Serial Trainer

{August 1, 2008}   The Poor Man’s Gym

So you don’t have enough money to buy any home gym equipment. You don’t have enough money, or don’t want to spend money, on a gym membership. What do you do?

You make a homemade gym, of course!

In the spirit of denouncing excuses (I know you just love me for it) I have come up with the basic necessities for a “Poor Man’s Home Gym”. You will need the following items: Canned Food, small step stool or sturdy coffee table, couch or chair, small ball, broom handle. If you have small children, that’s a bonus.

Things you can do with this stuff? Unlimited. Canned foods are now your new dumbbells. Depending on the size of the can of soup, you can go up increments as needed! A small step stool and you can do jumps, step ups and even triceps! With the broom handle you can get a great core workout. And on the weekend, you can jack up that calorie burn by cleaning the house, the yard and washing your car. Never tell a mom of four that you have nothing to do, that’s rule number one.

Below are some pictures for the aforementioned exercises and a small routine I put together for the Home Gym Workout. Enjoy your weekend!

Tricep Dip:
Pull your stool next to the coffee table. If the stool and coffee table are not close in height, use a chair or couch so that your hips are aligned with your heels. For more of a challenge your hands can be a little lower than your heels. Keep your arms slightly further than shoulder width apart but as close as you can to your body. Lower yourself down, inhaling on the way, until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Pause and hold for 2 seconds, then exhale and push yourself back into starting position. Be careful not to full extend your arms or lock your elbows as this can cause damage to the joints.

Standing Torso Twists: Works the obliques. Standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, place a broomstick or light bar across the back of your shoulders, holding it in place with a wide grip. Keeping your legs straight, bend forward from the waist to about a 60-75 degree angle. Keeping your head and pelvis stationary, rotate your upper body in one direction as far as you can. Hold at the stopping position for a short time then begin to go the other direction, and do the same thing for the opposite side. Avoid swinging while doing this exercise.

If your broom handle is strong enough, you can also position two chairs side by side and set the broom stick across them, with arms wide, exhale as you pull yourself up, touching your chin to the broom handle and then lowering down again. This is an awesome back and arm workout.

To perform the Hover Step-up, stand sideways so that you’re facing the long dimension of the step or on top of a sturdy wide step or box r and dangle one leg off the side of the step. Bend your knee and slowly lower your body until the unweighted foot is just above the floor. Pause for a second before you push back up to a standing position. Make sure to leave your knees soft and do not lock them when you stand back up. Keep your weight over your heel, and if you feel any discomfort in the knee, lower the step height to make the movement smaller. Press your hips back behind you so the knee does not travel past the front toe of the forward foot.

Step up to Balance: This link will show you how to do a step up to balance exercise. Please make sure your chair is sturdy! This exercise will give you a great cardio workout as well as test/improve your balance.

This version of the crunch is sure to give even veterans a run for their money.

Start: Lie on your back, knees at a 90 degree angle. For beginners, you can put your heels against a flat surface. Hold the stick over your knees, draw in your core by pulling the navel against your spine. Take a deep breath and then push the stick toward your toes, keeping it just over your shins, breathing out on the exertion. Pause and hold for two seconds, then lower your body again without letting your shoulders touch the floor. Repeat!

Other exercises to include:

Bicep Curl
Tricep Extensions
Medicine Ball Push Up
Jump Rope

If all this isn’t enough, stay tuned. I’m sure I can make it harder.


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