Building Your Fortress on a Budget
Check out these key pieces of equipment that can give you a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home and won’t break the bank!
Perfect for full-body strength training, resistance tubes (also known as resistance bands) are the perfect choice for home exercise equipment as they are affordable, compact and portable. Available in a variety of resistance levels, for about $30 you can get a set containing weights that are light (for beginners), medium (for upper- and lower-body work), and heavy (for more intense lower-body training).
For an upper body workout of chest presses, lay on the floor with the center of a resistance band under the middle of your back. Using both hands, press the bands straight up and over you. Lower and repeat.
Tip: Look for padded handles to ensure proper grip, which will help you to maintain Good form
One of the easiest tools for high-intensity cardio, a jump rope, is inexpensive, (costing as little as $4) lightweight and portable. A staple in any boxer’s conditioning program, jumping rope can enhance your coordination, agility, footwork, and endurance.
For beginners, start with 20-second intervals on the rope; just try to skip for 20 seconds without tripping on the rope. Keep the intervals brief, and stop before fatigue mounts. Strive to improve your work rate per round, while decreasing the rest required between intervals. A sample workout could consist of 6 x 1-minute intervals, each separated by 30 seconds of rest.
The best thing about dumbbells are their affordability and how portable they are. Sets cost about $5 per pound, so beginners can start with a basic range of a set of 5-, 8-, or 10-pound dumbbells and increase the weight as they get stronger! One great dumbbell arm exercise is the Alternate Dumbbell Curl. Stand (torso upright) with a dumbbell in each hand held at arm’s length. The elbows should be close to the torso and the palms of your hand should be facing your thighs. While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the right weight as you rotate the palm of the hands until they are facing forward. At this point, continue contracting the biceps as you breathe out until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
Tip #1: Only the forearms should move. Slowly begin to bring the dumbbell back to the starting position as your breathe in.
Tip #2: Remember to twist the palms back to the starting position (facing your thighs) as you come down. Repeat the movement with the left hand. This equals one repetition!