There’s a lot of cardio tools available to help you lose fat and improve aerobic/anaerobic endurance. Although there’s plenty of great options, many of them go beyond the budget of a typical home gym.
You don’t need tons of money or fancy equipment for an effective cardio workout. Here are my favorite pieces that are both effective and economical, in order from least expensive to most.
1. Your Body – Free
Yeah, I know. Seems obvious, but it’s true. Your body allows you to do a plethora of exercises and combinations. You can set up a bodyweight circuit anywhere you go with no cost.
Your body also allows you to sprint, which is my favorite standalone cardio and fat loss exercise. Want to get ripped and be more athletic? Run sprints.
Not at a point where you can do sprints or bodyweight circuits? No problem. Go for a brisk walk.
Your body is the cheapest and most versatile tool you can use. Start using it today.
2. Jump Rope – $15+
Jumping rope is an excellent choice for conditioning, fat loss, and improving athleticism. A good jump rope can be bought for around $15, so it’s also an economical option.
There are many types to choose from, so you might have to try a few to see what feels best. I prefer ropes with weighted handles because the spinning motion feels smoother and faster.
Here’s a few options in order from cheapest to most expensive:
You can implement the jump rope in an interval fashion (such as 30 seconds on, 30 off), do as many jumps as you can in a given time frame, or program a certain amount of jumps. Change it up and have fun with it.
3. Sand Bags – $100+
Sand bags are a versatile tool that come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and weights. From traditional resistance training exercises to weighted carry variations, sand bags can add some much-needed variety to your training regimen.
Try loading one of these on your shoulders or cradling one in your arms and going for a walk. Mix in some basic compound movements (squats, lunges, presses, etc.) during the walk and you’ll have yourself a nice little cardio circuit.
4. Weight Sled – $200+
Sleds take sprints to another level by adding weight to the movement. There’s a variety of other exercises you can do with them, from heavy pushes and drags to rows. The price will depend on the size and features of the sled. Here’s a few options:
5. Assault Bike – $700+
Assault bikes will be the most expensive items on this list but will still check out at under a grand.
Bikes like this utilize air resistance, meaning the resistance scales from how you pedal. The harder you pedal, the more resistance there is.
There’s a number of ways you can program them, too. You can do intervals (say, 45 seconds at a light/medium pace and 15 seconds as fast as you can), you can go for time, you can go for a certain distance, etc. Mix it up and keep things fresh.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but it gives you a range of non-traditional cardio choices for under $1,000. Give them a try and let me know how they go!