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How to Outfit a Home Gym on the Cheap

If you have the space - and it doesn’t take much - a home gym can be a worthwhile investment. Think about how much money you would save long term ditching that $30,$50 even $100 a month gym membership. We are all busy people. Between work, family. kids, traffic etc most of us will find impediments and roadblocks (no pun intended) to getting in the car after a long day at work and drive to the gym. If we only have to make it to the extra room in our house or apartment, our basement, garage or even living room, life and movement suddenly gets a lot easier!

As a trainer and coach, I would emphasize movements and protocols using free weights(like a kettlebell)  and a variety of movement patterns(think the “Big 5”, Pressing Reset Movements).

You should incorporate strength and conditioning training while also working on reflexive core stabilization and restoration

So, what tools do you need to accomplish this? To get started on a great home gym, I would recommend.

  1. Dumbbells

The exercises you can do with dumbbells are endless so they justify their purchase immediately. You can buy new from a sporting goods store like Dick’s, or pick up second-hand from a Goodwill or CraigsList. Get 3-5 sets in a range of weights to accommodate for different exercises and for the strength you will be gaining.

  1. Kettlebell

Many kettlebell movements can be done similarly with a dumbbell. Certain kettlebell movements are unique, however, and some movements just work better or are more challenging with a kettlebell. They are a worthwhile investment for the variety they can add to your workout routines. If you feel uncomfortable with some of the movements I would highly recommend taking a StrongFirst Kettlebell User Course. It just so happens we are hosting a course later this month!

  1. Pull Up Bar

Pull up bars aren’t just for pull ups! There are a number of basic gymnastic exercises you can practice if you have a pull-up bar installed at home.  While you can get pull up bar systems built for doorways, ideally you would have an archway or part of a wall where you could mount a bar. If you can’t yet do pull-ups, you’ll also want to buy some resistance bands for assistance.

  1. Rings

Great for the home gym or for traveling, rings are lightweight, portable and give you the ability to increase the variety in your workouts by adding gymnastic exercises to your repertoire.  When looking for rings, make sure you get a brand that is light in weight and easy to hang.

  1. Gray Cook Band

Named affectionately after it’s inventor, world-renowned Physical Therapist Gray Cook, the Exercise Band is an all purpose resistance band than can be used for chops, lifts, presses, PNF patterns and more. You may see CMO Colin Cooley doing some wacky stuff with the Cook band. Never fear: it’s all to help you move better!

Colin Cooley Chief Movement Officer

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