Home gyms have become super popular due to social distancing, but do you need to break the bank to get a great workout? The answer is no, with a few key pieces you can create a routine that includes cardio, strength and flexibility. On average people spend about $5,000, building a home gym which is a considerable investment for many.
My all-time favourite piece of equipment is the kettlebell. This versatile tool can be used for both cardio and strength training. In fact, some moves are cardio and strength at the same time. The 2 handed kettlebell swing works 80% of the muscles in your body and is a cardio/strength exercise. A kettlebell costs anywhere from $40 to $85. A good starting weight for women is 8kg or 12kg and for men 12kg to 16kg. You can use a kettlebell for squats, presses, swings, curls and more.
A yoga mat is a must and can be purchased for about $25. You will do all your core and flexibility work on the mat. Add a stability ball, and you have everything you need for a great core work out. Pilates on the ball is the perfect complement to your regular work out. Doing your core work on the ball challenges your balance and engages more muscles. A good stability ball will run you about $30. Ensure you invest in a burst free ball, don't cheap out on it.
Skipping is a great way to torch calories, and there are tons of interval type workouts you can do with your rope. This is your new cardio. Be warned if you haven't skipped in years your heart rate will soar. You may purchase a good skipping rope for around $25. Fear not if you can't skip, you have the kettlebell for great cardio.
And finally a set of dumbbells, I'd suggest a set of medium and heavy weights. So maybe 2 x 5lb and 2 x 10lbs for women and 2 x 15lb and 2 x 20lbs for men. You can always add reps if the weights become too light. Weights sell for anywhere from $1.50 to $2 a pound.
If you want to add a little more to your home gym resistance bands are amazing, and are super versatile and start with a medium resistance one and work up. You will be surprised by the great workout they give you.
If budget is a problem, you can easily purchase used equipment on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. Like all of us, many people buy fitness equipment and then don't use them.
The great thing about your new home gym is it's also portable. Deflate your stability ball and pack everything in your trunk for cottage holidays and weekends.
If your new to working out or have never used a kettlebell or resistance bands, it's wise to invest in a trainer for a few session to teach you the moves. Hiring a trainer will ensure you work out injury-free and will still save you money.
Now you need the motivation and staying power, there are several ways to do this. One is to schedule your workouts as if they were a business meeting. Having that time booked will help you stay committed. The other is to set a goal and reward yourself at that goal. Recently I decided that once I hit a specific goal, I will purchase a new pair of On running shoes I've been coveting. To quote Nike, somedays you just have to "do it".
Sheree Nicholson is the owner of Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness studio in Whitby, Ontario. She has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University and is working on her Masters in Metaphysics. Sheree holds certifications in Advanced Yoga, Pilates, Reebok Spinning and Kettlebell training. This benefits you as she focuses on functional movement, strength and weight loss. Sheree competed in both Canadian and American Kettlebell competitions placing in the top 3.
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