Workout gear doesn’t have to be fancy to tax your muscles. If you want to keep more dollars in your wallet while toning up, check out these ideas for working up a sweat without breaking the bank.


Build a Cheaper Dumbbell. COVID-19 has caused the price of commercial dumbbells to skyrocket, even on the used market. But you can build your own for about $15 with a bag of concrete mix and PVC pipe or a thick dowel. There are several videos on YouTube that describe the process.


Water Weight. Not feeling crafty? A 1-gallon milk jug filled with water weighs about 8 pounds. Just don’t forget to put the lid on before your workout.


Stretch Your Money. Many stores sell fancy elastic resistance bands for workouts, but you can buy surgical tubing at hardware or fishing stores and make your own.


Walk It Off. If all else fails, nothing beats a vigorous walk.