Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rocking a Great Home Workout for Cheap

Gym memberships are expensive. And money IS an object. But you still want to get fit.

Do I have that right?

Okay. I'm here to tell you that it can still be done. And you never have to leave home OR invest in very much expensive equipment.

The truth is that you can get a really great workout with just your bodyweight.

However, you'll probably want to invest in some minor equipment to give yourself a bit more variety and flexibility with your routines.

Here's some suggestions to get you set up quickly and cheaply.

First thing you'll want to consider is a set of dumbbells. Either get yourself a full set of dumbbells (but that can be more costly) or get a set of adjustable dumbbells. Most of the adjustable types work by pulling a pin out and sticking it back into the unit at the weight you want to use. When you pick it up the pin brings the weight you want, and leaves the weight you don't want behind.

The only limiting factor I find with adjustables is that if you're doing SuperSets or SuperCircuits you'll have to continually adjust back and forth between the weights required for each exercise as you work your SuperSet.

If you like SuperSets, then get two pairs of adjustable dumbbells so you can move smoothly between the moves in your SuperSet. But that's still not as expensive as a full set of regular dumbbells.

And the best thing about dumbbells is that they can also sub in for almost every single barbell move, so you won't need a huge amount of space to store or set up a barbell and all those plates!

Next you'll want to consider getting yourself a bench or something to lie on so that you can do proper chest moves like chest press and flyes. If a bench isn't in the budget or you don't have room, then you can still accomplish some of these moves using fitness bands.

And this leads me to fitness bands. These are a great tool, and are extremely cheap. Make sure you also get a door anchor for each weight of band that you buy. I almost went crazy changing the door anchor between bands all the time and for the low cost each door anchor costs, it's very worth the investment.

Finally, back to my original point: bodyweight workouts are very effective. Push-ups, squats, lunges and pull-ups are all great strength-training moves that don't require any equipment (well, except for a bar or a branch or your kids' monkey bars to use for pull-ups). And quite frankly, there are so many different variations on those moves that you won't run out of ways to change things up for a while.

If you're not sure how to get warmed up or do cardio in a small space at home, try jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, mountain jumpers, breakdancers, or squat thrusts.

A non-stop SuperCircuit of all of the above for 20-30 minutes will give you a great full body cardio workout.

Or, for a small investment, grab yourself a jump-rope. You really don't need much space to jump rope. I do it in a 5′ x 5′ space with a 7′ ceiling. No problem. I haven't hit a piece of furniture yet!

Furthermore, it almost doesn't matter where you live, you can get some outdoor cardio in. All you really need is one city (or rural) block of street and you can get a fantastic intervals session without ever even having to cross into traffic. Just sprint for one block segment, when you get to the corner, turn and walk the next block segment, when you get to the next corner, turn and sprint again, and so on and so on around the same block repeatedly for 20-40 minutes. I don't care if you live in the middle of downtown Manhattan. You can do this anywhere.

There ya go. You just spent maybe a total of $150 and you're set up with the bare essentials for a great home workout for cheap!

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