Training regularly and exercising is one of the keys to staying healthy, strengthening our immune system, maintaining our energy level, relieving stress, and feeling good in body and mind.
However, between our long winters in Quebec, the snowstorms, the price of subscriptions and inflation, the closing of specific gyms or the rules of social distancing in public places, in addition to work, children, and other obligations, it can be challenging to find the motivation to work out three times a week at the gym.
The solution? Why not do a gym at home? No need to have a house with a big basement and giant war machines like at the gym!
It is possible to set up a place where you can exercise at home, even if you live in a small apartment, and to equip yourself with a small budget and barely a few accessories!
Here are some tips and ideas to help you keep in shape easily without going to the gym and without necessarily spending a fortune.
Why set up a gym at home?
Maintaining regular and even daily physical activity is essential for physical and mental health, you will read it on any wellness blog and in the lists of secrets to everyday happiness.
And in the pandemic times we are going through, maintaining our physical fitness, strengthening our immune system and preserving our mental health is more important than ever.
However, even if you live in Montreal or near a sports center, it is difficult to go to the gym almost every day, especially when winter comes.
This is why having a gym at home is an excellent solution, to maintain a regular training easily and without having to go out, in the comfort of your home.
Finding the right place
You will first need to determine the best place in your home to set up your gym, your daily practice space.
The necessary space
Ideally, you should have at least the space for a yoga mat, with enough space to turn and do extensions, so about 6 x 6 feet, or a square of 2 x 2 meters, to start with.
Thus, a simple little piece of the living room can do the trick or a corner of a bedroom can do the trick, if you live in a small apartment and you do not necessarily have an entire room to dedicate to your training.
The pleasant place
However, it is not only a question of place: it is also necessary to choose a pleasant place where you will want to spend time.
Thus, there is no point in moving a gym into your garage or basement if you never go there, or even in the small back bedroom where there is less sun and boxes piled up.
place The place dedicated to your gym must also give you the desire to find the motivation to train, which can be harder on some days.
This is why it can also be interesting to decorate or furnish the space that you are going to dedicate to your daily training, whether with green plants, small lights or posters of Schwarzenegger.
Low-budget home gym equipment
It all depends of course on your training goals, because the equipment will not be the same if you want to do cardio, fitness, weight gain, stretching or recovery.
Training more dedicated to strength and muscle gain with a collection of weights and dumbbells or large cardio sessions with a treadmill or an elliptical trainer necessarily require more space, but there are also less expensive and less bulky alternatives. .
Budget 0 to 20 USD: the minimalist school
Some books, trainers, sportsmen and several blog articles will advocate the path of minimalism for training at home: you do not need any equipment, except a mat ground or yoga mat, and even some do without!
Floor mat / Yoga : Because it is indeed possible to perform a multitude of exercises, abs, glutes, squats, push-ups, planks, burpees, stretching by simply being on the ground, without accessories.
Some even go so far as to use the furniture for certain exercises, such as, for example, sticking their feet under the cupboard to do abs, or using a small stool or a chair for certain stretches or certain positions.
The jump rope : the good old classic of boxers and other athletes to work on cardio, the jump rope is a simple and easy to store accessory, which easily replaces a session on the treadmill and will make you sweat for less than 20 USD!
Budget 20 to 75 USD: small accessories
Several affordable and space-saving accessories exist to train yourself without breaking the bank, opening up the possibilities – and the doors – of the gym in the comfort of your home.
elastic bands : Also called resistance bands or elastic bands, these elastic bands have a multitude of possible uses at home to replace machines in the weight room.
They can be used on the floor, but also with furniture depending on the model, and replace the gym machine to work the shoulders and upper back by hanging a rubber band on a door for example.
The Swiss ball : also called balance ball or exercise ball, this inexpensive accessory is used for a multitude of fitness and bodybuilding exercises, and its merits are also touted for being an excellent chair to keep your back straight !
Wrist and ankle weights : these weighted bands are a great way to up the intensity level of your workouts at home with ease!
They will allow you to accentuate the strength and the work on the muscles during training movements, simply by hanging them on your wrists and ankles.
Free weights and dumbbells : Everything will depend here on your objectives, but it is possible to equip yourself for not much with a few dumbbells to add weight to your exercises! Traditional dumbbells are often a staple for many home workouts.
Ab machines: There are a multitude of machines to work your abs, the most well-known type being the vibrating and heated abdominal belt. The goal in all cases is to melt your abdominal fat and build muscle in your abs.
Boxing gloves and punching bag: Boxing gloves and punching bags are items that can help you train for this sport, but they can also be used for other purposes. They can help you strengthen your hands and arms. They can also help you develop hand-eye coordination. You can also use boxing gloves and a punching bag to practice self-defense.
Budget 75 to 200 USD: more sophisticated accessories
Still without taking up space in an apartment and with a reasonable budget, it is possible to improve the home training experience with accessories that will make the difference.
KettleBells : These are weights with handles, which are very practical and versatile for bodybuilding exercises, and allow for example to replace pulley machines, or to do several lifting exercises to work biceps, triceps or even abdominals .
A weight bench : if you want to take it to the next level in training more directed towards muscle mass gain, that you start to be equipped with dumbbells, and perhaps bars with weight plates, a bench will be essential in your home gym .
An inversion table: It is used for exercises intended to relieve back pain and strengthen the core muscles. The inversion table can be used as a standalone exercise or as part of a larger fitness program. It is ideal for those who wish to strengthen their core and reduce back pain.
A small trampoline : If you have a little space and want a fun accessory to work on the cardio, trampolines are very popular in many physical training programs.
A suspension bar : A classic of apartment training, it is a bar that is fixed in a doorway and allows you to do flexions and extensions by lifting the weight of the body, mainly to work the upper body, but can also be combined for leg and abs exercises!
$200-$1000+: Next Level and Machines
Got settled, picked up a new routine, and your home gym needs to take it to the next level?
By pushing the budget, you can increase the quality of the equipment already mentioned above, such as suspension bars or kettlebells, or even more free weights but with storage racks for example.
But if you have the space, you can also consider a few workout machines, some of which can be found under $1,000 and in compact or foldable sizes suitable for small spaces.
Adjustable dumbbell: perfect for building muscle mass gain programs by increasing weight during sessions and over the course of weeks, adjustable dumbbells can be a good investment in the home gym.
Vibrating platform: The vibrating fitness platform is a device that vibrates and can help you tone and build muscle. It can help you burn fat and get in shape. It can also help you improve your posture.
Rower : if you have the space, you can equip yourself with a small rowing machine , some versions are quite compact and can very well be considered in a dedicated space in the house.
Stationary bike : Also called elliptical trainer, or exercise bike, this accessory is very popular for cardio because it is less hard on the joints than running with a treadmill. There are also foldable variants if you want to store your device between two sessions.
It has become more popular in recent years and you can now find models below 1000 USD which are specially designed for small spaces, and are easily foldable to be stored in a wardrobe for example.
Conveyor belt : Just like stationary bikes, treadmills / treadmills for doing cardio have become more popular in our homes, and it is now possible to find good quality ones between 300 and 800 USD, some of which are quite compact and foldable for use in an apartment or a small room.
Elliptical trainer: It is a fitness machine that mimics the motion of walking or running while providing a low-impact workout. Elliptical machines are excellent for cardio exercises because they are less strenuous than running or jogging. The user stands on a platform that moves up and down with the motor and leans back and forth as the motor moves. This movement allows the user to perform a low-impact workout, which can help reduce joint pain and improve overall health.
In conclusion, all you need is a little imagination to think and arrange the right place in your home and to easily equip yourself with accessories corresponding to your training programs to access the luxury of the gym at home!
And sometimes, it does not take much!