Advanced Search

How to Build a Home Gym For Less Than $200

Your Guide To Getting Fit For Less

Fitness happens when exercise is convenient. Learn how to build a home gym under $200 for everything from bulking up to slimming down.

Home Fitness Goals

Even a cheap home gym can support every fitness goal. Goal examples include:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Stress management
  • Weight loss

Below we share seven gym items that together meet all these objectives. Most of the equipment helps meet more than one goal. For example, a few benefits of lifting dumbbells are weight loss, greater strength and healthier bone density.

Sample exercises are mentioned below. For pro guidance you can follow a home video workout program.

Home Fitness Equipment: Seven Essentials

Little storage space is needed for the items on our cheap home gym list. Still, this list doesn’t include compact fitness machines like bikes and treadmills; they cost more than $200 each. Our grand total for the equipment below is $195.


1. Adjustable Dumbbells

An adjustable dumbbell set has two bars (metal rods) that can hold round weight plates. You can switch out the plates for variety. An adjustable set is a great alternative to a traditional dumbbell set, which is heavier and takes more space.

Sample Exercises: Biceps curl, triceps kickback, lateral raise, upright row

Cost: For cheaper brands the cost per weight is about $1/pound: Spend $40, get 40 pounds to lift. You can find these deals on Amazon. You can also go the luxury route and buy adjustable dumbbells with Bluetooth for tracking your reps.


2. Adjustable Bench

An adjustable workout bench can lay flat or incline. You don’t need a bench for dumbbell work, but you’ll have more exercise options.

The best benches have good cushioning, durable material and multiple incline settings. You might also want a bench with a flip-out section that can secure your feet.

Sample Exercises: Ab crunch, dumbbell squeeze press, incline dumbbell bench press

Cost: Low-priced adjustable benches cost about $70 to $110 online. Light commercial workout benches and other high-end versions cost about $300.


3. Jump Rope

Jumping rope is convenient cardio exercise and can add a bit of childlike joy to your workouts. Unless weather is uncooperative, we like to take the jump rope outside. It keeps the house quiet and feels more energizing.

Sample Exercises: Fifty examples of jump rope exercises are in the following video. Sunlight is lacking but the exercises are useful:

Cost: A jump rope with soft grips costs about $5.


4. Pull Up Bar

A pull up bar can easily be attached to a door frame. You can install it permanently or just hang it for workouts. You can also use this equipment as a support with floor exercises.

Some bars are more advanced than others. They support multiple gripping positions for more exercises.

Sample Exercises: pull up, wide-grip pull up, chin up, push up

Cost: You can buy a good doorway pull up bar for about $25. The best options have foam grips for comfort. They can support about 300 pounds.


5. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands can make exercises easier or more challenging. People use them for stretching and resistance. The amount of resistance available depends on the band. Often bands are sold in sets of three or more to support your progress and exercise diversity.

Our favorite resistance bands have handles attached. Handles make it easy to secure the bands with your hands or feet. Some bands are also designed for easy attachment to doorways.

Sample Exercises: Leg curl, overhead press, chest press

Cost: You can buy a resistance band set for about $10 to $20. The best deal on Amazon includes a guidebook and video instructions for less than $10 total.


6. Stability Ball

A stability ball can support exercises for balance, flexibility and other workout goals. You might let it double as a chair during non-workout time, as it has benefits even when used informally.

Sample Exercises: backbend or bridge, plank, side crunch

Cost: A durable stability ball costs about $15 to $25.

7. Workout Mat

A workout mat keeps you clean during floor exercises. A thick mat can also make exercises safer and more comfortable by reducing the shock of impact to your joints and tendons.

Sample Exercises: ab crunch, weighted push-up, yoga pose

Cost: Thick roll-up workout mats cost about $15 to $30. Spending more, you could instead buy an extra-large thick mat or spongy interlocking tiles to resurface your home gym floor.


The Grand Total

As just shown, you can build a home gym for under $200 with the following equipment. Our grand total is $195.



Cost Estimate
Adj. Dumbbells


Adj. Bench


Jump Rope


Pull Up Bar


Res. Bands


Stability Ball


Workout Mat




Together these seven items create a basic but effective home gym. You’ll have everything you need to accomplish cardio workouts, strength training and other fitness goals!

Related Articles at

  • Home Workout Videos: For exercise guidance see our reviews of home workout videos. Included are streaming workout videos and programs on DVDs. These video exercise programs involve just the equipment above, or none at all. Get world-class instruction in the comfort of your new home gym.
  • Decorating Your Home Gym: Our blog entry “Build A Home Gym You’ll Love To Use” has tips about workout mirrors, paint colors, flooring and more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.