price-wise can range as low as $25 to over $100. 

If you’re just learning to master your body weight, a suspension training system like a TRX is a good tool to have. These lightweight straps are portable and can be anchored to a door, outdoor posts and trees. They’re trainer-approved for assistance for full-body workouts — no matter your fitness level. Suspension trainers can also withstand bodyweight up to 350 pounds so it’s versatile for most people. There are many to pick from and price-wise can range as low as $25 to over $100. 

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A suspension trainer can be used indoors and outdoors and doesn’t take up a lot of space. 

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$50 at Amazon

Exercise mat

Having a good exercise mat can improve your home workout experience. It’s versatile enough to be used for yoga, pilates, strength training and even high-intensity exercises. I personally like a workout mat that is dual-sided so you have options to choose from. Additionally, making sure the mat has an excellent grip to withstand your yoga flow or bootcamp class is key. It should also have decent cushioning to absorb any impact created during your workout session. Although many expensive options are available, there are affordable selections that are just as good. It’s also helpful to know the right way to clean it if you’re planning on keeping it for the long haul.

Having a good exercise mat can improve your home workout experience. It’s versatile enough to be used for yoga, pilates, strength training and even high-intensity exercises. I personally like a workout mat that is dual-sided so you have options to choose from. Additionally, making sure the mat has an excellent grip to withstand your yoga flow or bootcamp class is key. It should also have decent cushioning to absorb any impact created during your workout session. Although many expensive options are available, there are affordable selections that are just as good. It’s also helpful to know the right way to clean it if you’re planning on keeping it for the long haul.

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A dual-sided thick workout mat that’s slip-resistant is ideal for your at-home workouts.

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$11 at Amazon

Resistance bands

If you’re having a hard time finding dumbbells and still want a way to build up your strength, then another option would be with resistance bands. Resistance bands are long (or short) rubber bands that come in a variety of weights and colors. They are a good starting point to familiarize yourself with some exercises if you’re a beginner and they are also useful to make some exercises harder if you’re advanced. A resistance band workout can target the upper and lower body, core and more. Resistance bands are an affordable piece of equipment and can range anywhere from as low as $10 to more than $100, depending on the brand and weight. There are plenty of options to choose from so you can’t go wrong with the set you choose for home use.

If you’re having a hard time finding dumbbells and still want a way to build up your strength, then another option would be with resistance bands. Resistance bands are long (or short) rubber bands that come in a variety of weights and colors. They are a good starting point to familiarize yourself with some exercises if you’re a beginner and they are also useful to make some exercises harder if you’re advanced. A resistance band workout can target the upper and lower body, core and more. Resistance bands are an affordable piece of equipment and can range anywhere from as low as $10 to more than $100, depending on the brand and weight. There are plenty of options to choose from so you can’t go wrong with the set you choose for home use.

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Resistance bands are inexpensive and a good tool to have around if you don’t have access to dumbbells. 

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$23 at Amazon

Exercise ball

An exercise or stability ball is inexpensive equipment that helps with your pilates, yoga practice and more. It’s a large, round, inflatable ball that comes in different diameter sizes that you can select based on your height. An exercise ball is a good way to challenge your core and relieve back pain, and it can even be used for prenatal exercises. It also doesn’t take up much space and can be used in place of your home office chair, if you prefer. 

An exercise or stability ball is inexpensive equipment that helps with your pilates, yoga practice and more. It’s a large, round, inflatable ball that comes in different diameter sizes that you can select based on your height. An exercise ball is a good way to challenge your core and relieve back pain, and it can even be used for prenatal exercises. It also doesn’t take up much space and can be used in place of your home office chair, if you prefer. 

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An exercise ball doesn’t take up much room, is inexpensive and can be used for yoga or Pilates practice at home.

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$22 at Walmart

Ankle and wrist weights

If you’re looking for a way to add extra resistance to low-impact exercises such as walking or your pilates class, then you may want to consider ankle and wrist weights. Although there are limitations with ankle and wrist weights, they are still helpful in strengthening your lower and upper body. A pair comes in several weight sizes ranging from a quarter pound to 20 pounds. Generally, experts recommend sticking with the lighter weights to get the most use out of them. Ankle and wrist weights are also inexpensive and can cost around $10 or as much as $40 — if you’re looking to splurge. 

If you’re looking for a way to add extra resistance to low-impact exercises such as walking or your pilates class, then you may want to consider ankle and wrist weights. Although there are limitations with ankle and wrist weights, they are still helpful in strengthening your lower and upper body. A pair comes in several weight sizes ranging from a quarter pound to 20 pounds. Generally, experts recommend sticking with the lighter weights to get the most use out of them. Ankle and wrist weights are also inexpensive and can cost around $10 or as much as $40 — if you’re looking to splurge. 

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Add extra resistance to low-impact exercises with ankle and wrist weights.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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