Motivated to workout but don’t feel like leaving your house? You have come to the right place to get some excellent ideas on how to get in a quality home workout without breaking the bank.
There are many different types of workouts one can do at home. Sure, it would be awesome to set up a stellar home gym in a spare room or basement; but, not everyone has space or money to accomplish this. With big-box gyms popping up, you can often join a gym very inexpensively. But what if you don’t live close to a gym? Or what about those days when you literally have just thirty minutes to try and squeeze something in?
Believe it or not, there are many things you can do in the comfort of your own home with very limited supplies.
Creating an Essential Tools Tote
If money is tight, consider adding just one item to your workout tote each paycheck. Each item I am recommending can be purchased for less than $25.
Why These Pieces of Equipment?
Kettlebell or Kettle-ball
A kettlebell is a valuable piece of equipment for many reasons. The kettlebell would be one of the first pieces I would purchase, if starting a home gym, due to its versatility.
You can use a kettlebell in front of your body or behind it. It can be swung between your legs, dropped behind your head to work o triceps, or used to make pushups more challenging (as pictured).
In lieu of a medicine ball, a soft kettlebell (or kettlebell) can be used as a substitute.
The size and amount of hand weights you require will vary depending on how big and strong you are, as well as your intent in lifting. As a female distance runner, I lift light weights in higher repetitions. Therefore, I don’t need a lot of big weights.
A larger athlete with different goals would need heavier weights, resulting in higher costs. However, I would argue that purchasing an item every paycheck as I mentioned before is a cost-effective method of creating a home gym.
Hand weights, or dumbbells, can be used for limitless exercises such as shoulder presses, lawnmower pulls, bench press, tricep dips, etc.
Yoga Mat & Block
Why a yoga mat? Simple. This gives you an excellent place to do core work and stretching exercises. It also doubles as a place to use the ever-important foam roller.
Plus, most distance runners I know don’t spend as much time as they should on flexibility and stretching. Giving yourself a good place to do these things helps to eliminate excuses. My lack of flexibility is a reason I recommend a yoga block. It helps you to ease your way into certain holds and stretches.
Resistance bands are a great way to add additional challenges to bodyweight exercises. They are also small and lightweight, so they make exceptional travel companions. Adding a band to stretches and lunges give elevate that movement to a whole new level of challenging.
A foam roller can be used for many different things. Using a roller can improve range of motion, relieve joint and muscle soreness and relax muscles. A quick Google search can yield many different ways to roll but when push comes to shove, it’s pretty simple. You just drop down to the floor and put the roller between the floor and your body.
Sometimes it hurts a little at first, but typically you leave a foam rolling session feeling very glad you took the time.
Medicine balls are great for core work and to add weight to squats. Honestly, I use a kettle-ball in place of a medicine ball so it was one less piece of equipment for me to purchase. However, if you ever have the opportunity to use your home gym with another person, there are a lot of two-person exercises where a medicine ball will come in handy.
Haven’t touched a jump rope since you were in grade school singing “teddy bear teddy bear, turn around!”? Neither had I until two summers ago. I was working out with a personal trainer and she told me we were going to jump rope for 5 minutes.
I almost laughed. I’m sure glad I didn’t. Ninety seconds in I realized that this was going to be harder than I had thought. Buy a jump rope. Try it. It’s good, cheap cardio.
Workouts Requiring ZERO Equipment
Want to sneak in a workout and you don’t have any equipment? Think junior high physical education class. Calisthenics for the win. All the torturous warm-up exercises your gym teacher used to make you do: jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, etc.
In addition to those, there is a lot you can do using just your body weight, such as lunges (standing and walking) and squats.
Working your core also does not require any frills. And I’m not just talking your PE teacher’s sit-ups. You can do crunches, work your obliques, and engage your entire power chain by doing planks.
Creating a Circuit
Some of my favorite workouts involve circuit training. The mindset behind circuit training is to alternate between 6-10 different exercises without rest between each exercise. Within the circuit, each station targets different muscle groups.
For example, you might do an upper-body movement first, then lower body, then core work. The next exercise might go back to the upper body, but whereas the first might target biceps the second could focus on shoulders. The idea is to move quickly from one exercise to the next so you are working your cardiovascular system, in addition to the muscle groups.
It is easy to make excuses about why we can’t work out. Creating your own home gym on a budget will negate some of those excuses for you. If you really want to make changes to your personal fitness make the commitment. You really can get some awesome home workouts in without breaking the bank!