Julie Wilson

Wouldn’t it be a lot more convenient and cost effective if you could just workout at your leisure at your own house?

What if I told you that you could build a home gym for less than $100 and get in incredible shape?

This article will reveal how to save money rather than buying tons of equipment. We can call it the poor man’s workout, but it’s probably better labeled the wise man’s workout.

If you can reach the same outcome with less dollars down the drain, doesn’t it seem like the smarter choice?

Big workout equipment and machines are expensive, take up a lot of space and each one can only can do a few exercises.

Because their intended exercises are so limited, you need a lot of machines and big equipment to get a good workout in.

For these reasons, workouts requiring little or no equipment are becoming more popular.

These new workouts focus on bodyweight exercises and lightweight versatile equipment.

There are hundreds of exercises to choose from so you never get bored and you always keep your muscles guessing.

It’s important to continuously surprise your muscles with workout variations to keep them from plateauing.

Burpees, mountain climbers, squat jumps, push-ups, bridge lifts, plank walks and supermans are just a few exercises you can incorporate in your routine that don’t require any equipment.

Think it sounds too easy? Need a little convincing?

Try doing 20 burpees and then pick up this article again.

So why haven’t you heard more about these effective in-home workouts with minimal equipment? If they are so good, shouldn’t they be more mainstream? Well, they are certainly moving in that direction.

Specialized information is much easier to gather in our technological times.

Anyone can walk into a gym and look at the pictures of exercises on the side of the workout machines, but in-home workouts require the knowledge of what to do and how.

Thankfully we now have many new resources that offer this information.

The biggest and best one is the internet. You can YouTube just about anything these days, and in-home workouts are no different.

If you’re not driven to work out on your own or able to apply the online information to your own routine, it can be nice to have a workout partner or have a trainer help guide you.

I have had many clients in my in-home personal training business that may have the perfect setup but lack knowledge or motivation and need someone to help push them.

Yoga, mat pilates and barre (using a chair instead of a ballet barre) can be great to follow on YouTube and other websites.

As much as I enjoy doing yoga and barre on my own, going to another space from time to time and having a teacher guide you is really a treat.

There is an amazing mind and body benefit from yoga in particular, and they are quite an affordable experience in this town.

So how about this cheap and versatile equipment previously mentioned?

While there is plenty out there, some great recommendations are a stability ball, resistance band and TRX.

A STABILITY BALL will cost anywhere from $7-$35 and can help with balance and core strength.

They can also mimic a bench if working with weights or can be nice to use as a chair to help with core stability and posture.

Some of my favorite stability ball exercises are tuck-ins, low back extensions, elevated bridge lifts, supported wall sits and modified push-ups.

RESISTANCE BANDS are another simple, low-tech piece of equipment costing as little as $5 per band. They work all your upper body muscles, and they can vary in resistance depending on your skill level.

You can stand on it and do exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls and front raises to name a few.

Another variation is to loop the middle of it around something sturdy and do exercises such as rows, chest presses, oblique twists and tricep pull downs. How’s that for an inexpensive piece of equipment?

A TRX IS a bodyweight suspension training piece that hooks over a door, tree branch, ceiling beam or other similar stable objects.

A branded TRX can cost around $150, but there are several bodyweight suspension training knockoff versions that can cost as low as $30.

There are at least 50 exercises you can do with them incorporating all of your body’s muscles, and all force you to keep your core engaged and utilized to safely and effectively perform the exercises.

Some of my favorites are squat to curl, pull-ups, single leg burpees, chest flies and pike-ups.

They are perfect for any level as it’s up to you how much bodyweight you chose to incorporate: The lower you are to the ground the more of a challenge you have.

If you had to pick one piece of equipment to buy this would be the best bang for your buck. It takes up little to no room and is even great for travel.

There are many other affordable options like gliding discs, a doorway pull-up bar, and a cheap sets of dumbbells.

Barre classes often use just 2- to 3-pound weights and can effectively work your upper body, but having a set of 5-10 pounds gives you a lot more workout options.

Go bigger for bulkier workouts. Buying weights these days can pay for itself in a month.

And of course you can’t forget why we all live here…getting outside in the mountains for some physical activity can’t be beaten, and can be virtually free depending on your activity.

There are so many options to choose from such as hiking, trail running, mountain biking, climbing, rafting/kayaking or skiing/snowboarding.

If you don’t have one of those you like, it’s never too late to start.

Health and fitness columnist Julie Wilson is a local ACE certified personal trainer and 200-hour yoga instructor through her company BeNShape. She previously wrote health and fitness columns for the Summit Daily News before relocating to Buena Vista and loves sharing her passion for a healthy lifestyle with others.

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