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Healthy New Year’s resolutions are always popular, but this year they might look a little different. It’s risky to go to the gym since we’re still learning to live a “normal” life during a widespread pandemic. Many people have started to workout from home, but that requires some equipment and creativity. Though you can find household alternatives, like cans of soup and textbooks, to use in your workouts, it may be time to step up your home gym game. Whether you like HIIT, circuits, strength training, or cardio, Walmart has exercise equipment that may help improve your sweatiest routines and help you meet your goals, with some highly-rated finds going for less than $5!
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1. An indoor cycling bike
I recently bought an indoor cycling bike, and it’s become a bright part of my daily routine. I love the feeling of climbing into the seat and working up a sweat during the winter months. It’s also a welcome workout for my hips and legs since I spend most of the day in my desk chair. We tested the Echelon bike and thought it made a wonderful, affordable alternative to a Peloton. Like the Peloton, you'll have the option to pay for a monthly membership with access to exercise classes, but with this model at Walmart, you get 90 days of free membership.
2. Adjustable dumbbells
Dumbbells are already versatile pieces of exercise equipment, but these adjustable dumbbells take versatility to a whole new level. These dumbbells come with an extension to create a barbell, giving you access to an even wider variety of exercises. Dumbbells can be used to work practically any muscle group, and with four 4.4 pound plates and eight 5.5 pound plates that can be added and removed, you can transition smoothly between exercises for muscle groups with varying strength and increase weight as your strength increases.
3. A pull-up bar
Pull-up bars are a classic and excellent piece of exercise equipment, and this one is especially convenient because it can be hung in a doorway without the use of any screws or nails. I know pull-ups can seem like a daunting exercise for some but they can be made more accessible with some resistance bands or an exercise partner to hold your ankles. Also, as demonstrated in some of the product pictures, the bar can be used for other exercises, such as tricep dips or to hold your legs while doing sit-ups.
4. A medicine ball
Medicine balls have been a long-time favorite of athletes. They’re easy to incorporate into a workout regimen, don’t take up much space, and weigh various amounts to help you get the most out of each one. The lighter weights are great for core workouts like sit-ups or Russian twists. Larger—and heavier—medicine balls are great for squats, lunges, or partner exercises. They mimic sports balls like basketballs and soccer balls, so although I wouldn’t recommend dribbling or kicking one, they can help you gain speed and agility that improves your game time performance once the weight is gone.
5. A yoga mat
Everyone can benefit from owning a yoga mat. Having a mat rolled out encourages you to move your body, whether that looks like a HIIT workout, intuitive movement, or an online barre class. It also provides a comfortable place to stretch or meditate that isn’t your living room carpet. This mat has over 1,000 ratings, making it a trustworthy option. It is pliable and thick, making it ultra-comfortable regardless of the workouts you do on it.
6. A weight bench
Weight benches are a staple in a lot of gyms, and they make a great addition to any home gym. Benches are most commonly used for the bench press, one of the heavier upper body lifts to work the chest muscles. However, this one can be used for multiple lifts, as it comes with both an adjustable utility bench and independent squat rack. This bench has more than 1,600 ratings and a 4.4-star rating at Walmart, with reviewers saying it offers a good workout for its price.
7. A kettlebell
Kettlebells are a fun and (very) functional piece of exercise equipment. They can be used in practically any way that a dumbbell can be used and are also designed for workouts with more dynamic movement: swinging, dead-lifts, snatches, etc. These kettlebells are made of high-quality cast iron designed for durability and are available in a wide range of weights for people at all levels of strength. Plus, if you're a Walmart+ member, you can get these delivered straight to your home (if they're in-stock at your local Walmart).
8. A foam roller
Recovery is just as important as moving your body, and a foam roller really expands the types of recovery you can do. I bought one last year, and I found that I didn’t skip post-workout stretches as much. This foam roller is available in several lengths, and I recommend going to the 36-inch one to make rolling your legs easier and more stable. There are plenty of free resources about foam rolling online, so don’t let a new type of muscle recovery scare you away!
9. A weighted bar
It can be difficult to get into strength training if it's not something you're used to doing, but a weighted workout bar can provide an easy transition into strength training. They can be used to perform lifts that typically require a barbell, but these weighted bars are lighter than the barbells typically found at gyms and have a simpler design without areas at the end for weight additions. They can also be used to supplement workouts you might already typically perform, like squats or lunges, and they can even add some extra weight while walking on a treadmill.
10. Exercise bands
Exercise bands are a small way to add a lot to your home workouts. They’re versatile, so you can use them to add weight or resistance (duh) to movements like squats, lunges, leg lifts, and more. You can use them in addition to weights or easily pack them for on-the-go workouts. They’re also a great alternative to heavy weights because they work with your body weight to put less stress on your joints.
11. A grip plate
A grip plate is probably best for those who already have already invested in a strength section of their home gym. The plates range from 2.5 to 25 pounds and work with many brands of barbells and weight machines. The plates can be slid onto the end of weighted bars and barbells to increase the weight of your squats or lifts. And while the plates work best on bars, there is plenty of room to be creative. You can use them in place of a medicine ball for ab workouts or hold them with one or both hands while doing lunges or leg workouts. They’re relatively inexpensive, especially with unexpected uses!
12. A jump rope
I haven’t thought about jump-roping in so long, but it seemed to make a comeback during quarantine. My social media was flooded with joyful videos of people jumping in their garage or kitchen or in the driveway with friends. Jumping quickly raises your heart rate and lets out heat, so it’s a wonderful warmup or part of a circuit. Plus, this speed rope is under $5!
13. Yoga blocks
Even if you are an experienced yogi, you can benefit from using blocks in your practice. Blocks—whether they be made of cork or foam, like these ones—are versatile. You can use them to make poses more accessible by bringing the ground closer and adding a little height below you. Blocks can also assist in restorative poses like half pigeon or reclined seat. Once you are comfortable using them, the blocks provide feedback for your practice and allow you to get more out of poses.
14. A set of resistance bands
Similar to exercise bands, resistance bands are simple ways to add more dimension to your workouts. They can replace dumbbells for sets of moves for biceps, triceps, quads, and more. You can be creative with your workouts and play around with how you use the bands to improve your mobility and strength. This particular set includes five bands with different resistance, from 2 to 20 pounds. It also has a carrying bag, door anchor, exercise chart, and ankle straps.
15. Boxing gloves
If one of your resolutions was to find a new way to sweat or let off steam, give boxing a try. Boxing gyms are popular in both urban and more rural areas, and you don’t need much equipment. A good pair of gloves like these from Everlast will protect your hands while you learn a new hobby (or continue with one you already love!). I’ve always wanted to give boxing a try to feel like I can protect myself better, improve my agility and reflexes, and trade in traditional gym equipment for a more dynamic workout.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 15 highly rated pieces of fitness equipment you can get at Walmart