Everyday objects as fitness equipment.

     So I was talking to a friend of mine and we were commenting on the rather exorbitant prices of some fitness equipment. The one that always got me shaking my head were the Val slides for $30. It's a $2 frisbee with the sides cut off! Really? You can go to the hardware store and pick up a fancy pack of four furniture sliders for 8 bucks. If it can take the friction away to move a 2 ton armoire with ease I think we're good. Or better yet if you have wood flooring a hand towel also works wonders to create your slippy surface exercises. 

     That's my first equipment hack. If you happen to be outfitting your own gym at home don't feel obligated to go out and spend $3,000 on fancy overpriced equipment. Below I have some of the inexpensive work arounds you can do to fill up your gym.  

     If you can find an overhead beam to screw into, 2 good bike hooks, and 3 ft of plumbing pipe. Your ready to create your pull-up bar. Refer to picture below for set up. Each hook has a weight capacity of 200, so I believe 400 lbs total should be sufficient for most of us. You can also buy several diameters of piping to create variation in grip size, because you can easily lift the pipe out and insert any size you want. As you see in the photo you can then use the bar to attach any resistance tubing, or gymnastic rings to have a whole other slew of exercises to do. Woohoo!

Homemade pull up bar

Homemade pull up bar

     Another good one you can get at the hardware store are trunk handles, again with a capacity for 200 lbs. You can either put a multiple of these on a 2x4 and then mount it onto a wall, or just have a few and put them directly into a stud into the wall, as pictured below. These can be used as an anchor for a multitude of resistance bands. The nice thing about these is that they stow flat so you don't have hooks sticking out if you happen to have small 2 legged creatures that like to play in your gym, that have been told is mommy's space but they just won't listen, and continue to fly through the air using your TRX as a trapeze careening into the wall. I digress.

Stow away anchor for resistance tubing.

Stow away anchor for resistance tubing.

     My next is a fairly simple hack. The land mine stands sell for up to $200. You can just shove a towel in the corner of your squat stand, or really any corner and go to town with your land mine presses. 

     Another nice one I got from a colleague is to use landscaping boxes(sold at home depot or amazon) as steps. You can get different size boxes that stack well. I use this box in practically every training session for any number of tasks. If your good with wood I've also seen a lot of people make their own wood plyo boxes.

     And then there's always those airex foam pads that go for 50 bucks. Its foam! A client of mine actually went to an upholstery store and the owner just gave him some padding for free! Who doesn't like free?

           So these are just a few of the hacks that you can do to outfit your gym. For the tiny spaces gym always try to buy items that will serve multiple purposes. Buy weight plates that have handles so you can grasp them and use like a vipr. You can do halos, wood chops, or wrap  a rope around it and use it to pull the weight on the ground. You can buy adjustable kettlebells that can change from 16- 36 lbs. One KB can serve as 5! You are only limited by your imagination and if you're not great at imagining well that's what Pinterest is for.  As always have fun, and play on.

Catherine Cowey