Fitness is vital to overall health, and because of that, it’s a billion-dollar industry. We’ve all experienced the long lines, expensive memberships, and questionable hygiene in commercial gyms. Avoid the hassle and reduce your stress levels by purchasing quality exercise equipment to use in the privacy of your home. Get your cardio on, focus on those abs, or improve your strength levels. You can create the ultimate gym at home without causing a huge dent in your bank account if you know what to look for.

Adjustable dumbbells increase strength

Cost-efficient, adjustable dumbbells allow you to change their weight quickly without making a considerable investment. Look for padded handles for an easy, comfortable grip. While machines generally allow one motion in a single muscle or muscle group, dumbbells are useful for a wide array of exercises. Add them to your workout for joint-isolation exercises like bicep curls and shoulder raises. Holding barbells while performing lunges work the upper leg and buttocks muscles and increase the potency of your workout.

strength building adjustable dumbbells Tero Vesalainen / Getty Images


Kettlebells build both strength and endurance

Research shows that when you combine high-intensity cardio and weight training, the body kicks into high-gear and increased fat-burning mode. Plus, it creates healthy muscle tone that is important to overall fitness. Kettlebells improve core strength, flexibility, and coordination and are great additions for your all-around workout. They also help you sculpt healthy, lean muscle. These cast iron balls with a handle are compact and don’t take up much space. Purchase a single weight or a set with varying weights.

endurance sculpt muscle kettlebells Tempura / Getty Images


Rowing machine for cardio and muscle-strengthening

Whether you’re looking for a pre-workout warmup option or a bulk-up for back, arm, and shoulder muscles, rowing machines are a great solution. According to exercise experts, rowing machines target 85% of the body’s muscles if you’re performing full-stroke movements properly. You’ll work your core, legs, arms, and back while increasing your cardiovascular capacity. Better posture is an additional bonus. Look for high-quality, durable models. Cheaply made, budget models are hard to use and won’t hold up to daily workouts.

cardio movement warmup rowing machine AJ_Watt / Getty Images


Balance trainer for an overall workout

An essential part of fitness is balance, the ability to stabilize and maintain a specific body position. To increase balance and exercise the lower and lumbar stabilizer muscles, invest in a versatile balance trainer or balance ball. This two-sided fitness tool is an inflatable rubber dome on one side and a solid flat platform on the other. Sports medicine professionals suggest this type of equipment for people who are not only recovering from sports injuries but working to prevent them. Research shows that balance training improves motor skills, kinesthetic awareness, and balance. Some people also utilize the balance trainer to add intensity to a workout.

fitness stabilize lumbar balance trainer RichLegg / Getty Images


Bodyweight resistance equipment builds muscle

If you’re seeking exercise equipment that not only takes up very little space but is also budget-friendly, invest in bodyweight resistance equipment. This type of training uses the body’s weight as resistance to build muscle and increase strength. Experts say bodyweight resistance training is less strenuous on the joints and is an exceptional training method for a full-body workout. There are several types of resistance equipment, including resistance bands and portable suspension bodyweight trainers, which can support up to 350 pounds.

bodyweight muscle resistance weight Wavebreakmedia / Getty Images


Foam roller improves symmetrical muscle function

Everyone loves a good massage. A foam roller is a cylinder that you lay on for self-massage. Using your body weight and a variety of different positions, you can apply pressure to different muscle groups, such as the quads, hamstrings, and shoulders. Rolling on the cylinder releases built-up tension in the fascia, a thin tissue that connects the muscles. This improves performance and the integrity of muscle tissue. Use a foam roller before workouts to increase elasticity, blood flow, and range of motion. Or, use it after a workout to stimulate blood flow to overworked muscles. Trainers say foam rollers are especially beneficial for endurance athletes.

massage cylinder rolling foam roller FreshSplash / Getty Images


Gliding discs lengthen and strengthen muscles

When you engage a full range of motion in the body’s major muscle groups, you not only strengthen the muscles but lengthen them. This improves posture and prevents injuries. Available in round or oblong shapes, you can use gliding discs during lunges and push-ups to add friction and instability. Because you’re keeping pressure on the discs to stay in movement, they work your muscles harder. Gliding discs are a low-impact exercise tool, they’re portable, and they’re affordable for any budget.

lengthen strengthen posture gliding discs microgen / Getty Images


Cross-country ski machine for low-impact cardio

This classic piece of exercise equipment is still a favorite for people seeking both an upper and lower body workout. The rhythmic workout not only burns calories but is an efficient aerobic exercise. It’s low-impact, which means it’s easy on the knees and joints. Adjustable resistance levels allow you to choose a level for your workout session. Target specific areas and avoid others, a handy option if you have an injury. Choose between ski machines with an arm pulley or poles. Portable machines allow you to easily move them wherever you wish, whether it’s in the comfort of your living room or your backyard.

cross country ski machine pole Jokic / Getty Images


Adjustable bench for weight training

Strength training requires a range of workout angles. Adjustable weight benches provide stability and help you maintain proper posture and improve core strength while training. For those who are new to weight-lifting, access to some muscles can be challenging. It’s not only hard to maintain the proper form, but it’s also challenging to manage the correct breathing. Weight benches, which adjust to either a sitting or lying position, make it easier to access a broader range of muscle groups or specific areas and provide the stability and support necessary to try out new weight-lifting exercises.

adjustable weight bench Vudhikul Ocharoen / Getty Images


Battle ropes improve dexterity and burn calories

One of the most overlooked exercise options for the home is the battle rope. If you’re not familiar with this amazing piece of fitness equipment, you should be. It consists of two ropes that attach to a fixed point. Many models come with an anchor that screws into a wall or other fixture. Wave or whip these heavy ropes in any direction to work different muscles in the body. Battle ropes burn calories, build endurance, increase dexterity, and improve your overall conditioning level. Best of all, battle ropes fit any fitness level. Add them to lunges, squats, and lateral movement routines to increase workout benefits.

burn calories endurance battle ropes Sushiman / Getty Images


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