Affordable Home Fitness

Greg Adler

E1-P1 Photos by Everkinetic

E1-P2 Push up with elevated feet
Push up with elevated feet

E2-P1 Abdominal pull in

abdominal pull in

E3-P1 Upper back pullover with weight

E3-P2 Photos by Everkinetic
Upper back pullover with weight

E4-P1 Lower back extention

Lower back extension













When it comes to home fitness there is a serious problem: people everywhere think they need to buy the MEGA-ULTRA-SUPER-DOOPER-GYM 7000, for eight easy payments of $69.99.

To set the record straight, there are ways to put together a great home gym for a fraction of the cost. Yes, even on a shoestring college budget, assembling a cost-effective gym is easier than most people think.

First, there’s the Iron Gym, an apparatus that hooks safely and securely to most door frames, and costs $30. The Iron Gym serves as a multi-pull-up bar that offers its users several different pull-up positions. Take the unit off the door frame and toss it on the ground for a variation of push-ups that allow for a deeper range of motion versus the tradition bodyweight push-up.

Falling into the same $30 category is the SKLZ Sport Performance Training Mat. Basically, it provides the individual with a step-by-step workout and stretch routine that will increase range of motion, circulation and bodyweight strength. It’s built tough, carries the added benefit of a clean surface to stretch on, and easily rolls up to take anywhere.

Additionally, SKLZ makes a great Performance Trainer Ball. While most exercise balls come with DVDs and pamphlets, the SKLZ brand prints the exercises right on the ball, making it a more convenient and engaging piece of equipment. Generally, exercise balls help increase core stability and strength. One great way to use them is to ditch the chair at the computer desk and use the ball for the duration of the study session, which will exercise the body and mind.

One item at the lowest end of the cost spectrum is one most of us played with as a kid, a jump rope. Jump ropes are great because of their portability and efficiency as a workout tool. Jump rope exercises not only accelerate the heart rate to improve cardiovascular endurance, but also increase coordination, balance and leg strength. Once the basic jump rope has been mastered, moving on to a weighted jump rope is great next step.

The Power Press is a home workout system that focuses primarily on push-ups. However, there is a slight twist, as the system allows the user to make 24 different push-up combinations. One of the great things about this device is that it provides the perfect form every time, which means it is less likely for the individual to suffer an injury.

Lastly, and most importantly, is a good pair of walking or running shoes. Couch to 5k is a program that is available for free online that teaches individuals how to increase cardiovascular endurance and get themselves in enough condition to comfortably run five kilometers (roughly 3.1 miles).

Cardio is a paramount part of any workout routine and should be focused on as much as the strength training side of things. Just remember to take it slow with any exercise and give the proper amount of time for the body to adjust. This list is proof that a gym membership or expensive equipment is not required to live a healthy and active lifestyle.