Picture this scenario: You arrive home from a long day at the office, change into your workout gear, pack a bag with all the stuff you need — shoes, protein shaker and a towel –and head out the door. What should be a short drive turns into a 30-minute car ride after two near collisions and a mental breakdown. Stressed to the max, you arrive at the packed gym only to see someone posing at the only squat rack in the facility. Two hours after you left, you finally return home exhausted and worn out.
If that sounds familiar and you’re tired of having to wait for a machine to open up or don’t like the crowds, consider building a home gym on a budget. Get started by shopping at your local Goodwill for a few essential pieces of equipment as suggested by men’s health and women’s health magazines.

  • Dumbbells
  • Yoga mat
  • Resistance bands
  • Jump rope

Building a home gym on a budget - dumbbells


Dumbbells can be one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can add to a home gym. While searching, keep in mind what type of workouts you are looking to do. Using heavier weights is great for building strength while lighter weights with combo moves can maximize the strength and cardio benefits. Starting at $1.99

Yoga mat

Yoga mats have their place with warm-up stretches, burpees and marathons of rope jumping as well as bodyweight exercises. One of the best things about these mats is their ease of cleaning. Grab some sanitizer, wipe it down, let air dry and it’s good for the next day’s workout. Starting at $2.99

Resistance bands

Aim for getting light, medium and heavy bands. A set of resistance bands gives you an opportunity to perform full-body workouts that target all major muscle groups. Plus, the bands provide a full range of motion strength training without the enormous machines. They take up no space and offer so many options when working out. Starting at $1.99

Jump rope

Jump ropes not only are an inexpensive and classic gym item, they are an effective warm-up or used for a full cardio workout. Use them to increase your stamina, endurance and coordination. Starting at $1.99

Here are some additional items to consider for your home gym.

Stability ball

Combining a stability ball with another exercise like biceps curls requires more work, which can help work out more muscle groups at once, shortening your total workout time. Starting at $4.99


Take a walk through the electronic section before leaving and grab a radio. Good tunes will keep you motivated and your mind off your workout. $4.99

Building a home gym on a budget - Performance Ball


Whether you’re building a home gym on a budget, love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

Find your local Goodwill NCW store