Weight Training on a Budget

You don't need a gym

mom doing squats while playing with baby laying on her exercise mat

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Recently, I read an article about the economic crisis and the most likely personal and family expenditure cuts that many people would be likely to make as a response to uncertainty with jobs, home loans, and general cost of living increases.

One of those expenses was gym and health club memberships. In my experience, even in good times, many people consider these expenses luxuries, and they figure they can get their exercise some other way if they need to—although many don't bother to do so.

Perhaps if they had a few ideas on how to train at home, or at least outside of a gym environment, they just might keep up the good work and the fitness that's been built over time in the gym.

Here are a few ideas that could help you keep up your strength training while still staying within a budget.

Home Gyms

This may not seem like a source for savings, but investment in a good home gym can save you money over the longer term, depending on the cost of your gym membership and the home equipment.

You can read my tips on setting up a home gym and a review of home gym products.

At the same time, you should also consider whether a home gym would work for you.

Dumbbell Training

Dumbbells are among the most convenient and versatile training tools. They're inexpensive, mobile, convenient, and come in a just about every possible level of weight you could ever need. You can use them for effective workouts at home, at the local park, while traveling or away from home.

Here are some dumbbell exercise ideas.

Bodyweight Exercises

You can do bodyweight exercises just about anywhere you have a little space and you don't need equipment because your own body provides the resistance.

You can focus on your core and add variety to your home workout by using a simple exercise ball that won't break the bank.

The following are examples:

  • Push-ups on toes or knees
  • Squats
  • Wall and doorway pushes and pulls
  • Lunges - forward and back
  • Dips on bench or chair
  • Calf raises
  • Crunches

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are inexpensive, flexible bands or tubes that you can use to create strength workouts. An amazing variety of exercises can be conjured up with these simple tools.

The budget options for resistance training are numerous. If you do have to give up the gym, try some of these workouts that can easily substitute for many of the more sophisticated weight and machine exercises at the gym.

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