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Cheap Ways to Exercise at Home Instead of Your Expensive Gym

updated May 3, 2019
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One of the biggest hurdles in my own fitness journey is just making it to the gym. Then, when I’m there, there’s waiting around for equipment to open up. And did I mention the high membership fees? I’ve tried a few at-home workout apps, but many of those require some kind of equipment, which can get pretty pricey pretty fast. Thankfully, some handy bloggers have found their own solutions to creating their home gyms. Here are some of our favorite DIYs to help you exercise at home, for little money.

(Image credit: Jen Woodhouse)

Even the simplest tools can help you meet your fitness goals. A plyometric box is, well, a box, that can be flipped to three different heights for jumps, dips, step ups, squats, elevated push ups, and more. Retail prices can easily pass $100, but Jen Woodhouse has the plans to make your own custom box for around $40.

(Image credit: Homemade Modern)

Ben from Homemade Modern shares a Murphy bed meets home gym that folds away when not in use—perfect for smaller apartments or for people that don’t want their exercise equipment hanging out in full view. Ben has a bunch of other similar tutorials for working out at home, including a DIY bench press.

(Image credit: Tidy Brown Wren)

Kelly’s husband made a multi-purpose bike stand that also converts into a stationary cycle. Inclement weather will never be an excuse again.

(Image credit: Travis Bow)

If you play sports that require explosive speed, add an agility ladder to your workout. You can purchase them online, or quickly whip one up for a few dollars à la Travis Bow. He shows how to make one for pennies (and shares his three favorite agility ladder workouts for good measure). Another cheap alternative is to just mark out a ladder with chalk or paint on your driveway.

(Image credit: Mr. Kate)

Let’s sprinkle in a little #homegyminspo while we’re at it. After all, if it takes beautiful workout space to inspire you to get moving, who are we to judge? Mr. Kate’s converted garage transcends “gym” and instead feels like a luxurious health spa complete with lemon water and eucalyptus-scented towels.

(Image credit: Gary House Studio)

Organizing your yoga mats shouldn’t bend you out of shape and make you lose motivation. Store them on a DIY rack—like Gray House Studio—to keep them within easy reach. (They also have these for sale if woodworking isn’t your thing.)