My mat, sandbag, skipping rope, elastic and timer. A few basics that allow for an amazing home workout.
Fit&Healty, Move 0

Creative gym-less workout options

In the previous MOVE post I promised to show you a few options that you have, if you don’t want to or cannot afford going to gym. They are also great tips in case you have to go for a business trip and you stay in a hotel without a gym, or you travel around changing destinations a lot. For those of you who have gym subscription but get bored easily, the suggestions also help to enrich your regular gym routine or improve your training during those days, when you simply do not have enough time or desire to kill a regular workout.

1. Living room workout

I was surviving thanks to home workouts for good two years. Devoted follower of Zuzka Light  (co-founder of Bodyrock.tv, who is now on her own), I would manage to workout even in my tiny little dorm room, where I hardly had space for push-ups and sit-ups. I couldn’t even extend my arms properly in that little space, but excuses aside, if you want to do it, you’ll do it. Both Zuzka and Bodyrock offer bazillion of exercises and options and you can either follow the entire workout prepared for you or get inspired by their moves and design your own workout with help of simple equipment found around the house.

I find sandbag the most useful tool ever for home based workouts. Using an old bag filled with sand from a nearby playground, I can add weight when necessary, it is comfortable to throw, carry, lift and play around with. I can make it heavier as my performance improves. Simple and smart. If you can afford investing little bit of money, get a bunch of kettlebells. They are my most favorite workout equipment these days, and can be used for building muscles as well as losing fat.

My mat, sandbag, skipping rope, elastic and timer. A few basics that allow for an amazing home workout.

My mat, sandbag, skipping rope, elastic and timer. A few basics that allow for an amazing home workout.

2. Playground workout

Yes, you read correctly. Check out playgrounds in your area. You will realize that aside from regular sand boxes there is equipment that can be used as pull up bar, gymnastic rings and so on. Be creative, playful and do not fight with the kids!

This might not be ideal for workout, but you would certainly have lots of fun!

This might not be ideal for workout, but you would certainly have lots of fun!

Seriously, walk around your neighborhood. It’s a recent trend that cities build playgrounds for adults to get people moving. They are super useful. You can usually find a few benches for different abs exercises, pull up bars of different heights, a few machines for legs and upper body. Together with bodyweight exercises you can kill an amazing workout. Plus you get the benefit of fresh air, daylight and time outside. It’s also a good spot to meet new people from your neighborhood and find a workout buddy!

Pull-up bar in action.

Pull-up bar in action.

3. Garage workout and other funny areas

If you don’t want to jump around your living room, because you have neighbor below or you feel uncomfortable in front of your family, look around the building’s common areas. Basements, garage, laundry room, bike storage room can all become your new gym. In case of blocks of apartments, it’s good to ask a permission to use a common area for your workouts. If you have a garage or bigger basement of your own, you can easily transform it into a more permanent workout area, bring simple tools and even hang gymnastic rings or TRX on the wall.

In terms of equipment of your home gym, I recommend buying portable equipment. Machines and stationery bikes are too big and expensive, if you want it to serve the purpose rather than annoy you and collect dust. Start with a homemade sand bag, add a few kettlebells, elastic band is also a great power tool and costs next to nothing. Everyone has a forgotten gymnastic ball around the house. TRX can be more expensive but sends your workout a few levels up. Another great investment is bosu – evil half-ball, which is amazing for stability exercises, builds your core and add yet another level to your regular workout (Bosu 1-leg squats, anyone?). Think about basics such as skipping rope. Now you just need pumped up music and you are all set!

If money really matters and there is no cent left in your budget, test how handy you are or find a skilled relative or friend, who can help you put together a few simple tools. Grandma can sew a sandbag, dad will gladly make a jump box for you, and your little sister or cousin can help you fill plastic bottles with sand at the playground. They will can act as your single weights or be tight to a broomstick for barbell simulation. Don’t be boring, be creative!

4. Beyond regular workout

Strolling around my neighborhood today taking photos for this blog post, I realized that the opportunities to move are all around. I watched people enjoying the Sunday afternoon sun. They were young, old, kids, with dogs, in groups or alone, biking, jogging, Nordic walking or just strolling, chasing children and laughing together. Active areas have become a stable part of many neighborhoods in big cities and small towns, and provide wide range of opportunities to be active, get out in the green and soak up some vitamin D. Very often they provide facilities such as adult playgrounds that I have already mentioned, but also sport and athletic stadiums with free hours for public, rental services or facilities for BBQ in summer. Look for biking paths, running paths or those dedicated to inline-skating. It is up to you, if you kill a quick sweat session after work, enjoy a leisurely stroll with your partner or throw a fun BBQ after a skating session with your gang. Just use them, they are out there and free!  

Path

Seriously, people, if you want it, do it. There is no chance you will find a valid excuse when it comes to facilities, opportunities, space and equipment. There is always a way.

It's all out there waiting for you!

It’s all out there waiting for you!

Thank you for reading! It’s time to get moving and live loud!

Yours,

Petra

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