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Earlier this week we talked about making time and three essential components to a well-rounded routine. Today, I’m going to share my favorite frugal exercise equipment as well as where to spend or save.

Step Bench

A step bench is such a versatile tool. You can use it for cardio (step aerobics) or weight training as a base for different exercises. They aren’t cheap, but I found mine on clearance for $20 a long time ago at K-Mart of all places. Check Craigslist, resale shops and gyms selling their old ones.


Exercise Ball

We have used our exercise ball daily for 10 years. No joke. It’s a chair at my desk, toy, baby bouncer, and piece of exercise equipment. It can be used as a weight bench, for ab work or Pilates and its instability makes you burn way more calories when using it. Get a quality one and a good pump.

A Weighted Bar

My favorite weighted bar is actually from The Firm with the removable hand weights at the ends. What can I say; I like space efficient multitaskers! A weighted bar can act as a barbell for many different exercises or for stability when doing one legged exercises.

A Pilates Mat

Not to be confused with a yoga mat, a Pilates mat is thicker and well padded. Since much of Pilates is on the floor, this will keep you from slipping and hurting yourself on a bare floor.


Key to getting a good workout is a mirror. You don’t need to get all picky on this. One of those cheap dorm wall or door mirrors will do. You could even just prop it up against a wall where you work out. These are super cheap after back-to-school.

Optional: Shoes

Even before I started martial arts, I was always partial to exercise without shoes. After martial arts, I only wear them when necessary–like the gym. If you feel, for whatever reason, that you must have shoes, please get good shoes! Find someone who knows something, who can look at your arch (or lack thereof), who asks what you will be doing and let them guide you. Don’t just buy the cute ones; function over fashion folks!

Optional: Exercise Clothes

While having an exercise “wardrobe” is not essential, you do need a few basics. No jeans — sweats or yoga pants work fine, or shorts, as well as a tank or t-shirt. You want it loose enough to be able to move freely, but tight enough to see your form. If you are well-endowed & working hard, a good, supportive sports bra IS essential.


What is your favorite frugal exercise gear?



Check out these 5 Days of… posts from other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew:

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence ~ Missouri
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back ~ Babywearing
Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy ~ Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ Science
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: where life happens ~ Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ A Christ-Centered Home

You can see all the posts in the 5 Days of Frugal Fitness series here. Come back tomorrow to find out about 3 Frugal iPhone Fitness Apps!

Jen S.





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4 Comments on 5 Days of Frugal Fitness – 5 Versatile Essentials for Frugal Fitness

  1. Daniel
    23 April 2014 at 11:56 AM (9 years ago)

    I use the exercise ball as a chair at work, too 🙂
    You should add a foam roller back to the mix again. So good (and painful).


  2. Kristi
    9 April 2014 at 9:33 AM (9 years ago)

    My two favorites would be my weighted gloves that I use for my kickboxing/dance DVD, and the leg roller I use for my tai-chi DVD. The leg roller is HEAVEN some days, lemme tell ya.
    Kristi´s last blog post ..5 Days of Spring Studies: Fairies and Gnomes


    jen Reply:

    Those are good ones, too. I think my weighted gloves & foam roller are gone now, but I did like them when I had them!


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