The coronavirus pandemic has boosted sales for the at-home fitness industry and led many retailers to lower prices on exercise equipment while also driving traditional brick-and-mortar businesses such as Orangetheory and Planet Fitness to stream free or low-cost exercise classes.
If you’re building a home gym, here are six must-haves that won’t bust your budget, recommended by Louis Ramirez, deals editor at products-review site Tom’s Guide. Note that some items may be temporarily out of stock.
Rowing machine: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 ($165)
This no-frills rower features 12 levels of resistance and an LCD display that shows time and calories burned. It’s small and doesn’t make much noise, “so you can use it while watching TV,” Ramirez says.
Free online exercise classes
If you need a little motivation to keep hitting your gym, there are a handful of great free workouts that you can try through streaming services or wellness apps. To name a few:
Nike Training Club’s Premium subscription service (available on its mobile app), which offers more than 185 free workouts, including bodyweight, cardio, yoga and other classes, waived its $15 monthly fee indefinitely in March.
Planet Fitness streams free 20-minute at-home workouts on its Facebook page.
Stationary bike: Marcy Upright Fan Bike ($350)
The Peloton bike is a hot commodity, but its basic package costs $2,245. If you want something more affordable that’s still high-quality, this Marcy model can also give you an upper-body workout thanks to its dual-action arms, which mimic the motions you’d make on an elliptical machine, Ramirez says.
Elliptical machine: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 ($179)
You can customize the difficulty of your workout with this machine’s eight levels of resistance. The digital monitor displays time, speed, calories and distance.
Weights: CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbells
These dumbbells are $9 to $139 per two-piece set, depending on weight. They come in pairs (weighing from 5 to 120 pounds) and feature ergonomic steel-chromed handles and a coating that protects them from damage.
Treadmill: XTERRA Fitness TR200 ($400)
Want to conserve space? This folding treadmill features three incline settings for workout variety, a 5.5-inch blue backlit display that shows any of 12 preset programs and a top speed of 10 miles per hour.
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