Best Values in Home Gym Equipment

As the owner of a Back Cove Personal Fitness in Portland, ME and producer of fitness videos through, I have spent my fair share of time trying to find the best home gym equipment for myself and my clients. I've destroyed low quality gear that was priced too high, and found amazing deals on quality equipment at incredible values.  My efforts have cost me money, but learn from my experience so you can get the best quality gear for the money.

Exercise Balls: 

Exercise balls are one of the most common pieces of gym equipment found in a person’s home.  For the average person 5'5" to 6'0" tall, a 65 cm ball is the best size for most exercises, but depending on the company, the actual size can vary wildly.  In my opinion, one of the best exercise balls, which is true to size and isn't too squishy, is produced by Isokinetics.  Pay only $13-15 plus shipping, instead of $25-$40 somewhere else for an inferior ball. 

Exercise Mats:

With 5 personal trainers and clients sharing a handful of mats in my personal training studio, I know most mats just aren't designed to take the abuse.  They rip, tear, and practically disintegrate after just a few months.  Others hold their form, but get so dirty in the pores of the rubber that they become unsightly and nearly impossible to fully clean.  Enter the best exercise mat for the money by Cando.  These mats run approximately $50 and are least expensive when ordered through

Adjustable Dumbbells:

You get 2 options here that will satisfy the needs of most home gyms. For lighter weights, check out the Sportblock 24 by Powerblock that offers weights 3-24# in three pound increments.  For those lifting heavier weights, check out the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells that range from 5 - 52 1/2# and increase in 2.5 or 5 # increments. I've had a set of both for years and they stand the test of time.  Great values!

Stability Mats

Improving your balance and proprioception should be a goal for every person whether you are retired and looking to prevent falls, or a young spry athlete playing competitive sports.  Standing on 1 foot or 2, using balance pads can really enhance your workout.  Try buying the balance pads made by Thera-Band. In truth, I've only used the blue variety which is their "medium softness", but they look brand new after years of abuse. They are simply amazing when compared to other brands I’ve used in the past.

So there you have it…four pieces of exercise equipment that are great values and have withstood the rigors of use in a professional studio environment.  If you're looking for help on weight lifting technique and weight loss programs that can be done at home or in the gym, check out our video "Metabolic Recovery Fitness Program". You can check out free video clips 

I hope my advice helps you on your path to health and wellness.

Be well,

Jeff Eckhouse

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