While uncertainty continues to surround the safe reopening of gyms and workout studios around Asheville, it doesn’t mean your former exercise regimen has to lose muscle. Setting up a home gym is easier and less cumbersome than you might think. And doing so can be surprisingly economical: Body-weight workouts mean you can use items already available in your home. Here are some ideas for pumping up your at-home workout while you await your return to the gym.
Small items, big results
If you have even a free corner of a room, you can easily establish a workout spot. Start with a yoga mat; spreading one on the floor is a good way to delineate a designated exercise space. Mats are good for floor exercises, stretches and, of course, yoga. Another small item that can yield big results is a resistance band. Many can be purchased in sets of varying resistance. Use these for leg and arm strengthening. A stability ball has infinite uses as well: Think core strengthening, balance exercises, even stretching. A pair each of light, medium and heavy dumbbells can offer added weight when building upper-body muscle. For some cardio action, grab a jump rope: This old-school tool can be used outdoors or in, which means inclement weather won’t dampen your heart-pumping session. Finally, a foam roller and simple strap can help with stretching and flexibility.
Online video guidance
Maybe you’ve got all the equipment but lack the guidance, or the motivation, to exercise. The Internet is teeming with tutorials for any type of workout you could want. Some may require a sign-up and fee, but you can easily find free videos to inspire you. The YMCA of Western N.C., among other establishments, offers a variety of full-length virtual classes touching on everything from core conditioning to pilates to youth and active older adult fitness.
Use what you have
Even if you don’t have official exercise equipment in your home, you can still work various muscles using common household furniture and a little improvisation. Incorporate your couch for feet-elevated glut bridges, incline and decline push-ups, and tricep dips. Use a chair to help balance while doing calf raises and lunges. Use a wall for wall-sits to strengthen quads. You can even get some workout use out of your bed by doing leg lifts from a reclined position. If your home has stairs, you can climb up and down them (maintaining control, of course) to elevate your heart rate.