Like many of you I love working out, but since gym memberships can be expensive, as can exercise equipment, there are some everyday items for your budget home gym which will mean you can get a great all over body work out, without spending a penny. Look around you, there are some great items around the home which will give you as good a work out as expensive gym equipment. It just takes a little imagination. So to get you started, here are some great items for your budget home gym.
1. Phone Book Fun
No, this isn't a weird game where you choose a random number from the phone book and have a conversation with a complete stranger. Your telephone directories can actually be used as a piece of exercise equipment. Not in a Mr Universe fashion by trying to tear it in two (something I've tried and failed miserably at), but by stacking them up against a wall and using them as your very own 'exercise step.' Use your DIY step for cardio and strength exercises and as you get stronger and need more height, just add more books for your perfect piece of budget home gym equipment!
2. Powerbag with Your Gym Bag
Powerbags are great to improve core and muscle strength but they're not cheap. They can be used for plyometrics training, squats, lunging and throwing exercises, to name but a few. How about filling up your gym bag with towels and using that instead? As you get stronger you can just replace the items inside with heavier ones.
3. DIY Dumbbells
The cost of dumbbells can mount up, especially if you want a range of weights to mix up your workout. Save money by using filled water bottles instead. Use big bottles for heavier weights and 500ml bottles for smaller weights, just increase the number of repetitions per set. You can use cans as well!
4. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are great for improving flexibility and stretching but did you know you can use something as simple as a tightly rolled up towel in the place of a resistance band? To stretch your arms, shoulders and back, simply use a hand towel.
5. Chairs, Stairs and Polar Bears
Ok, so there are no polar bears involved but I just liked the rhyme. I use my chair for a whole range of exercises at home. Put your chair up against a wall and use it as a 'step' for leg raises. Make sure it's sturdy and doesn't have wheels - that could just end in disaster! You can obviously use your bottom two stairs at home as a stepper too. Another exercise you can do with your chair is tricep dips. Simply sit on your chair and place the palms of your hand on your chair and feet on the floor. Shuffle forward so you're no longer sitting, bend your elbows, slowly lowering your body and straightening your arms.
6. Big Book
Medicine balls are another great piece of equipment for strength and core exercises but there may be something in your school bag or book shelf that will work just as well and will save you some money. How about using your weightiest school book in the place of a medicine ball? For example, you can use this when doing sit ups to build core strength and tone abdominals.
Walls are an amazing 'piece' of exercise equipment and you can do a whole range of exercises using the humble wall (not THOSE types of exercises). Use your wall for wall sits where you 'sit' on an imaginary chair with your back against the wall and hold for as long as you can. Feel the burn! This is great for core strength and working your abdominals. Wall sprints are another great exercise. Simply place your hands on the wall at shoulder height in a push-up position. Lean your body into a 45-degree angle, bring one knee up to your chest and then quickly "run" on the spot as though you're trying to run through the wall. There are many more wall exercises which I won't list here, but a simple search on the web will give you more ideas.
Not having the right 'equipment' can be a great excuse not to work out at home but this just goes to show that you don't have to spend all your hard earned cash to get a great all over body work out. What items do you recommend for working out at home in the absence of gym equipment?