Updated: Sep 11, 2020
If you have been searching for free weights, dumbbells, barbells, and all kinds of gym equipment in order to create yourself your home gym, then you are not alone! Heavy gym equipment has been selling off of the shelves like hot cakes in the last 6 months. It's like toilet paper and can be as hard to find for a decent price. Some of the resale values that I am seeing on Facebook market place can be upwards for $4 - $5 per pound. That would mean that just for a set of 5 pound dumbbells you are forking out $40-$50. Personally, I wouldn't recommend spending more than a $1 - $2 a pound unless the equipment is high quality commercial grade. Commercial grade equipment is typically used and purchased in bulk by professional gyms with expected used of equipment multiple times a day by various patrons.
Instead of scouring the Internet for heavy weighted equipment, over paying or waiting months to receive the backordered equipment, here are a additional ways to continue to build muscle, maintain or build strength, and not break the bank.
1. Resistance Bands: There are numerous types, strengths, lengths and purposes.
There are mini bands that are great for glute work, glute activation, shoulder stability exercises, and more. I primarily use them during front squats to make sure I am getting proper glute activation in bottom of my squat as well as for postpartum diastasis recti rehabilitation and deep core activation exercises. They can be also great for shoulder stability exercises. You can easily purchase them on Amazon (click here) and get them in a few short days!
Handled resistance bands are great for nearly any resisted exercise you would do with a dumbbell, barbell, exercise machine, and more. You can manipulate the band around benches, fences, doors, and even your own body as anchor points for the resistance in order to be able to perform various resisted rows, chest presses, squats, deadlifts, bicep curls, tricep extentions, lat pull downs, overhead presses, and so much more. Their versatility of the handled resistance band gives you the opportunity to work on the smaller muscle groups and stabilizer muscles at a ligther resistance as well as the larger muscle group movements and muscle building with the heavier resistance. I found these SPRI bands on Amazon (click here) which is my favorite brand for resistance tubing due to their quality and variable options.
There are also super bands, otherwise known as pull up bands. They are typically used for assistance on a pull up bar but can also be used to create resistance for simulating heavy lower body olympic lift style moves such as deadlifts, back & front squats, good mornings, etc. You can also use them as you would with the handled resistance bands but since they are doubled up, they would provide more resistance. I found these one Amazon as well (click here)
2. Sandbag Training:
The sandbag can be used for a lot of heavy olympic lifting type movements and will get you the heavy weight you are looking for without needing all if the different types of dumbbells. You can use the sandbag for more explosive power movements or Metabolic Conditioning type movements that would typically be done with a kettlebell. The sand bag I have linked (click here) has handles all over it for various grips and smaller sand bags that can be added or removed from the bag to change overall weight.
The downfall with using the sandbag is that it would limit or be harder to work on the smaller muscle groups and stabilizers with the heavier load and physical size of the equipment.
3. Suspension Training:
Suspension training with a TRX is like having a total body gym in your own home. The concept of suspension training is to use gravity as your resistance. You adjust your resistance by changing the angles of your body in relation to the anchor point of suspension trainer and pushing, pulling or holding with the particular muscle group that you want to be working.
The TRX (click here) is very versatile and can be anchored onto a doorway in your own house, a tree outside, off of a tall fence, or even used at a kids playground off of the monkey bars (which both my husband and I have done before). It is lightweight and folds up in a small pouch which means it can be taken with you when you travel and does not require a large storage space like so many other forms of exercise equipment. The TRX company, even provides various courses for trainers and athletes in order to learn new moves, proper form, and other suspension products they sell.
4. Ankle Weights
When I think of ankle weights, typically the first thing that comes to mind is an avid walker that strolls my neighborhood on the daily with his ankle and wrist weights to get in all of
those steps and cardio with a little bit of extra resistance. But they also can be extremely useful if you are limited on the selection of dumbbells you currently own and have reached the point in your fitness journey where you need to go heavier. They are currently very accessible on Amazon (click here) and I personally would use them more for upper body strength and stability. You can add them to your wrists or even wrap them onto your current stock of dumbbells in order to increase the weight when what you have just seems too easy. They are also perfect to add onto you ankles and or wrists during a cardio day if you want to get that heart rate a little higher than the norm.
I hope you found all of these home gym equipment alternatives useful! Comment below if you have gotten even more creative in your own way at home (i.e. sand filled milk jugs, textbook filled back packs, etc.). I would love to hear them!
**If you are interested in joining us on our StressLess Workouts with whatever equipment at home, we would LOVE to have you! Reach out to @nicci_stressless or myself @busyb_plus3 on Instagram and mention this blog post and we will give you a FREE week!
You will have access to our daily live workouts (Monday thru Sat) as well as all of the workouts on demand. OR sign up TODAY at https://www.stresslessportal.com/plans