Consumer Reports: Affordable at-home workout equipment

Posted at 11:29 AM, Oct 19, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — So many things changed during the past year, including how and where we work out. A lot of folks ended up working out at home.

When gyms were forced to close by COVID-19, sales of home exercise equipment soared. But not all of the stuff out there is actually worth your money and your sweat.

When you say exercise bike these days, chances are you think of Peloton. With a big touchscreen and huge selection of live and on-demand classes, Peloton has its fans — and Consumer Reports says, they’re on to something.

"The Peloton Bike was by far the best exercise bike we tested, getting excellent scores in categories like adjustability, noise and features," said Bernie Deitrick, Consumer Reports tester.

But with a price tag close to $1,500, it's a splurge that might force frugal fitness fanatics to take a timeout. Consumer Reports says that’s fine, you can still get a great cycling workout without the Peloton bike.

"You can buy a regular exercise bike that’s a third of the cost of a Peloton and just sign up for a $12.99 per month Peloton membership and use your smartphone or tablet," Deitrick said.

A more affordable exercise bike that Consumer Reports recommends is the Finer Form Indoor Exercise Bike for $500.

To get some strength training into your at-home workout, adjustable dumbbells are a good option.

"Adjustable dumbbells are very flexible using a lever, dial or pin you can quickly and easily change the amount of weight you using," Deitrick said.

But building muscle doesn’t come cheap: One of Consumer Reports' best buy options is the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set at $350.

And a key component of any home gym is a yoga mat — they’re good for all kinds of floor exercises.

For an at-home workout setup that can cater to multiple needs, an exercise mat, like the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Folding Exercise Mat, may be a good bet.

Whether it’s yoga, strength training or cardio — apps like Apple Fitness-PLUS, Peloton, and Equinox-PLUS can help you find that perfect workout on your mat.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money on dumbbells, another option is doing bodyweight exercises, things like pushups, planks, squats and lunges. They are great at building muscle and don't cost a thing.