If you’re a new mom, a stay at home mom, or just trying to save some money by cutting out a gym membership, you might want to consider the following pieces of budget friendly tools for at-home strength training.
Resistance, or strength training will require you to work your body against an object that provides resistance.
You’re going to need light dumbbells and resistance bands in order to weight train at home. A bench, step + risers, or a strong supportive chair, coffee table, or sofa, are all great tools that you may already own and that can be used for at home strength training.
Bands and dumbbells come in a range of weights/tensions, from light to heavy. You might do fine with a set of 5 lb and 10 lb dumbbells, maybe more if you’re stronger. I’ve seen light dumbbells and bands at discount department stores and sporting good stores. Google and Craigslist are your friends, so use the Internet to scour for the best deals. Garage sales are usually good for finding the best deals on weights.
You could also fill up used 1/2 gallon and gallon milk containers with water and use them as “dumbbells,” or fill them with sand to make them heavier.
Resistance bands: I’ve bought bands from Black Mountain Products and was very happy with their customer service. Here’s a link to their site; it’s not an affiliate link and I do not make any money off of their sales. http://www.blackmountainproducts.com/ Of course, other sites like Amazon.com (online) or Walmart, Target, etc. may sell them as well. You can also check out my video on training with resistance bands here.
Proper shoes. My favorite piece of overlooked fitness apparel is a pair of nice, flat-soled shoes for weight lifting. Check out the Converse I’m sporting in the photo below. Brand name really isn’t important, but overly clunky shoes with super thick, foamy, squishy/springy heels are not ideal for weight lifting. Although probably fine for walking (and do use your running shoes for running/jogging), thicker and heavier shoes often restrict movement at the ankle and make it harder for you to push evenly through your feet during exercises like the squat. Keds, Converse, or something similar will do just fine.
Steps or a bench. Use the steps in your apartment complex or home for step ups if you don’t own or have access to the step+risers shown below. Remember to check out the video page on my website to see how to perform exercises using the bench or steps.
Your mobile phone, computer, or T.V.
If you like moving along with fitness DVDs, you can always rent one from your local library before you decide to buy. Fitness Blender http://www.fitnessblender.com/ is another online resource for do-along workouts that you can customize for free.
You can also download a free circuit training workout App, like SworkIt for your phone.
Turn it off, power it down, and go for a walk.
If what your body needs is just to MOVE and get some fresh air, put on your walking or running shoes, and hit the road. Walking really is great exercise and is probably the most budget friendly of all activities. Or go to the playground and chase your kids around and play, skip, hop and do what feels good. Physical activity doesn’t always have to involve barbells, machines, power cages, and dumbbells, after all. And it certainly shouldn’t break the bank.