After several weeks of sheltering in place, you’re probably looking for a more reliable way to get in a good workout. After all, regular exercise isn’t only helpful in managing stress, but also in preventing unwanted weight gain—like the dreaded “quarantine 15.”
And while at-home workout hacks are always nice, sometimes you simply want the real thing. Here are seven affordable gear recommendations from the pros, to help you stay in shape while staying at home.
1. Jump mats
Yoga mats are nice, but these Jump Mats, at $59.85 from Team Beachbody, are way sturdier, and can be used for more than just a daily stretch sesh.
“We have two of these mats in our living room to avoid slipping during a workout,” says Alex Davis, owner of the couples’ fitness site Ryan and Alex Duo Life.
“They also protect the floors from our free weights. The company might have made them too durable! We’ve used ours for six years, and they still look new—and they can double as a yoga or core mat as well.”
2. Adjustable dumbbells
If you know exactly which free weights you need, now and forever, that’s great. But if you’re looking for weights that will span a wide range of workouts, and increasing levels of strength, you might just consider dropping the extra cash on a set of adjustable dumbbells—that’s $229.99-$379 on Amazon.
“These dumbbells take up a fraction of the space your normal dumbbells would, and they’re also a fraction of the cost,” says bodybuilder Tommy Pederson of Vekhayn.
“No more days of having 10s, 15s, and 25s scattered around your floor,” he adds. “Now you can have one set that you can change the weight as you need it—saving space, money, and keeping your spouse from getting annoyed at your mess.”
3. Pull-up bar
Maintain your upper-body strength during lockdown by installing a pull-up bar in one of your home’s central doorways.
“Pull-ups are a compound movement that works out basically every muscle in your body,” Pederson says. “It’s a big part of getting that good-looking beach body.”
While many brands of workout gear are sold out online at the moment, you can still grab this one from Rainlin on Amazon, for $45.99.
4. Resistance bands
These are quite possibly one of the most versatile (and least expensive) gear investments you can make. The best part? You can use resistance bands to strengthen or stretch virtually any muscle in the body.
“Resistance bands use your bodyweight, generating resistance as you work out,” Pederson says.
“They give me an incredible pump, stretch, and the best part is, they can work out any muscle. If you want to work your chest? You can do it! Arms? Yep! They’re also super easy to use—and cheap.”
Pick up a pack of 11 on Amazon for $32.99.
5. Medicine ball
Another solid way to get in your strength-training workouts: a medicine ball.
“A medicine ball takes up very little space, and you can do hundreds of exercises with it,” says Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups, a nutritionist and master trainer certified by ISSA, the International Sports Sciences Association.
“A simple, all-around, full body fitness tool. It can be thrown, slammed, or duplicated as a dumbbell, to increase strength.”
Available on Amazon, $21.76-$37.99.
6. Ab wheel
If you’re hoping to maintain that six-pack definition from your pre-quarantine days, it may be the time to get more aggressive with the core workouts. That’s where having an ab wheel comes in.
“Ab wheels are an excellent piece of equipment for building your core,” says online fitness and nutrition coach Tim Liu. “They’re also much more efficient than doing sit-ups, or crunches, or planks.”
Buy one from Amazon for less than $12.
7. Punching bag
Quarantine seems like the ideal time to invest in a punching bag, no?
“The punching bag is an incredible cardio workout that will seriously test your cardiovascular endurance and build a little strength in the process,” Pederson says.
“Plus, when you’re stuck indoors for months on end, a punching bag can really help you grow stronger, too, when you hit hard.”
They don’t come too cheap (you can buy one on Amazon for about $200 with shipping). It might also just feel really, really good to blow off some steam and throw a bunch of punches right about now.