August 16, 2020
Building Your Home Gym on a Budget, Part 1
With commercial gyms closed (and some apartment building gyms still following suit), many people are turning to walking or jogging outside. So was I…until it started reaching 99 and 103 degrees! Staying home in front of your AC…but still planning to workout? “Home gym” machines from many brands are sold out, while other brands have become exorbitantly expensive. What’s still affordable? And what do you really need to build a home gym you will actually use?
The TRX Suspension Trainer lets you strengthen and tone your arms, legs, and abs. And they last forever. I’ve had mine for over a dozen years, use it often, and it still looks almost as good as new.
The Rip Trainer takes resistance bands to a new level by attaching them to a light but strong bar. Both these tools can attach to a standard apartment door. The TRX & Rip Trainer are strong enough for my professional dancers and marathoners, but gentle enough for my beginners and desk workers.
Round it out with a stability ball. Most of us have stronger quads (front thighs) than hamstrings (back thighs). We use our quads for everything: picking up small children, climbing subway stairs, or lifting heavy bags of dog food. But healthy knees depend on balance between our quad & hamstring strength — like you get from a stability ball. Not to mention the ball is a great way to do abs.
In the city, where people have limited space, I would avoid purchasing cardio equipment like treadmills or ellipticals. When your gym reopens, it’ll become a coat rack. All the cardio you could ever want can be done by walking or running the stairs in your building. No money spent, no space taken up!
Any successful weight loss (or fitness) program needs to include strength training! But wait! Isn’t cardio the only thing that helps weight loss??? No. Strength training builds strong bones, improves posture (so you can look thinner instantly), and increases your resting metabolism, so you can burn more calories all day long! Whether you purchase strength equipment like the items above, or stick to no-equipment moves like air squats and pushups, strength training will get you where you want to go.
Next month, we’ll look at equipment for balance. Stay tuned!
Lisa is a certified personal trainer & nutritionist. She provides 1-on-1 and small group personal training on Zoom.
ACE & NSCA Certified Personal Trainer