In today's economy people are looking for ways to save money in every aspect of their lives. Couple this with the ever-rising cost of gym and health club memberships, many are staying home to exercise and outfitting their homes with the equipment they need to achieve their fitness goals. Whether you are just building your first home gym or you have worked out at home for years, these are the top 5 pieces of fitness equipment you will need to exercise at home.

#1 Dumbbells


The dumbbell is probably the most versatile piece of  fitness equipment ever created. The simple concept of a handle with weights lends itself to an infinite array of exercises that can target every muscle group on the body. Don't let images of bodybuilders and strongmen keep you from getting in on the great results you can achieve from this classic fitness tool. You don't need an entire rack of heavy dumbbells either, you can get a great workout with a pair of 10 lb dumbbells and then store them under your bed when you finish!

#2 Jump rope


There is a reason that world-class boxers and athletes alike include a jump rope in their training arsenal. The jump rope is one of the best pieces of cardio equipment out there and couldn't be easier to store and use. Relive your childhood on the playgrounds and start training like an elite competitor. If money is a concern then there's no better value than a jump rope. You can buy a  decent rope from most fitness retailers for around $10.

#3 Medicine ball

medicine ball

There is a large assortment of exercises that you can do with this spherical training tool. Its round nature makes it naturally unstable and forces you to use your core and stability muscles to control its movement. You can slam it, throw it, carry it, lift it and balance on it for a full body workout and then roll it out-of-the-way until your next home workout session.

#4 Stopwatch


While the stopwatch isn't exactly what you visualize when you think about exercise equipment it is the key to seeing the results you want. The key to fitness is "progress". by using a stopwatch during your workouts you can watch yourself increase your speed of a particular routine (thus increasing your intensity), or extend your endurance by completing longer workouts. Always record the times and results of each workout so that when the time comes to repeat a workout you can compare your results with your earlier attempt and track your progress.

#5 Foam roller


Any time you work out and stress your muscles, it is important to aid them in recovery. Adding a foam roller to your regular routine can greatly decrease soreness and recovery time, while maximizing the efforts of your workout. No fitness regimen is complete without the therapeutic and rejuvenating effects of this exercise staple.

With just these 5 pieces of fitness equipment you can achieve great results and save money at the same time. Whether you are building your first home gym or you have worked out at home for years, you should make sure you have all the right tools to get the best workout possible!