Best Budget-Friendly Home Gym Strength Training Equipment in 2021

Posted by Aaron Laurence on Aug 20th 2021

A female athlete trains with YBells in her home gym.
YBells make a great addition to any home gym.

Best Budget-Friendly Home Gym Strength Training Equipment in 2021

Are you ready to take the plunge and expand your home gym beyond that set of dumbbells and yoga mat? If so, you may as well get the best bang for your buck.

By adding these best budget-friendly workout equipment to your home gym, you’ll be equipped to stick to your fitness routine and achieve your health goals.

Why Build a Home Gym?

Even if you enjoy working out in a gym or studio, sometimes it’s just not feasible to fit a commute and workout into your packed schedule. Our goal is to find ways to help you make fitness a priority.

By having a gym set up in your home — whether it’s a dedicated room, your garage, or some workout equipment stored under your bed — you’re dedicating time, money, and space in your life to make your physical and mental health a priority.

You can still attend a gym or group workout sessions if camaraderie is something that keeps you motivated. But a home gym allows you to sneak in quick resistance training sessions or small workouts during your active recovery days. And you can always invite a buddy to train in your home gym with you.

5 Considerations For Choosing Budget Workout Tools

Bearing in mind that everyone’s health and fitness goals, budget, and overall lifestyle are different, it’s best to weigh these five considerations before purchasing budget workout tools for your home gym.

1. Determine Your Budget

Many people think it’s too expensive to build a home gym, especially when you start adding up all the pieces of equipment you see in commercial gyms. While the sky could be the limit for your home gym, you might want to establish a budget before you start buying.

You only need a few critical pieces of equipment to create a stellar home gym. With a budget as low as $150, you could have all the budget home gym equipment you need. And, you can always add more tools over time as your budget allows.

2. Look for Quality Equipment

Price isn’t the ultimate indicator of quality. But keep in mind that going for the bottom of the barrel could result in products that don’t work as intended or need constant replacement. Pay attention to user reviews. And it never hurts to stick to brands you know and trust.

3. Define Your Fitness Goals

It’s helpful to identify your long-term fitness goals before you start purchasing equipment. Are you trying to lose weight, increase your endurance, gain muscle mass, or trying to strengthen and tone your muscles? Whatever your goal, strength training equipment can help you. However, some pieces will be more targeted toward your goal, so focus on those for your initial purchases.

4. Evaluate Your Workout Space

For some, the ideal home gym is a world-class studio with mirrored walls, thick mats on the floor, machines at each workout station, and built-in heating and central air. While it would be great to have all the bells and whistles, they’re not required to create an effective workout space.

All you need is a small area in your home where you can stretch out. Can you move your car out of the garage to create a temporary workout spot? Have you tried pushing the coffee table into a corner so you can lay an exercise mat in front of the TV? Maybe you can lift some free weights while sitting at your desk in your home office.

5. How Will You Organize Your Home Gym?

Organizing will ultimately come down to how much space you have in your home gym. Check out our recent blog on home gym organization for help with assessing your workout space, planning your layout, and creative storage ideas to keep your equipment tidy and accessible.

YBells Are Perfect Budget Home Gym Equipment

YBell is a versatile, 4-in-1 workout tool that replaces conventional fitness equipment — dumbbells, kettlebells, double-grip med balls, and push-up bars. Unlike traditional workout equipment, YBells are accessible for athletes of all physical skills. They’re easy for beginners while also expertly designed to offer a fitness challenge for pro athletes.

Why buy four pieces of equipment when you only need one YBell?

YBells are made for standard strength training exercises and high-intensity resistance training, which also helps you get your cardio in. With its multi-handled design, smooth grip transitions make it perfect for compound movements for functional training and mobility training.

You’d expect that such a multifaceted tool would come with a high price point, but they’re much more affordable than conventional equipment. Using the prices below for two 10-lb kettlebells, two 10-lb dumbbells, one 10-lb double-grip med ball, and a set of push-up stands, the cost comes to just under $145 before shipping. The price for two XS YBells (10 lb / 4.5 kg) is $109.98 before shipping.

In addition to the lower price point, the all-in-one YBells also take less space in your home gym. It’s a win-win-win across the board for your exercise routine, your budget, and your home gym.

The Best Budget Traditional Strength Training Equipment

There’s a lot of fitness equipment out there, and your fitness goals and training modality will largely dictate the budget home gym equipment you purchase. We’ve compiled a list of home gym essentials for strength or resistance training.

Each piece is meant to offer you versatility in your resistance training and will fit in home gyms of all sizes.

1. Best Budget Resistance Bands

Resistance bands should be part of every home gym. They’re commonly used for warming up before a workout as well as muscle recovery. However, resistance bands are great for adding resistance to any exercise, which helps to increase the difficulty without needing to increase the weight size you’re working with.

We Recommend: Latex Resistance Bands, 5-Piece Set — $11.77

Used for:

  • Warmups
  • Stretching
  • Muscle recovery and physical therapy
  • Toning muscles
  • Strength training

Pro Tip: Resistance bands can also help you focus on using proper form as you learn and perfect new movements, which is vital before moving up to challenging weight loads.  

2. Best Budget Compact Mat

If you’re doing any groundwork or high-impact exercises with your strength training, mats will come in handy for your home gym. They’re also helpful for protecting your hands and knees, as well as your hardwood floors. If you’re a fan of portable workouts, they’re handy for giving you a clean and stable surface to exercise on.

We Recommend: YBell Compact Mat — $23.99

Used for:

  • Stretching, balance, and stability
  • Added comfort for joints
  • High-impact plyometric exercises
  • Strength training
  • HIRT workouts

Pro Tip: The YBell Compact Mat is excellent for ground-based and core workouts. It also comes with instructional indicators if you’re using the YBell pod-style workouts.

3. Best Budget Dumbbells

Dumbbells are among the safest budget workout tools for home gyms because they’re safer for solo workouts. You can still add intensity to your training without the need for a spotter.

Dumbbell exercises allow you to increase your range of motion and work in multiple planes of motion — bicep curls for the sagittal plane, lateral dumbbell raises for the frontal plane, and dumbbell wood chops for the transverse plane.

We Recommend: 10 lb Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Set — $34.99

Used for:

  • Calorie burn / weight loss
  • Building muscle
  • Muscle coordination and flexibility
  • Strength training
  • HIRT workouts

Pro Tip: Dumbbells are perfect workout tools for anyone recovering from an injury. They’re designed to be grasped with one hand, allowing you to still lift with your left arm if you’re recovering from a strained right bicep.

4. Best Budget Kettlebells

If you’re new to working out with kettlebells, a 10 lb weight is a great place to start. Kettlebells are great for developing forearm and upper-body strength. Beyond strength, they’re also perfect for burning calories and increasing your endurance.

If your budget requires you to choose between kettlebells and dumbbells, our recent blog can help you decide which is better for your training goals.

We Recommend: 10 lb Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell — $18.49

Used for:

  • Calorie burn / weight loss
  • Endurance
  • Building muscle
  • Strength training
  • HIRT workouts

Pro Tip: Kettlebell exercises and workouts are all about power movements, so an exercise mat will add some comfort to your joints.

5. Best Budget Double-Grip Medicine Ball

Med balls are a versatile budget strength training tool. Explosive exercises like squat throws and rock and roll-ups make them great for toning and shaping muscles, as well as reducing body fat.

We Recommend: Zelus 10 lb Medicine Ball with Dual Grip — $49.99

Used for:

  • Boosting speed and coordination
  • Physical endurance
  • Muscle toning
  • Strength training
  • HIRT workouts

Pro Tip: Medicine ball exercises often call for a lot of reps. Remember to add short, explosive sets to your workout regimen.

6. Best Budget Slam Balls

Slam balls are very similar to medicine balls, but with one crucial difference: slam balls have thicker walls and surfaces. Thick walls make them more ideal for throwing — or slamming — against walls and other hard surfaces. Popular exercises include scoop overhead throws, reverse lunge chest passes, and explosive walk-over push-ups.

We Recommend: 10 lb Arrow Grip Exercise Slam Ball — $32.99

Used for:

Pro Tip: Slam ball exercises tend to look like they’re all upper-body work. You want to engage your entire body for the explosive force needed for slams and throws. For example, an overhead throw should start from your feet and up to the calves, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and then your core abdominal muscles before your shoulders and arms fully engage.

7. Best Budget Push-up Bars

While you can undoubtedly do push-ups straight off the ground, push-up bars increase your range of motion. The elevated level helps you to burn calories and build upper-body strength faster. The grips also help protect your wrists from joint damage, allowing you to perfect the quality of your push-ups.

We Recommend: Adidas Premium Pushup Bars — $22.87

Used for:

  • Increasing range of motion
  • Working stabilizer muscles
  • Muscle development
  • Strength training
  • HIRT workouts

Pro Tip: Even if you prefer regular push-ups, bars can come in handy for exercises like L-sits, handstands, tricep dips, and mountain climbers.

8. Best Budget Foam Roller

Foam rollers are typically 12 to 36 inches in length, though 24 inches offers more versatility for releasing tension in your back. For post-workout muscle release, start with light pressure and build up the pressure as you progress. Roll tender muscles for 5 to 10 seconds, and increase up to 60 seconds as your muscles adjust to the tension.  

We Recommend: 24-Inch High-Density Round Foam Roller — $18.99

Used for:

  • Warmups
  • Self-myofascial release
  • Active muscle recovery
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Cooling down after a workout

Pro Tip: Look for medium- to high-density rollers to get a deeper muscle massage. For a more intense muscle release, there are also textured and trigger-point rollers available.

Aaron "Az" Laurence, Co-Founder, YBell Fitness

As a certified personal trainer and the inventor of the YBell, Aaron "Az" Laurence loves motivating people to become better versions of themselves. He enjoys designing challenging workouts for himself that he can use with his clients.
Az developed the YBell to replace the multiple pieces of equipment he was using in his group training sessions. He enjoys seeing his clients' reactions when they realize they only have to change grips on their YBells to change equipment. And he loves being able to dial up the intensity of their workouts with just one training tool.
Seeing clients progress both physically and mentally as a result of training fuels his passion for the fitness industry.