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5 Things You Need to Build an Affordable Home Gym

By NICK HILDEN

Let's face it, even if you're 100-percent committed to exercising regularly, sometimes it can be difficult to get motivated to hit the gym.

Man Performing Push-Ups On Floor At Home

There are a variety of reasons why the gym might not be the best option for you. Maybe the monthly fees are too steep. Maybe you feel self-conscious about working out around others -- that was an issue for me when I started getting serious about my fitness.

But I found a solution: creating my own home gym.

When people imagine a home gym, they probably picture expensive pieces of complex equipment. If you have the money and space for a multipurpose workout machine, that's great. But for many people, the cost and size of such a machine makes it unpractical.

The good news is that you can put together an effective home gym without emptying your wallet. In fact, you probably have most of the necessary tools already.

1. Your Body
It's easy to forget that your body can be its own workout machine. There are many equipment-free workout options: Push-ups, planks, lunges, squats and the much-hailed burpee are just a few of the exercises you can do at home -- no equipment needed.

Between your body, gravity and the floor, you have everything you need to get your heart rate going. But if you want to get more creative, there are quite a few other inexpensive options. Here are some workout routines you can do without any equipment:

The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves

The 16 Most Effective Fat-Loss Moves

20 Best Body-Weight Exercises

The 29 Hardest Abs Exercises

A Star Trainer's Do-Anywhere Workout

2. A Jump Rope
Every workout needs some level of cardio. You can always go for a run outside, but for some people, running on cement can be terrible on the knees and joints. The solution? Try jumping rope instead. Not only is jumping rope great for cardio, it can help you increase agility, quickness and coordination. Portability also makes it easy to take it along while traveling.

How to Jump Rope for Strong & Fast Legs

3. Adjustable Dumbbells
Dumbbells are amazing -- they provide a range of workout options that are practically endless. With a single dumbbell, you can build strength in almost every muscle group of your body. As you get stronger, it's easy to increase the difficulty of your workout by simply adding more weight. Here are some easy dumbbell exercises to get you started:

The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Shoulders

Dumbbell Exercises for the Calves

Methods of Working With Dumbbells

4. A Pull-Up Bar
I know people who groan when pull-ups are mentioned because, well, they're hard to do. Pull-ups deliver an incredible workout to your arms, shoulders, back and core. Spend a few minutes doing hanging knee tucks and your abs will hate you in the morning. Here’s a video to show you how it’s done:

How to Do Hanging Knee Tucks

5. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are an affordable alternative to weights, and they can also be used with other equipment, such as dumbbells or a pull-up bar, to add variety to your routine. An actual resistance band is great, but there are other things that can serve a similar purpose, such as a towel. Simply grip the towel with your hands about six inches apart and pull outward for three sets of 15 seconds each. You can adjust the elevation of your hands to work out different parts of your body: directly in front of your chest for your pecs, or above your head for your triceps.  Here are a couple of videos to get you started:

Lunge to Bicep Curls With Resistance Bands

How to Use Heavy Duty Resistance Bands With Dumbbells

 

That's it. With just a few items and a bit of research into their different uses, you can develop a comprehensive home workout in no time. The best part? You can have your own home gym for less than a third of what it would probably cost you to join a gym.

Getting fit doesn't have to mean spending a lot of money. Bring your workout home and keep your wallet happy.

--Nick

Readers -- Do you belong to a gym or work out at home? What equipment (if any) do you have in your home gym? Do you have a favorite at-home exercise or workout? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Nick Hilden is a writer and all-around adventure enthusiast. Nick is known for his easygoing nature and irreverent dedication to strange living. Travel, health and fitness, food and drink, art, music and literature rank among his foremost passions. His turn-ons include the great outdoors and poetry of dubious meaning. His turnoffs include angry drivers and boastful winners.

You can check out Nick's blog at lifedonewrite.com, find more info at nickhilden.com or follow him on Twitter @LifeDoneWrite.

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