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As the holiday season reaches its peak, the inevitable chatter about New Year’s resolutions ramps up. Even before the gifts are unwrapped and we’ve raised a glass to the new year, people are looking ahead to the promise of a fresh start. For many people, better health will take the top spot on their list of things to do.
One of the biggest steps to improving your overall health is to increase movement and fitness levels. Getting a consistent activity habit going, along with eating nutritious foods, is the key to losing weight, increasing energy, and improving key health markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
If the commitment or cost of a gym membership scares you, then consider picking up some home gym equipment to give you the boost you need to get active. You don’t need to fill an entire room with gym equipment to improve your healthy habits, either. Many retailers have affordable options for a variety of fitness interests and ability levels.
We’ve put together a strong collection of gym equipment options for you to choose from as the new year approaches. Add a few of these to your cart and you’ll be ready to workout as soon as the ball drops.
TechStone Resistance Bands 5-Pack ($6 on sale)
This set of resistance bands we found on Amazon proves you don’t need fancy equipment to get a good workout at home. The five bands range in resistance from 10 to 40 pounds. When combined, you can get up to 115 pounds of resistance during a workout. Suitable for a variety of fitness activities including strength training, yoga, stretching and pull-ups, there are hundreds of ways to use this set, which also comes with a carrying case.
About 70% of Amazon shopper reviews give the Techstone resistance band set the full five stars. And, with nearly 7,600 reviews posted as of this writing, customers give it high marks for value, strength and ease of use.
“Bought these for my shoulder exercises when my previous one (different brand) broke,” wrote a buyer named Kevin in his own perfect review. “This one works great and really helps my shoulders stay loose and continues to strengthen them.”
Yes4All Vinyl-Coated Kettlebell Set ($45)
According to Harvard University, kettlebells engage several muscle groups at a time because the thicker handles allow athletes to hold heavier weights with more stability than dumbbells offer. This trio of kettlebells has three different weights for users to mix and match: 5, 10 and 15 pounds. Nearly 85% of more than 4,400 Amazon reviewers give this kettlebell set five stars and an overall mark of 4.7 stars.
“I wanted to get into kettlebell on days I don’t go to the gym,” wrote one Amazon-verified purchaser, who added that they looked up YouTube videos on kettlebells to guide their workouts. “With these kettlebells, you can get a full workout from home.”
Exerpeutic Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike ($134 on sale)
When you think of exercise bikes, you likely think of a bulky piece of equipment. The Exerpeutic Magnetic Bike only weighs 42 pounds and folds for easy storage but also boasts a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds. This piece of home gym equipment also comes with a large LCD panel that shows distance, time, speed, calories burned and heart rate.
This exercise bike normally sells for $179 but was marked down to $134 at Walmart.com as of this writing. This bike has nearly 2,000 reviews at Walmart and has a rating of 4.6 stars. Hazael, a Walmart-verified purchaser, gave it five stars and said they loved their purchase.
“I previously bought [a] larger bike for my cycling/spinning online class but returned it because it was just too bulky for my apartment and storing it after use required a really large closet,” they wrote in their review. “Then I saw this one and decided to give it a shot, I thought because it was foldable that it would not have the strength for a complete spinning class every day but I got really surprised, so far so good.”
Magic Circle Pilates Ring Circle and Thigh Master ($26)
This is not your mom’s — or even grandma’s — thigh master. The pilates Magic Circle is made with dual padded non-slip handles that promise to provide a low-impact, but effective workout. Along with the Magic Circle, the kit comes with a carrying bag and a poster (one to hang and a downloadable version for your phone/computer) to help illustrate many exercises to build pelvic floor strength, as well as improve abs, legs, arms, obliques and other muscles.
It’s listed as an “Amazon’s Choice” pick and has thousands of five-star grades from users.
Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands ($78 on sale)
This top-selling portable stair stepper gives you the benefit of a full-size piece of gym equipment, but at a fraction of the price and space required. It includes a digital monitor that displays the step count per workout, step-count history, workout time and calories burned. You can adjust the height to make a steep climb or do a series of quick-step workouts. As a bonus, the stairs come with a set of resistance bands to add an upper-body component to your stepping routine.
It’s normally $88 but was marked down to $78 as of this writing. More than 24,000 Amazon shoppers have reviewed this mini stepper and given it an overall rating of 4.4 stars. Many have given kudos for the stepper’s size, ease of use and setup of the resistance bands.
“This stepper is exactly what I wanted–a small machine with simple mechanics at a value price. It fits under my bed for easy storage and weighs about 15 pounds, so it’s easy to move around,” wrote Erin, an Amazon-verified purchaser. “The machine seems durable to me, and I use it about 5x a week, for 20-30 minutes. If you work out much more than that, you may want to invest in a more expensive, bigger machine.”
ProBody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball ($11 on sale)
This 9-inch exercise ball should not be underestimated. It’s generous enough for working on core strength, posture, balance and leg strength, but small enough to easily store and move around the house for workouts. Plus, it’s on sale right now for under $11, from its usual $17.
Listed as Amazon’s top seller among exercise ball accessories, this piece of home gym equipment has more than 10,000 reviews and a rating of 4.5 stars.
“Great for travel and home!” shared Jennifer, one Amazon-verified buyer. “I used a ball like this for the first time in exercise calls and liked how it loosened my hips and the small of my back, so I wanted one of my own. I really like this one … I brought it with me on various trips. It takes up almost no space in my bag when not inflated.”
Gaiam New Yoga Beginner’s Kit ($47)
If you’re thinking about giving yoga a try in the new year, then this kit at Walmart has everything you need. It comes with a yoga mat with guides for your hands and feet, a yoga block to help you get into more challenging poses, and a strap to work on flexibility and range of motion. This yoga kit also comes with two downloadable practices and prop training.
Portable Home Gym Workout Equipment ($66)
If you’re looking for an all-in-one set of home gym equipment, this kit can get you started with lots of workouts. It includes a collapsible training base that can be used with resistance bands or with a push-up trainer, ankle and wrist straps, an exercise guide poster, and plenty more.
Some buyers have complained about the price, although a quick search yielded plenty of comparable sets that are much more expensive, but many reviews are glowing. Satisfied buyers say it’s especially good for anyone who travels and wants to work out wherever they stay.
Total Gym Apex G1 ($300)
A home gym favorite for decades, Total Gym is still earning new fans today. The brand’s popular Apex G1 model comes with attachments that provide six different levels of resistance to combine for more than 60 exercises to work on your arms, legs, core, back and more. It supports a maximum weight of 300 pounds and comes with a built-in glide board, wing attachment, leg-pulls accessory, exercise wall chart, a DVD and access to Total Gym TV.
Plus, it folds flat for easy storage when you’re done exercising and need to get it out of the way.
“I wanted the Total Gym for years, finally got it for Xmas,” wrote Amazon an enthusiastic reviewer. “Works whole body, smarter! It’s easy on your joints for doing squats and everything else.”
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells ($429 on sale)
Marked down just in time for those New Year’s resolutions, this state-of-the-art adjustable dumbbell set not only gives you a customizable set of hand weights but also a year-long membership to JRNY, a digital fitness program.
Each dumbbell can be adjusted to any series of weights between 5 to 52 1/2 pounds. Just move the dial to lock in the weight you want and the remainder will stay in the base when you lift up the dumbbell. Its compact design doesn’t take up much room for storage, which is something Amazon users have raved about. Overall, they’ve given it a whopping 4.8 stars.
“An excellent solution for P90x or those that don’t want a house full of weights,” wrote user Jacopo in his own five-star review. “I was tired of leaving 8 different dumbells lying around on the floor of my den. After using these for roughly three months, I am very pleased with them.”