With facilities closed all across the country, lots of gym-goers are wondering how they can keep their fitness routines going while staying at home.
The easy answer is to build a home gym to try to replicate your gym workouts. But that’s not always feasible. You need space. And equipment. Building a gym can get expensive really quickly.
You don’t need expensive equipment or a home gym to keep your fitness routine going, however. You can get great workouts at home with a few items that total less than $100. Here’s what you should buy.
Gymnastic Rings ($42.99)
If you’ve ever frequented a gym that markets itself as a place for “functional fitness,” you’ve likely seen a pair of gymnastic rings somewhere. And they’re a lot cheaper than you expect.
This pair of rings from FitBeast comes with 15-foot straps that can hook to a ceiling beam or overhead attachment in just a couple of minutes. If you’re in an apartment or a space without a place to attach them to the ceiling, a door anchor is also included so you can easily hook the rings to a closed door.
You don’t have to be anywhere near an Olympic-level gymnast to get a lot of benefit from a set of rings either. They’re great for chinups, pullups and bodyweight rows as well as dips and modified pushups. You can even put your feet in the rings to do some core exercises. FitBeast has an app you can download with numerous exercise tutorials.
Ab Wheel ($11.44)
There’s nothing new about at-home ab workouts. There’s an entire segment of the fitness industry that’s thrived on selling home workout videos focusing on the abdominals for the past 30 years and there are plenty of different ab workouts that you can do with no equipment at all.
But at just over $10, a basic ab wheel is a no-brainer to add to your home workout collection. Ab rollouts — when done correctly — are one of the most beneficial ab exercises that you can do and you don’t need a fancy contraption to do them. Make sure that you keep your abs braced during the entire movement and don’t over-extend yourself while doing rollouts. You don’t want to feel it in your back. With a little practice and some day-after soreness, you can quickly make a lot of progress.
Resistance Bands ($39.98)
No home gym — whether it’s elaborate or simple — is complete without a set of resistance bands. They’re great for high-rep sets and can easily be stored away when they aren’t in use unlike a squat rack or a rack of dumbbells.
At $40, this set from Tribe is a good place to start if you’re adding bands to your home gym collection. It includes bands of various resistance and length with handles and attachments as well. You can use the smaller looped bands for glute exercises and can utilize the longer bands for curls and tricep extensions among myriad other exercises.
A band exercise that is a must for anybody that works at a computer is a band pull apart. A set of 15 or 20 is a great way to break up the day and loosen up your shoulders after sitting at your desk for hours.
Here’s a brief tutorial from New York Yankees strength and conditioning coordinator Eric Cressey:
Your own bodyweight (Free)
This isn’t the cop-out you think it is. It’s easy to ignore bodyweight training when you’re going to a gym with a bunch of machines and free weights. Without access to those machines and free weights, now is a great time to get reacquainted with using your own body as resistance.
How many pushups can you do? Can you easily do a single-leg squat or are unable to do more than 20 bodyweight squats? Do you not walk very far when you try to do walking lunges? If you’re not happy with either of your answers to those questions, there’s no better time than now to get better at a bodyweight exercise you don’t think you’re very good at.
And there’s no quicker way to get better at a bodyweight exercise than to practice the exercises and monitor your food intake. Yes, a lot of us are stress-eating right now. But it’s a pattern that doesn’t have to continue. Try to get back to your normal eating levels as soon as possible by making incremental changes.
Total Cost: $94.41
Not bad, right? If you’ve got $200 to spend, you can add in a stability ball, a medicine ball, a kettlebell, and some more bands of differing resistances. But you don’t have to do that. Being wise with your money in these unprecedented modern times is a good idea. And just like your money can be, fitness is an investment too. A small expenditure now to keep working out will reap benefits down the road when we can all get back to the gym.
- - - - - - -
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports
More from Yahoo Sports: