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Build a Home Gym on Any Budget

No matter how tight your space or your budget, our latest fitness finds will turn any room into your own mini gym. Mix and match the exercise equipment in this slide show according to your needs to build your perfect home gym!

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Nike Sparq Speed Ladder
Jay Sullivan
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Budget-Friendly Cardio Equipment

Nike Sparq Speed Ladder


Simply unroll this eight-foot-nine-inch-long plastic ladder on the floor, then run, skip, hop, or jump through its evenly spaced squares for an instant aerobic session. You'll work up a calorie-blasting sweat. $40, nike.com.

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Cardio Equipment for a Mid-Range Budget

Diamondback 860U


This space-saving upright bike features interactive workout programs, a wireless heart-rate monitor, and a console that details speed, distance, and calorie burn. Its super-cushy seat keeps you comfy during long workouts too. $699, gym source.com for info.

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Cardio Equipment to Splurge On

NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Elliptical


Target everything -- arms, abs, butt, legs -- by adjusting your stride and incline (up to 30 percent!) as you work out. The machine folds up to 26 by 48 inches for easy storage and features iPod speakers, customized fitness plans, and a fan. $999, nordictrack.com.

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Budget-Friendly Strength-Training Equipment

Heavy Handles with Medium Tubing


Get more firming oomph out of any lift by using a pair of dumbbells and a band at the same time. Six-pound set (each handle is three pounds), $23, jfit.com.

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Strength-Training Equipment for a Mid-Range Budget

Weider PowerSwitch 25 Adjustable Dumbbells


A set of weights that acts like five pairs in one and takes up less space than a shoe box? Brilliant! Adjust each from 2.5 pounds to 12.5 pounds. $70, sears.com.

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Strength-Training Equipment to Splurge On

Horizon FS-40 Home Gym


Save space (and time) by doing everything from rows to lunge presses on just one cable-based system. With four sets of pulleys, a removable seat, and a strength-training guide, the number of moves is practically unlimited. $699, horizonfitness.com for info.

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Budget-Friendly Core/Balance Equipment

8-Pound Toning Ball


Rotate from side to side while holding this ball in front of you and watch your love handles dwindle. Bonus: It comes with a poster of eight cool core-strengthening moves to try. $25, danskin.com.

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Core/Balance Equipment for a Mid-Range Budget

Balance Pods


Arrange these bright rubber domes (hump side up or down) in different patterns on the floor, and step, lunge, or squat from one to the next for an abs-sculpting balance challenge. Set of six, $39, spri.com.

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Core/Balance Equipment to Splurge On

Bounderball


Strap the harness onto this stability ball and you'll have more than 150 ways to trim your tummy and get toned all over. For example, loop a resistance band through one of its handles and do seated biceps curls. Get more moves on the Web site. $120, bounderball.com.

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Budget-Friendly Equipment for Flexibility

Dragonfly Hydrangea Yoga Mat


Posing like a pretzel doesn't seem quite as difficult when done on this pretty, nonslip mat. Store it in its matching cotton tote to transform your "studio" back into a living room. $34, gaiam.com.

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Workout Equipment for Flexibility on a Mid-Range Budget

EcoWise Foam Roller


Made from nontoxic materials, this is an earth-friendly way to give yourself a super-intense massage. Lie facedown with the 36-inch-long roller placed horizontally under one thigh. Inch your body forward and then back, allowing the roller motion to knead tight quads. $42, fitness1st.com.

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Workout Equipment for Flexibility to Splurge On

Cardio Barre Portable Ballet Barre


Bend it like a ballet dancer with this built-for-stretching bar. It comes with a workout DVD, a pair of one-pound dumbbells, and a storage bag. $130, cardiobarre.com.

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Expert Tips for Building Your Home Gym

Get the most out of your at-home exercise with these tips from Nigel Anderson of Gym Source, who has helped set up workout studios for dozens of celebs, including Janet Jackson and Demi Moore.


1. Keep your thermostat between 58 and 66 degrees.

This ensures that you aren't too hot for cardio or too chilled for stretching. If you don't have an air conditioner, run a dehumidifier in the summer to pull moisture out of the air and keep the room from smelling like, well, a gym.


2. Install a dimmer switch.

Match the lighting in the room to the mood of your routine: Brighten things up when you do high-energy cardio, and tone it down for mellow yoga sessions.


3. Mount your TV on a wall or a shelf.

Make sure the center of your screen is at eye level during your workout to help prevent neck strain.


4. Invest in rubber mats.

Prevent scratches and nicks to hardwood by placing padding on the floor (24-by-24-inch Value Lock tiles, $29 each; mygymfloor.com).


5. Install a wall mirror.

Keeping an eye on your form while you lift is key to doing perfect reps.


6. Decorate to motivate.

Frame photos of your fitness inspirations -- a favorite Olympian (hello, Michael Phelps!), a shot of you wearing that slinky little black dress -- and hang them on the walls to spur you on.


Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2009.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

8228629569
wgumc wrote:

Here's an opinion: Tell all--or at least most of-- your OPINION MART POP UPS to take a hike. That will give you an AWESOME workout. My clicking finger's already sore from this serious workout. Seriously, Fitness mag. I already bought the magazine, and I still SORTA like this site. But this is maddening. WERE THERE TOO MANY POPUPS? EFF YES

10/15/2010 03:41:21 PM Report Abuse

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