Make the most of small spaces!

Clients often tell me that they can't work out at home because they don't have the storage or floor space. I think they associate home gyms with rogue stability balls and weight machines doubling as a TV table.

You don't need a ton of space—or a ton of money—to set up a home gym. You can work your entire body with a resistance band, a doorframe attachment, some free weights and your own bodyweight. A home gym doesn't have to invade your home!

Use a band and doorframe attachment to replicate the cable machine at the gym, and free weights to mimic the other more traditional weight machines.

The main advantage of cables is that they allow you to manipulate the direction and the height the resistance is coming from. This increases your workout options and allows you to perform functional exercises that mimic everyday and sport-specific movement patterns.

The band can be used to replicate almost all of the exercises you would perform with a cable machine.

For example, try standing single-arm cable rows. Loop one end of the band through the doorframe attachment. Hook the doorframe attachment into the door at chest height. If you don't have an attachment, tie the band to a stationary object. Hold the other end with your right hand.

Start standing facing the door in a staggered stance, right leg forward. Your right arm should be straight out in front of you. Bend your left arm so that your elbow is tucked into your side. This is your starting position. Row your right arm back as you press your left arm forward, like you are using a bow and arrow. Return your arms back to their starting position and repeat. When you row, don't initiate the motion with your elbow and arm. Instead, initiate with your upper back. Use your torso to twist as you row.

Free weights are also versatile and don't take up a huge amount of space. They can be used for a variety of different exercises that would be suitable for both basic and advanced workouts. A few of my favorite are squats, lunges, bench presses and bent-over rows.

If you need a wide range of different free weights—for example 50 pounds for a chest exercise but 10 pounds for a tricep exercise—the cost begins to add up, and so does the space you'll need to store them. Power Blocks or Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells are both excellent alternatives. Starting around $399, a set gives you the freedom to lift anything from 10 to 50 pounds—you simply change the weight you're lifting by just moving a pin. (More expensive versions can go up to 75 pounds.) Better yet, one set of Power Blocks takes up about as much space as two toasters.

With a few inexpensive items and a little creativity, your lack of space should not stop you from getting into kick-ass shape.

Category: Workouts
Tags:  workout:small space  workouts 

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