Whether you’re always on the move or trying to pinch pennies, it’s especially difficult to stick to a gym routine without a gym membership. Most of us don’t have the space (or the crew) for a portable home gym like The Rock’s 40,000 pound “traveling carnival.” We non-movie stars have to get a bit more creative in our workout routines.
A once avid gym and yoga-goer, a wrench was thrown into my workout routine when I graduated college (and thus graduated from my free gym membership), moved to a very expensive city, and began working full time. Finding the time to go to the gym is one thing; finding a convenient and affordable gym is another.
Dumbbells are an obvious choice for at home fitness equipment, but the cost and storage prospects were prohibitive for a recent grad on a budget. Instead, I grabbed a set of resistance bands ($11, Amazon.com). They come in a set of five, with resistance levels varying from extra light to extra heavy.
Have tight ankles? Try this mobility exercise that uses a resistance band:
These bands help increase muscle activity without adding stress to your joints. Better yet, they help keep your form honest as you work out, which is key in getting the most out of your workout and remaining injury-free.
The versatility of resistance bands is what makes them great—you’re a Google search away from a myriad of workouts. Whether you want to focus on your abs, glutes, or even improving your flexibility, these handy little bands can help.
I originally got the resistance bands to help rehab a running injury—they’re a staple in many physical therapists’ offices—but they’ve since become an ultra-portable home gym that fits in my small apartment. I use them almost every morning for my post-run strength training routine since they make it easy to target under-used muscle groups like my inner and outer thigh muscles—which is especially important in preventing another running injury—and offer a good addition to a workout routine that used to be all bodyweight exercises.
Thanks to YouTube and my resistance bands, I now have endless workout possibilities—all of which fit in a bag that’s about the size of my phone.
Source: Men’s Health