#KriseAlsChance: You will LOVE this home gym (for less than 250 euros!)

The gyms are closed. It takes getting used to when you can no longer lift heavy weights with the usual equipment. But that’s certainly no reason to let yourself go and get out of shape!

The fact is that there is an opportunity here too. Namely, to become more independent of equipment in terms of training, to learn to use and control your own body more – and of course sensible, time-saving training opportunities to create in your own four walls.

The positive effects persist even after the crisis has been overcome: The opportunity to train at home is particularly useful when time is short and a visit to the studio would otherwise be canceled. Becoming independent of bulky equipment simply makes you more flexible, offers more variety and of course also helps when traveling.

Home gym on a budget – inexpensive and space-saving

Setting up your own home gym fails in most cases because of the available resources or because the required resources are overestimated.

In fact, you can create very good training opportunities at home with little space and money. You don’t necessarily need a weight bench, cable pulls and a treadmill – that costs space and money.

If you have both, go ahead. But if you want to know how you can train effectively with little space and manageable costs , you should stay tuned now.

The magic tools – You really need these two “devices”

You read that correctly, basically there are only two really useful tools with real added value that are suitable for a minimalist home gym.

The fact is that you can do enough exercises without any equipment.

This form of bodyweight training may be less effective at building muscle, but it has its own advantages.

It trains your body control, develops deep-seated muscles and the entire core area better, has a lower risk of injury and can of course, which is crucial in the corona situation, always and everywhere (especially at home) without costing a cent.

Unfortunately, device-free bodyweight training is not complete . It has a particularly large loophole, namely the lack of pull exercises. Without equipment, one cannot effectively train the pulling muscles, especially the back!

Even if relevant books like to claim otherwise for marketing reasons. Not a bad thing, but pull-ups on the wardrobe are biomechanically garbage. You exercise your fingers more than your back.

Therefore, you urgently need a way to train effectively pulling exercises, as the pulling muscles are already underdeveloped in many and, in combination with everyday work at the desk, leads to poor posture.

Hand in hand with this goes the possibility of “hanging” on a daily basis. As a Simply Progress reader, you will know that hanging is the best exercise to break blockages in the spine and get stable, healthy shoulders.

Pull-ups and rows – equipment for pulling exercises and hanging

THE ONE THING that your home gym absolutely needs is a way to do pull-ups, rows and hanging variations.

In my experience, there are three viable options here:

  1. Gymnastic rings
  2. Free-standing chin-up station
  3. Pull-up bar for the door frame

Gymnastic rings: My method of choice are gymnastic rings. One of the most versatile and effective training tools ever. You always move in 360 ° to your weakest point and therefore ensure a really balanced development of the entire upper body muscles.

In addition, stable gymnastic rings made of wood are now very cheap (my first pair a little over 15 years ago cost me 199 euros, today the prices are 30-40 euros), light and transportable . They can be hung anywhere where a stable “crossbar” can be found, including on suitable trees.

Thus, they can be used not only for at home, but also for travel. I have a pair of rings for home and one for on the go.

Disadvantage: At home you need either free crossbeams or stable walls made of concrete or similar materials. You won’t get very far here with Rigips. If you have a stable turnaround, you can get a suitable holder to hang it up.

Pull-up station: On the other hand, if you don’t have the opportunity to hang up rings at home, it is best to use a solid, free-standing pull-up station.

This is of course less flexible and a little more expensive, but it does the job and creates the opportunity to do pull-ups and rowing exercises at home.

Nice bonus: Both rings and chin-up can also be used for dips, a fantastic basic exercise for the chest, shoulder and triceps.

Pull-up bar for the door frame: Probably the cheapest option, which I would only use as a last resort. The reason is that such bars are usually not very friendly to the door frame (if there is a suitable frame at all!) And you always have to worry about the stability. Not suitable as a permanent solution for me. Then it is better to invest a little more money and use the pull-up station, because you will benefit in the long term.

Kettlebell – equipment for strength, stability and conditioning

Admittedly, the kettlebell is not really essential. But it is the most space-saving of all conditioning tools and very effective at that.

Of course, you can do cardiovascular training in a confined space with just your body weight, through exercises such as Mountain climbers, lunge jumps, jump squats, burpees.

The problem is, in my experience, these exercises are not very enjoyable for many out there and motivation is lost quite quickly, especially with those who are used to weight training.

Many just need something to grip, an external weight that they can grab and move. And the kettlebell is perfect for tight spaces, versatile, effective and simply a very motivating change to normal training with barbell and dumbbell.

On the one hand, you can use them to really challenge your cardiovascular system. This works best with kettlebell swings, one of the most effective exercises ever (see linked article)!

On the other hand, the kettlebell can also be used for unilateral (one-arm) strength training.

Advantage: The core muscles and especially the transverse support muscles around the spine are challenged more – that gives a real washboard!

The brand is basically irrelevant as long as a high-quality, compact kettlebell (just no plastic!) pops out. I myself have always used Gorilla Sports kettlebells and am absolutely satisfied.

Above all, I would strongly advise you to invest a little more money directly and get a standardized competition kettlebell – lasts a lifetime, lies better in the hand and is easier to scale because the technique does not have to be changed when the weight increases.

The following weight table can offer you a good orientation for your first kettlebell, especially for the kettlebell swing.

If you also want to do other exercises like push-press, cleans, Turkish get-up etc. with it, I also advise you to get a light “technical dumbbell” (8 kg) in order to safely learn complex exercise techniques (swings, on the other hand are easy and quick to master).

Training level Men Women
Beginners 16 kg 12 kg
Intermediate 20 kg 16 kg
Advanced 24 kg 20 kg

You see, a complete home gym doesn’t have to be extensive and overly expensive. It saves space and costs.

Two things are now decisive for your training success:

  1. Do the CORRECT exercises. Right now the internet is being flooded with home workouts – a lot of it is ineffective bullshit. It’s not just about feeling exhausted, but also about setting the right training stimuli. As a result, there is only a very limited range of effective exercises available. Keep it minimalist and thereby effective.
  2. Concentrate! HOW you train is even more important than WHAT you train. It’s easier to get distracted at home. Therefore, you have to ensure that as many sources of interference as possible are switched off or moved elsewhere. If possible, avoid exercising in the same room that you watch TV or play video games in. Turn OFF the phone. DO NOT go through the apartment and do e.g. incidentally in the breaks in sentences. When you train, you train. Nothing else. This is the key to a functioning home gym, namely to eliminate as many sources of interference as possible.

If you can control these two factors in your favor, then you can turn the crisis into an opportunity in which you now challenge your body in a new arena, discover new possibilities and feel new burdens.

The minimalist training in your own four walls demands you physically and mentally in a new way and thereby sets new, holistic growth stimuli.


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