Home gym for under $100



Cost: about $6 to $60 a pair

Lifting dumbbells will tone your muscles. Consider getting at least two sets, one that's the weight you usually use and one that's a bit more challenging.

Elastic bands or tubes

Cost: about $10 to $15 each

They provide resistance training for strengthening and toning muscles. Consider getting one that's a little tougher than the other so that you have two levels of resistance.

Stability ball

Cost: about $20 to $40

It adds variety to your core workouts. Try a 45-cm ball if you're less than 5 feet tall, a 55-cm ball if you're 5 foot 1 inch to 5 foot 7 inches, and a 65-cm if you're taller.

Workout DVDs

Cost: about $15 each

The best include strength, flexibility, and cardio routines. You can also find free exercise programs on TV.

Exercise mat

Cost: about $13 to $20 for a 2x6-foot mat

Exercising on the floor can be tough on the joints, so consider a pad for cushioning.

Posted: January 2009 — Consumer Reports Magazine issue: February 2009