Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 5 Items To Include In Your Home Gym

Going to the gym can be a fun and motivating way to stay in shape.  When I was a doctoral student, it was one of my favorite parts of the day because school was both demanding and sedentary and I really needed to release some stress.

Now that I’m working, getting to the gym is a lot more challenging.  I rarely have a chunk of time in my day when I can get to the gym, get changed, workout and then travel home.  The huge crowds before and after work at most gyms have always turned me off.  A great solution for me and many of my clients is to work out at home.  You don’t need to have a lot of space or spend a lot of money.  In fact, if you took 1 years worth of gym dues, you can set yourself up with a great space saving home gym that will last you a lifetime, or close to it.

By working out at home you save money and you save time and who couldn’t use more of those two things?  Therefore, I am dedicating this post to The Top 5 Items To Include In Your Home Gym.

#1) Gazelle Edge Glider: This is a portable, inexpensive glider (very similar to an elliptical trainer) that will totally take care of your cardio needs.  It folds up for easy storage, costs around $100 with free shipping from amazon.com, and is all around awesome!  I’ve been using one for my cardio for years and love it.  I’d say about 80% of my clients also pick it up and love it too.  I dedicated an entire blog post to the Gazelle.  Here it is

#2) Free weights:  Nothing beats these, period!  For the ladies, pick up a set of 5’s and 8’s.  For the guys, pick up some adjustable free weights that are plate loaded.  They sell these at sporting goods stores.  I’d say get a set that will allow you to go up to 40 pounds or so.  If you want to spend the money, you can also get the spin lock weights from Bowflex or Powerblock.  These can be a bit pricey and they don’t really do anything more for you than free weights but are definitely more convenient and take up less space.

#3) Exercise bands: The one body part that is difficult to exercise at home is your back.  While there are a variety of free weight exercises that target the back, nothing beats the pulling exercises of the lat pull down machine.  A good set of exercise bands takes care of this nicely.  I have Bodylastics bands that come with a door anchor.  This allows your bedroom door to become a high or low back machine.  They are a bargain at $45 on amazon.com. Check them out here

#4) PT Pro Portable Fitness Bench: This bench is awesome.  It pops up for incline exercises, folds down for decline exercises and the legs fold up for easy storage in a closet.  I have one and love it.  It’s a bit pricey at $299 but it is totally worth it if you are pressed for space. 
#5) Door mounted chin up bar:  You’ve probably seen these on TV.  This chin up bar requires no permanent installation.  It fits on your door frame and you can take it off when your not using it.  I use it with arm slings for ab exercises and it’s also great for chin ups and pull ups.  It is also a bargain at $24 on amazon.  Here's the link

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