It has been a while since I have posted anything on the Fitness Llama blog, so today I thought I would talk about my fitness equipment. Now a lot of people who workout either pay gym fees so they can use all of the available gym equipment, or they pay an arm and a leg for all the various equipment they need in order to have their own home gym. I personally promised myself from day one that I would not break my bank account in the name of getting fit, so I have embraced from from the beginning a minimalistic approach to working out which comes rather easily with bodyweight training. As a result, there is not a whole lot of equipment that I use. But there are indeed some things I can’t do without! So today I thought I would display my small and inexpensive, but effective arsenal of workout equipment.
1. The Floor: The floor in my humble opinion is the greatest piece of workout equipment that can be tapped into. Most likely it is the cheapest too(unless you want to compare rent prices for floored spaces, but let’s not go there). To me it is a no brainer to consider the floor as workout equipment. You can work every single muscle group in the body with just the floor, and there are a countless number of exercises that can help you do that. But the best part about the floor is that it is EVERYWHERE!
2. The Door: One of the best ways to work the chest area with bodyweight training is to do the exercise called Let Me Ins with the help of a door. It involves grabbing both sides of the door knob with your hands, placing your feet in front of you on either side of the door and pulling yourself up to the door from a sitting position. I happen to do this one a lot. I have found though that some door knobs are harder to grab onto than others, and some doors like the one in I currently use in the basement, just plain hurt to use because of the doorknob’s shape.
3. Pull Up Bar: Ah, yes, the good ol’ pull up bar. For as simple as it is, doing pullups is pretty great for development of the arms, upper back muscles and lats. A lot of people who do home workouts use those P90X style removable door pull bars, but they cost $30 and this old plumbing pipe does just as good a job at making my life miserable as any commercial pull up can. I would like to add as a side note that watching someone crank out 20 or 30 reps of pull ups is quite impressive and plain impressive(I can do 8 or 9 so far, used to only be able to do 3 or 4).
4. The Other Pullup Bar: Another pull up exercise I do on a somewhat regular basis is the Let Me Up. The movement is basically that of a bench press in reverse. You pull yourself up to the bar from the ground rather than pushing the bar away from you. Mark Lauren’s book said to use a couple chairs and a thick broom handle for this, but with the help of my Dad I went a step further and made myself a couple of racks to hold a metal bar.
5. Yoga Mat and Foam Roller: The yoga mat makes lying on the floor for certain exercises a lot more bearable and is nice to sit on while stretching. Normally these will run you $15-30 but I got mine for free. The foam roller is my most expensive bit of equipment but wasn’t really all that expensive because it only cost me $15. It helps relieve soreness the day after a workout.
6. Gloves: These days in the gym you always see guys who are lifting heavy weights wear gloves like these. I can imagine they help keep a good grip on the bar when lifting it, but I find they help a lot with keeping my hands from hurting while doing certain exercises like pull ups. PSST! You wanna hear a secret? The gloves in this picture are technically gardening gloves from the gardening section at Walmart or Lowes. They only cost $3, but nobody will ever know just looking at them!