Cheap Fitness Equipment Doesn't Have To Mean Poor Quality

By: Jessica Deets

Creating a home gym is a great idea for getting into shape and doing so on your own terms, at your own pace and without having to deal with crowds or needing to "dress to go to the gym." And while all of these things certainly make a case for a home gym, budgets can sometimes get in the way. If a lack of cash is making you put off from creating a home gym, don't think cheap fitness equipment equates to a lack of quality.

Although cheap can in fact mean garbage, there are a number of machines of all types for working out that fall in the "reasonable" or "cheap" range that not only get the job done, they do it well.

The key to creating a good home gym without breaking the bank is to examine what it is you need first. Decide if a single piece of equipment will work or if you need several and then set a budget. Be realistic about what you can spend. While $10 isn't likely to get you much more than a jump rope, a few hundred may net you a solid machine that can really work wonders in a home gym setting.

No matter the type of machine you want to buy - treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper, rower or even a smith - there are some things to watch for to help you separate affordable quality from "cheap," which equals garbage. But before you look for these in different machines, choose the style you want and pick out some models within your preset price range.

Now, with some models picked out, be they treadmills or cycles, look for the following things:

Warranty. A good warranty on parts and labor (beyond a year) generally means the company that made the machine stands behind it. If the company that makes it thinks it will last and do its job, it likely will.

Programming options. Since most exercise equipment nowadays is computerized, look for those that offer some good options. Different courses, paces or challenge levels are important. Also look for machines that offer settings for prime cardio workouts.

Safety/comfort features. These are important. Instant off buttons, extra cushioning, safety locks and more are all signs of good machines.

Difficulty settings. Good machines grow with their users. If there are only two speeds - on and off - you're not looking at a great machine unless there are manual settings for increasing difficulty.

Good reviews. This means from both past customers and industry pros. Even machines in the "cheap" range can have a number of good reviews from both sources. Do pay attention to both sources. A pro reviewer might not know how well a machine stands up over time, but past users will be able to say.

When it comes to home workout equipment the test of quality isn't necessarily price. Even those that qualify as "cheap" can be great machines. The key to finding the best in any price range is to do some research, take care examine features and read the fine print on warranties.

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Jessica Deets researches the internet and writes information to help people. You can find more information about fitness innovations at

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