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Create a Great Home Gym on a Budget

Posted on 04/22/2010

For many Americans, especially those living in the more rural areas of this vast nation, going to the gym each day is beyond inconvenient. In those instances, it can be appealing to consider a home gym. Even for those just down the road from one of the oversized fitness centers, there can be a desire to remain within the comfort of their own space while building muscle and burning fat. However, when there isn’t room for large pieces of gym equipment within those walls, what is one to do? Is it possible to have a good home gym in a small space and on a tight budget?

Well, you might not wind up with the fancy, shining equipment that you would see in the off-site gym, but you certainly can get what you need to build muscle for very little investment and you can keep it tucked away under the bed, in the closet, or even in the garage between workouts.

Among the most popular small pieces in recent years is the pedal exerciser. A small, stable base holds a very simple pedal mechanism, complete with a resistance dial. It might not be showy, but this very inexpensive piece can provide your legs a very serious workout. Slim, trim and tone your legs while seated in your own kitchen chair. For fewer than fifty dollars, it can be yours and you can start working out immediately.

However, it isn’t even necessary to invest in this piece, if there is a set of stairs in your house. Get the workout you need, simply by traversing the stairs for twenty minutes. Either as a straight up and down (please keep a hand on the rail and be sure that you are steady on your feet before attempting) or as a pattern between each pair of steps, this can be a great cardio workout that doesn’t involve a purchase at all.

In addition to cardio, you are likely going to want to do some physical training. Rather than investing hundreds or thousands of dollars in free weights, benches, bars and more, consider instead hand- and ankle weights. Whether you can lift just two pounds or fifty, there are hand weights available at a fraction of the price of the large systems. Keep a small rack with a variation of weight to be used for a series of different exercises. For those who don’t want to invest in several sets, consider instead, one of the adjustable hand weight sets with dials for setting the needed weight. It will take up very little space, but done right, the workout can be equally as effective as one done at the gym downtown. Ankle weights, which simple Velcro around the leg (or arm, in the case of wrist weights), can also be helpful for exercises such as leg lifts, and even for added resistance when running.

Also valuable considerations are the training videos. Though many will buy them, set them aside, and never gain anything for the purchase, workout DVDs can be very useful for the dedicated individual. Typically, very little space is required for completing the workouts and they provide structure for the person who has difficulty crafting his or her own routine. As an added bonus, they are available for a wide variety of fitness levels and in everything from basic step aerobics to dance or karate style workouts. Some even make use of other home gym equipment, such as the hand weight previously mentioned or exercise balls. Done alone or with a friend, they represent huge financial- and space- savings with the potential for big rewards. That is the ultimate goal when building the ideal mini home gym.

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