A visit to a sporting goods store is enough to tell you that getting fit can be an expensive business. But there’s no need to splurge on a variety of weights and other goodies when you can make them at home using a few cheap items from your local hardware store – or even junk! Kit out your home gym with these cool cost-savers and buck the system.
1. Make your own pull-up bar
What could be easier? It’s just a bar, after all! Set it between two sturdy pieces of wood, use some tape to make comfortable hand grips and you’re good to go. You just need to find a steady beam or even a tree branch to hang it up from. You’ll work out a whole bunch of muscle groups with your pull ups – and if you happen to have some nice metal bar or piping in your garage, it won’t cost you a cent.
For a step-by step tutorial, go to cathe.com.
2. Build your strength with ‘dumb-bottles’
Dumbbells are expensive, especially if you want to use different weights for different exercises, but every week, we throw away milk bottles, water bottles or juice bottles that could become your best workout buddies. Fill them with sand, stones or cement, and you‘re ready to start pumping ‘bottle’. Those arms are looking great!
Check out the whole tutorial at instructables.com.
3. Make your kettlebells
Grab some quick-setting cement and some steel piping from your hardware store. Then pop into a toyshop and choose a rubber or plastic ball you can use for a mold. You will want to bend the bar at right angles or weld on ‘feet’ so that the bar grips solidly into the concrete when it’s set. For an even easier solution that you can make heavier or lighter at will, use an old bag with strong handles and a closeable zipper. Fill it with sand, and get moving.
See the entire tutorial at instructables.com.
4. Sandbags add extra oomph
Bodyweight exercises can get all too easy. You’ve probably seen people working out with a heavy bolster across their shoulders. Why not make your own? All you need is an old duffle bag or some strong fabric to make your bag and some sand. Sorted! Make lunges, squats and pelvic thrusts more challenging by adding weight.
More details at sixpackfactory.com.
5. Barbells from PVC pipe
OK, it doesn’t look much like a barbell, but it works all the same. Nip down to the hardware and get a length of rigid pipe. You can also get caps that will seal off the ends of your pipe. Now fill it with sand, concrete or even water for those presses and deadlifts. The longer the piece of pipe, the heavier it will be and the greater the challenge. Some people like partially filling the pipe with water so that it sloshes around adding an extra challenge to any exercise as the weight changes with the water’s movement.
See the tutorial at instructables.com.
6. Medicine ball
A weighted ball is a versatile tool that increases the challenge when you’re doing sit-ups, or as extra weight when doing squats or shoulder presses. Take an old basketball, make a hole in the cover and fill it with sand before plugging it closed. Job done!
See the full tutorial at instructables.com.
7. Make your own incline bench
Killer abs mean sit-ups and crunches galore, but store-bought benches are pretty pricey. Go basic with a few planks joined together and leaned securely or take it to pro level by padding it with foam and play it safe by attaching it to loops set into the wall – the choice is yours. Use some piping or a curtain rod holder to grip your feet, and get going with your crunches or sit-ups.
Visit rosstraining.net for more details.
8. Suspension straps the smart, savvy way
Here’s an irony: TRX straps were invented by a military trainer who didn’t have the equipment and needed to make a plan fast, but now they’ve become a highly priced piece of equipment in their own right. Get smart and make your own.
All you need is the lashing straps that truckers use to secure their loads. If you don’t have an industrial sewing machine, you can get a business to help you out, and it will still work out cheaper than the brand-name item. There are so many exercises you can do with your straps that you could find they’re the only items you need for a tough workout.
More instructions at todayfitness.
9. Battling hosepipes with no costs
Have you tried using battling ropes at the gym? It gets your heart thumping and seems to work out more than just your arms. But those big, heavy ropes are expensive, and as you get stronger, you’ll have to buy bigger and bigger ones. Try out your battling rope moves using an old garden hosepipe, and if it starts getting too light, start filling it with sand. Just remember to plug the ends, or things could get messy!
See the tutorial at craftybridge.blogspot.com.
10. Cardio without the treadmill
Before you lash out a fortune on a treadmill, Stairmaster or orbital trainer, think basic. When last did you jump rope? It’s cheap, and it stores away easily, and you can get your heart beating just as effectively as you would when using any expensive and bulky fitness machine.
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