You don’t need an expensive gym membership to get fit! Find out how to exercise at home with these easy equipment-free tips.
With so many people be becoming more cost-conscience and gym prices on the rise, working out at home has become a much more popular choice. Here you will find out how to to exercise at home with things you probably already have as well as how to build a home gym perfect for your workout needs.
Use What You Have
Get started on your home workouts with things that you most likely already have at home. Get creative, you’ll be able to do tons of exercises with things you already have.
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- A Chair – A plain wooden chair may be one of the greatest pieces of home gym equipment you could get. You can perform step ups, push ups, tricep dips, bulgarian split squats, single leg squats, and decline push ups. You could even put a broom between two secure chairs and do inverted rows. The possibilities really are endless. Plus, everyone has a chair at home – or even in a hotel room!
- Stairs – If you’ve never run stairs before as your cardio, you are seriously missing out! Running stairs is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up as well as strengthen and tone your legs and glutes. You can run them, do uneven squats on them (with one leg a step higher than the other), calf raises or stretches, decline push ups (start at the lowest and work your way up), in fact you could even do an entire full body stair workout!
- Bodyweight – Using your own weight can give you a challenging workout that will also help to strengthen stabilizing muscles that you may miss when working with heavy equipment. Many times body weight workouts also raise your heart rate more than weight machines as well. And lets be honest, back in the primal days, our Paleo ancestors didn’t have ANY fancy gym equipment and they did just fine. Try this bodyweight workout and workout like a real caveman (or woman!)
- A Backpack Filled with Books – Think of it as sort of a weighted vest. Fill up your backpack with some old heavy textbooks you may have laying around and get to work with all variations of squats, lunges, walking lunges, push up, planks, and just about anything else you can think of.
- A Wall – We all know about the dreaded “wall sits” either your personal trainer has forced you to do, or maybe even back in high school gym class or on a sports team. Well, wall sits, or wall squats, are fantastic to increase leg strength and stability. They are great to correct muscle imbalances and even can help correct posture. You can also use your wall to make some basic exercises more challenging like reverse mountain climbers or planks (with your feet on the wall). Walls also are great for stretching, find a corner to stretch out tight chest or shoulder muscles, or even your hamstrings while lying on the floor. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention handstand push ups against the wall!!
- Old Kitchen Towels or Paper Plates – Using old towels (or paper plates if you’re on carpet) is a great way to use the traction from the ground to increase resistance. There are also so many core and ab exercise that you can do with a towel. Check out this full body towel workout or these other upper body towel exercises or lower body towel exercises.
Invest in Some Equipment
There are also plenty of options to purchase equipment to build your own “home gym”. It’s becoming much easier to find equipment that is relatively inexpensive, and won’t take up too much space
- Dumbbells – These great functional pieces of equipment have always been a workout favorite. You can recreate every single natural movement using dumbbells, making them one of the best pieces of equipment, period. The only downside of using them in a home gym is that you will probably want more than one set, which may take up a bit more space than you want. One of the best places to store them, however, is under your bed.
- Resistance Tubes – Resistance tubes may be a better option for you than dumbbells because of how little space they take up. You could get a whole array of different resistances to do all sorts of exercises. You can even tie them around a pole or a secure, steady railing to create exercises similar to those done on a cable machine.
- Kettlebells – Kettlebells may have been around for over 300 years now, and that’s because they are an awesome piece of equipment. (1) There are almost limitless amounts of exercises that can be done with kettlebells. They are also quite compact in size, while still being relatively heavy. ANother great benefits of working with kettlebells is that they also get your heart rate going. A two-for-one strength and cardio workout, count me in!
- TRX Suspension Trainer – There are so many benefits of the TRX Suspension Trainer, which I wrote about here. It may just be the ultimate piece of home gym equipment. And at $200 it is extremely affordable in comparison to all that it can do. Check out this Basic TRX Workout to get started, and keep an eye out for a few more TRX workouts to come!
- Pull Up Bar – There are few exercises better than the pull up for back strength. You can now buy relatively inexpensive pull up bars that can be position in a doorway. You can even find bars that have multiple different grips to get the best bang for your buck.
- Stability Ball – Stability Balls are excellent for core strength and obviously, stability. You can even use your stability ball as an extra chair when your not working out with it. This piece of equipment is perfect to use when catching up on the news or your favorite television show.
(Related: 6 Workouts You Can Do At Home)
This equipment free workout will get your heartrate up as well as strengthen your arms, abs, and legs. It’s a full body workout that does it all.
- Burpees – Start standing with feet together, lower into a deep squat position to bring your hands down to the floor. Jump your legs backwards into a full plank position on your hands. Jump your feet back into your low squat position and jump up reaching your hands overhead. (For a modification, take out the jump and just stand up.) Complete 10-15 burpees.
- Lunge with Knee Up – Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips or by your sides. Step your RIGHT foot back into a rear lunge, keeping your weight in your front LEFT heel. Drive through your left heel to stand and bring your RIGHT knee up in front to balance for a second. Step the foot all the way back into the lunge and complete 15-20 repetitions, then switch sides.
- Push Ups – In a plank position on your hands and toes (or down on your knees to modify) lower down into a push up position, keeping your chest over your hands. Press up and repeat 15-20 times.
- Mountain Climbers – Start in a plank position on your hands. Keeping your abs engaged and your shoulders directly over your hands, drive your RIGHT knee in towards your chest, using your abs to pull it in. Quickly reach that leg back and drive your LEFT knee in towards your chest. Go as quickly as you can while maintaining abdominal strength. Complete for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Modified Single Leg Squats – Sit at the very edge of a chair with your hands on your hips and your RIGHT foot off the ground. Using your LEFT leg, drive your weight into your heel and press yourself up to standing. With control, lower back to the chair, trying not to put your full body weight in the chair and repeat. Complete 15 repetitions on each leg.
- Tricep Dips – Sit on the edge of the chair or table and place your hands on the edge so that your fingers are hanging off, facing towards you. Lift your hips of just in front of the chair, with your shoulders over your wrists. Bend your elbows and lower down, making sure to keep your elbows pressing back and your chest lifted (don’t “sink” into your shoulders). Press back up using the backs of your arms. Complete 15 repetitions.
(Related: Work Out With No Equipment)
So, as you can see you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money on an expensive gym or on equipment. All you need is a small area of your house or apartment and maybe a few small pieces of equipment.
For more DIY Paleo solutions, check out 5 Hacks to Stay Paleo at Home.