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How to build a home gym without buying any equipment

Working out at home without machines.
Working out at home without machines.
Creative commons/ Flickr/ Jennifer C.

Going to the gym is a great way to get a full body workout, but sometimes you just want to stay at home and not force yourself to shimmy at Zumba class in front of a horde of people. When you can’t make it to the gym there are many easy ways to recreate the experience:

  • Take the stairs – who needs a stepper at the gym when you can just run up and down actual stairs? If you live in an apartment, just run flights up and down the stairwell. Your neighbors might wonder what’s going on, but who are they to judge? Taking steps for good health is an awesome thing to do, so go for it.
  • Make your own weights – the average jar of tomato sauce weighs 16 ounces. Canned goods can range from 16 to 24 to 48 ounces - use them as weights. Love to read? Use your heftiest books as weights.
  • Use your body as a weight – push-ups and sit-ups are classic exercises that require absolutely no equipment. Yoga and Pilates work wonders to tone muscles using your own body postures and movements.
  • Workout to a DVD – get a full cardio workout without suffering through the crowds of people in a gym class. Search YouTube for free workouts or sign up for a free trial of online personal training.

If you want to start converting your space into a home gym without actually buying any exercise machines, you can easily convert your bicycle to into a stationary bike. A device called a trainer - which can be found at any sporting goods store - suspends the back wheel of your bike and turns it into a stationary bike. This is an excellent alternative for when you can’t make it to the gym. And if you are feeling ambitious you can create your own trainer stand and pay nothing at all to convert your bike into a stationary exercise machine.

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