Get in Shape for Less: The Best Cheap Home Exercise Equipment

A man struggles to pick up a dumb bell in this comical photo.
Getty Images


There’s no need to spend all your money on a high-performance exercise bike or a gym membership when there are so many inexpensive great home gym equipment options — many of which are available online.

We researched the least expensive treadmills, indoor bikes and rowers on the market, and found some home exercise equipment that won’t cost you a mortgage payment. We all want to be fit, but quite honestly, we can think of way more fun uses of our money. Add a yoga mat and some weights, and possibly a pull up bar and you’ll have a complete home gym. We also have suggestions for buying outside the box. As in cheaper than retail.

Retail Alternatives for Good Deals

Let’s start with the ways you can buy home exercise equipment for lower than retail, even if this way is the most unpredictable. You can’t always get what you want, when you want it.

We penny hoarders understand that shopping retail is usually the most expensive way to make a purchase. So make sure you’re also checking out sites like Craigslist, Marketplace or Nextdoor before you buy home exercise equipment at retail rates.

There are also spots like Global Fitness  and Primo Fitness that specialize in selling refurbished exercise equipment online.

I found my Peloton for $1,800 on Craigslist and the seller gave me the mat, weights, heart monitor and cycling shoes for free. Add in the fact that I tossed the Peloton into my trunk (no shipping fees!) and I didn’t have to pay sales tax. I saved at least $500 on the deal.

You can also get less expensive home exercise equipment on Facebook Marketplace. A search for Horizon T101 treadmills there found them as low as $200. Make sure you try the equipment before buying, as conditions can vary greatly.

Not in the market to buy anything yet? Try using stuff around the house as exercise equipment.

And here’s an easy way to build a cheap home gym.

A Survey of Retail Exercise Equipment

If you’re ready to buy new but still want to save money, you can find some of the better home equipment on the market mostly through Amazon. Keep your eyes on Horizon Fitness, too, for sales.

Basic Treadmill:
Horizon T101

While many inexpensive treadmills may break after a few runs, this one is made to last, according to fitness experts. It comes with a lifetime warranty for the motor and for the frame, and it comes with a one-year warranty for parts and labor. So you can bet it’s built to withstand the toughest, longest workouts from the most dedicated fitness pro. The Horizon T101 folds and has wheels, so your gym can double as your living room. It has a 10 percent incline and nine programming options, so the content is very substantial. Tons of extras are built-in, including Bluetooth speakers, a USB charging port, a tablet holder and a cooling fan. Keep in mind, however, that the cushioning is nothing extraordinary — so if you have bad knees, you may want to get a different tread.

Get it here: $999 (but it’s usually on sale for $699) at HorizonFitness.

Treadmill with Classes:
NordicTrack 6.5 S

NordicTrack offers tons of classes via the iFit training program ($15 per month) and it’s less than ¼ the price of the Peloton Tread. This is the least expensive NordicTrack option, but it still offers live and more than 16,000 on-demand workouts. It comes with a one-month subscription to iFit, which offers fitness classes for any level. This model has a 10 percent incline, and it folds. The iFit membership is optional, so you can use the treadmill without the program, but one of the biggest benefits is the iFit.

Get it here: $668 at Amazon.

Pro Tip

Pair your treadmill or bike with the Peloton app ($15 per month), and you’ll get that high-end instructor experience.

Budget Indoor Bike:
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

This is your basic indoor exercise bike so don’t expect it to come with classes, a fan, a tablet or even a tablet holder. But at less than $300, you can be guaranteed a solid indoor bike that is durable and smooth. Plus, many people have added a cadence sensor, a tablet, a tablet stand and an app to turn it into a Peloton dupe.

Get it here: $298 at Amazon.

Bike with Accessories:
Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

This quiet bike is easy to assemble (it takes most people about an hour). Plus it’s quiet and comes with accessories including a tablet stand, an LCD monitor and a water bottle holder (these are all accessories that most people add to their indoor bikes). This is a sturdy bike that has two rolling wheels, so you can move it easily throughout your home gym.

Get it here: $450 at Amazon.

Rower with Classes:
Women’s Health Men’s Health Bluetooth Rower

This smooth rower has 14 levels of resistance, and it will measure your watts, calories, time and distance. For an extra $15, you can access trainer-led workouts and personalized programs through the MyCloudFit app, which should increase your strength training and your cardio. The rower itself is practically silent, and the seat is comfortable. You’ll have to assemble it, but it should take less than an hour to do so.

Get it here: $399 at Amazon.

Low Frills Rower:
Stamina ATS Air Rower

This is a quality rower that comes with an LCD monitor, a three-year frame warranty and a one-year parts warranty. This doesn’t have too many extras, but it’s sturdy, durable and gets the job done. Plus, it will fold so it’s great for tight spaces.

Get it here: $329 at Amazon.

Basic Elliptical:
Ancheer Elliptical Machine

The sturdy elliptical has 10 levels of resistance, along with a back-lit touchscreen that tracks your calories, time, speed and distance. Assembly for this piece of equipment is simple, and this is a great machine to use while watching TV or reading.
Get it here: $380 at Amazon.

All-Around Elliptical:
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

With 16 levels of resistance, seven workout modes and 24 exercise presets, this will feel like you’ve got a gym in your home. It’s totally silent and has a 16-inch stride, which is a decent length for a person of average height (if you’re tall, you may want to choose an elliptical with 20-inch strides). This elliptical doesn’t fold, but it has wheels so it’s easily movable.

Get it here: $530 at Amazon.

Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.


Explore: