10 Awesome Pieces of Affordable Home Fitness Equipment

Lebert Equalizer Bars

lebert equalizer bars. Lebert Fitness

While it's completely possible to enjoy a great workout at home without the use of equipment, adding a few items to your home gym can keep your workouts fresh and interesting.

But rather than spend beaucoup bucks on weights and cardio machines, it's perfectly acceptable (and every bit as beneficial) to opt for more affordable home fitness equipment options. Basic dumbbells are good, but your low-cost options don't end there. Try a few of these fun and functional options to add spice to your next home workout. 

Lebert Equalizer Bars

Lebert Equalizer Bars are an all-around great piece of equipment to have at home. They cost between $100 and $120, depending on where you make your purchase, and they can be used for everything from barre exercise routines to plyometric workouts. Plus, they're light and portable, making it easy to take them with you wherever you go.

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sandbag. Alpha Strong

The beauty of sandbags and sandbag workouts is that the sand held within the bag is constantly shifting. That means your body is forced to engage the smaller, stabilizing muscles of your hips, shoulders, and core while performing otherwise standard exercises. For instance, doing lunges while holding a 50-pound sandbag over a shoulder is much more challenging than doing lunges while holding 2, 25-pound dumbbells because your body is forced to adjust as the sand shifts within the bag.

While it's possible to make your own sandbag for less than $50, a professionally-designed option can cost up to $200, depending on weight. The one shown from Alpha Strong costs $150.

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kettlebells. Rogue Fitness

Because kettlebells are weighted unequally—the bell of the kettlebell weighs more than the handle—your body is forced to work harder during exercises to accommodate the imbalance. This is particularly true during swinging and explosive movements, but is also true for standard, dumbbell-like exercises, such as biceps curls and shoulder presses.

Kettlebells range in price by weight, but you can expect to pay a minimum of $2 per pound.  The pictured kettlebells are a high-quality model from Rogue Fitness, but if price is a factor, shop locally so you don't have to pay for shipping, and consider buying from second-hand sporting goods stores, such as PlayItAgain Sports.

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Repurposed Tire

used tires. Sean Gallup / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty images

Amazingly, basic old tires can do wonders when used as home fitness equipment. In fact, entire workout programs, such as Amenzone Rebel, have been designed around the use of a simple tire. The trick is, tires can be used for any number of moves, including triceps dips, agility drills, and swinging exercises, making them a great (and inexpensive!) option for home fitness equipment.

You might be able to pick up a used tire for free from a junk yard, just make sure you wash it well before use. Otherwise, you can purchase one from Amenzone for about $40.

Combat Rope

battle rope. Title MMA

Combat ropes, also known as battle ropes, are a unique piece of equipment that's surprisingly effective. When you secure the center of the rope around a sturdy structure (like a pole), you can swing the handles up-and-down or back-and-forth in an all-out effort that's downright exhausting. And while you'd think swinging a rope with your arms would be an upper body workout, the motion, when done correctly, actually engages your entire body, particularly your core.

There's no reason you can't make your own combat rope with heavy-duty rope (usually between 1.5- to 2.5-inches thick) that's at least 30-feet long. The trick is to wrap the ends with duct tape to improve grip and prevent fraying.

If you don't want to make your own rope, you can pick one up from an online vendor. The pictured rope from Title MMA costs between $200 to $250 for a 30-foot rope.

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bosu ball. BOSU

BOSU stands for "Both Sides Up," and this odd-looking piece of workout equipment is great for developing balance and coordination. Plus, it can be used for everything from ab exercises to balance squats and plyometric pushups.

BOSU balls typically cost between $90 and $150, depending on the model you select and the vendor you purchase from, but you can find off-brand balance tools that are similar to the BOSU ball for about $50 from retailers like Amazon. 

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Suspension Trainer or Rings

trx suspension trainer. TRX Suspension

Suspension trainers—like the pictured TRX —and gymnastics-like rings are excellent for performing practically every exercise you can think of, including pushups, squats, lunges, abdominal work, pull-ups, and more. The nature of the equipment automatically introduces instability into each exercise, requiring you to engage your core and your stabilizing muscles.

Pricing for suspension trainers and rings varies widely by brand, but you can typically find them from $30 to $200. The basic TRX trainer costs $99.

Even if you don't have a suspension trainer, you can turn a swing into a makeshift system. Check out these suspension-like swing exercises.

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Plyo Boxes

plyo box. Rogue Fitness

While plyo boxes (plyometric boxes) aren't the be-all, end-all of home fitness equipment, they are an excellent tool to add to your arsenal if you have the space and budget to do so. You can perform lots of exercises, including step-ups, pushups, dips, and (of course) plyometric box jumps with the box. And because they're sturdy, you can even use them in place of a bench.

The pictured plyo box from Rogue Fitness is particularly nice because it's a 3-in-1 version—depending on how you turn the box, the height varies accordingly. This one's available for $125.

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slideboard. Sports Supply

Rather than cough up thousands of dollars for a treadmill or stationary bike, invest in a slideboard. Slideboards function as a cardio "machine," giving you the means to slide back-and-forth laterally, as if you were speed skating. You can also use a slideboard to make body weight moves, such as lunges, pikes, and pushups, more difficult to perform.

There are lots of slideboards on the market, but the one pictured is available at Sports Supply for $350.

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Hula Hoop

hula hoop. FXP Hula Hoop

Who says hula hoops need to stay on the playground? Hooping is actually a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and when you use a hooping system, like the FXP Hula Hoop DVDs, you'll perform a number of other strength and flexibility training exercises for a full-body hula hoop workout.

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