All the gyms are closing — what inexpensive items should I buy to work out at home?

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Hi Group Chat,

With many cities still in quarantine, a lot of gyms have limited the number of people they will let in. Most of the gyms by me closed, so I want to build my own at-home gym. I don’t want to spend a ton of money on equipment and workout gear, so any suggestions on inexpensive workout equipment are appreciated!


Frugal Fitness Girl

Dear Frugal Fitness Girl,

Julia Webb, who severely misses her IRL group workout classes, says: After a year in quarantine, I’ve finally found an at-home fitness routine that works for me. And if I had to describe it in one word, it would be minimal

So that’s why these elastic bands are my new go-to’s. While these bands are obviously great for working out your lower body, I love that you can also use them to work your arms and core just by modifying how you hold them. And since they’re under $10, you don’t need to splurge to get an awesome workout. Easy to store and easy to use, these elastic bands are a perfect addition to any at-home setup you’ve got. 

Shop my picks:

Shop: Resistance Exercise Bands, $6.79

Credit: Amazon

Ellie Conley, who considers exercising her therapy, says: Moving your body is free! That’s one reason I personally like running. But if you want a little equipment to kick up the burn, you can do a lot with a simple pair of dumbbells and loop bands. I use my bands to strengthen my arms, legs and bum.

If you’re looking for more cardio equipment, a Crossrope jump rope fits into small spaces (except, if you live in an apartment, it’s probably better for your neighbors that you jump rope outside). Trust me, fitness instructor Amanda Kloots has made jump roping cool again. And if you miss the classes at the gym, Obé Fitness is one of my personal favorite online workout platforms for HIIT, strength training, pilates and more. It costs $27 a month (less than $1 a day), the instructors are super encouraging and the average class is only 28 minutes long. 

Shop my picks:

Shop: Neoprene Hand Weight, $11.98+

Credit: Gaiam

Shop: 1/4 LB Jump Rope, $19

Credit: Crossrope

Brittany Nims, who believes running late is the best form of cardio, says: I found myself asking the same question a couple of weeks ago. I ultimately decided to purchase this compact stationary exercise bike on Amazon. With winter looming, I wanted a way to get a healthy amount of cardio each week without necessarily leaving my apartment to do so. This folding exercise bike is perfect for tiny spaces, too. I keep it folded up in the corner of my living room when not in use, and it just takes seconds to fold it out when you’re ready for a ride.

I also signed up for a Peloton digital subscription and mounted a small floating shelf on the wall in front of where I use the bike, so I can stream the Peloton classes from my iPad. So far, no complaints — especially for literally a tenth of the price of a Peloton bike. 10/10 would recommend!

Shop my picks:

Shop: Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike, $149

Credit: Amazon

Shop: Acadian Wood 3 Piece Floating Shelf Set, $47.99

Credit: Wayfair

Jamé Jackson, who wishes she wasn’t spending her final years in her 20s quarantined in the house, says: As a resident Hot Girl, I approach working out and fitness with a lens of comfortability and cute. Sure, you want the equipment to work well, but have you ever worn an outfit that just made you feel so delicious it incentivized you to work out? That’s how I feel about these trending leggings that were all over TikTok. They’re comfortable, and your booty looks *chef’s kiss*. Now, you will actually want to work out at some point or another, but if you look good, you feel good — honestly, that’s half the battle.

Shop my picks:

Shop: YAMOM High-Waist Workout Leggings, $26.88+

Credit: Amazon

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