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5 Things You Need for the Ultimate Home Gym for No-Gym January

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As the new year begins and everyone sets out to stick to (or begin anew) their fitness resolutions, the gym will be more packed than ever. Skip expensive workout classes and memberships and get in even better shape with a gym you can use in the comfort of your own home. With these 5 affordable equipment picks, you can keep your resolutions intact, work out anytime of the day, and design a fitness routine that works for you.

Designing your own home gym does not have to be a daunting or expensive task. During our No-Gym January Challenge, we're encouraging you to skip the big crowds at the gym and find ways to maximize your workout time at home.

With this list of inexpensive equipment and our favorite online workouts and fitness apps, you can exercise at home any time of the day. Getting in better shape does not need to break the bank. Working out should be enjoyable and an opportunity to de-stress. Skip driving to and from the gym and fighting the New Year's crowds for equipment or feeling uncomfortable in an overcrowded and sweaty Zumba class. These items will complete your own home gym at a low price while making a big impact.

1. Jump Rope

With an average price of $10 (or even less), a jump rope is a piece of workout equipment that does not take up space at home and can easily be incorporated in any home workout. A jump rope is a great way to warm-up and get your heartbeat going without the need of an expensive treadmill or running outdoors if the weather is unsuitable. Challenge yourself to continuous jumping for a set number of minutes, and then push yourself to add another 30 seconds or minute every week. You can even find jump rope workout routines online.

2. Kettlebell Set

The price varies depending on the brand and size you buy, but regardless, a set of kettlbells will be cheaper than any gym membership. Kettlebells engage the entire body and can be used for various movements and techniques. We recommend getting a set to round out your home gym as you advance and try other movements.

If you're unsure how to use kettlebells, look for tutorials online. We like the techniques and tips offered in Fitness Blender's Beginner Kettlebell Workout. Once you have a basic understanding of how to use the bells, you can develop your own workout or tailor moves to suit your goals.

3. Dumbbell Set

Similar to kettlebells, a dumbbell set will vary in price depending on size and brand. If you are just beginning to build your home gym, you can find many options online. Most dumbbell sets are affordable, practical, and adaptable for different workout routines. From warm-ups to weights-included ab exercises, a dumbbell set is an essential part to an effective and versatile at-home gym.

Randy Mayor

4. Yoga Mat

You might think a yoga mat is unnecessary if you have carpeted floors, but a yoga mat is essential to protecting your joints and your back during workouts. You can use your yoga mat to take workouts outdoors, perform warm-up or cool-down exercise, and even help support your body during stretches. We suggest buying a yoga mat that is at least a 1/2-inch thick that is also double-sided with non-slip grips.

5. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are very affordable, easy to store, and incorporate easily into any workout. You can use them to stretch and strengthen muscles by wrapping the bands around your arms and legs to create resistance and isolate muscles that are hard to target. We recommend getting bands with a variety of resistance levels and lengths, along with attachable grip handles and ankle straps. These extra devices are an easy way to add more weight to your workouts at home.