While most people are aware of the importance of regular aerobic exercise, the significance of resistance training (aka weight or strength training) is often overlooked. It’s recommended that adults engage in at least two 20- to 30-minute resistance training sessions per week, besides aerobic activities.
If you’re trying to stay fit while on a budget, there are plenty of aerobic exercises you can do for free, such as brisk walking, running and cycling. But how about resistance training workouts? Is there a way to do them for cheap?
Fortunately, building your own home gym for resistance training can be affordable and convenient. Below are tips on how to do this.
Resistance bands and tubes
Resistance tubes and bands are cost-effective and versatile tools for strengthening muscles.
Tubes are heavy-duty elastic cords available in various configurations. These often come with padded handles for comfort. Meanwhile, bands are flat, wide sheets of latex commonly used in physiotherapy, yoga, and Pilates.
You can buy a kit with tubes and bands for different resistance levels for a couple of dollars.
Free weights: Dumbbells or barbells?
Dumbbells and barbells are both popular choices for free weights.
If you’re a beginner, dumbbells are highly recommended because of their versatility, focus on specific muscles, and the greater range of motion they offer. Barbells are designed for exercises like squats and deadlifts that require heavier weights.
You can start with dumbbells which are quite affordable and later purchase a barbell as you advance in your training.
Functional resistance training
Functional resistance training focuses on exercising multiple muscles simultaneously through coordinated practical and natural movements. This type of training aims to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination in the body while also engaging the brain.
An example of functional training is performing squats instead of using gym machines to build leg strength. As you progress, you can increase the challenge by adding weights to your routine.
Creating a home gym with improvised equipment
If purchasing equipment is not feasible or desirable, you can repurpose everyday objects for use during your workouts.
Empty bottles, bricks, sand, sacks, duffle bags, shovels, and ropes are just a few examples of items that can be converted for exercise purposes.
For example, you can fill empty 2-litre bottles with water or sand and use them as hand weights. Or you can fill an old volleyball or basketball with sand and seal it to be repurposed as a medicine ball or to make squats, crunches and lunges more challenging.
Homemade equipment may lack the glamour of expensive gym gear, but it’s effective, affordable (even free), and fun to use.
Once your home gym is set up, there are apps and online video platforms offering tips or actual home-based workouts for various fitness levels and interests.
Enjoyable workouts at home
Resistance training is a vital component of overall physical health.
With a modest budget and a bit of creativity, it’s possible to build a home gym using resistance bands, free weights, or improvised equipment.
You can use free online resources to help guide you in your home workout journey, ensuring you enjoy a well-rounded fitness routine any day of the week.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you, your family or your business are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.
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