Crammed. Packed. Squeezed in like a sardine. Can’t even turn around.
Living in a small space could be a good excuse for not working out at home if other people hadn’t already figured out how to do it - and if limited space wasn’t a major consideration in the design of home exercise equipment.Keeping active in your home has become even more important in this time of gym closures, self-isolation, and necessary contagion-curbing rules governing a simple walk outside. Home exercise is crucial to building immunity, combating cabin fever and restoring your optimism. So here are three workout options that will build you up without crowding you out.
Elastic Resistance Training
If you’re used to working out on big machines, you might find the idea of switching to this light and simple alternative impractical.There are two ways to escape that mindset: A) Try carrying a Smith machine up the stairs of your four-storey walkup, or B) Take a look at the exercises you can do in the comfort of your own apartment. (If you travel frequently for work, you may already be familiar with some great small-space elastic resistance workouts.)
Worn around your feet, knees, ankles, hands, and wrists, resistance bands enhance eccentric and concentric motion (the expansion and contraction of your muscles) by maintaining tension throughout your full motion. They offer plenty of exercise options for a full-body workout – variations of the squat, thrust, pulse, pull, donkey kick, curl, pressdown and reverse and side-to-side taps. It won’t take long to feel the burn in your glutes, hamstrings, delts, biceps, triceps, and other muscle groups – and maintaining proper form in a quick workout circuit can also provide cardio benefits.
Bands are portable, allowing you to get in some quick strength training if you’re able to go out for a run.Switching between their colour-coded resistance levels is as easy as picking a necktie, They work as well for men as they do for women. Men just need to remember they’ll need to protect their arm and leg hair - which might finally prompt some guys to put on pants and a shirt in the morning. Whether you take your resistance bands outside or not, it’s vital these days to keep them properly cleaned and disinfected. That goes for everything on this list.
Elastic resistance training options don’t just wrap around your extremities. They can also anchor to a door or any other object that stays firmly in place when you pull against it. Several tube and band options are available, some with handles and other features to make your workouts safe, comfortable and productive.
If you prefer hefting something solid to pulling something elastic, dumbbells are the way to go. They take up less space than a barbell and weight plates – much less if you consider the bench, cage or other large home gym apparatus you’ll want to complete your set. They’re much easier to move from one part of your apartment to another, so you can work out anywhere – in front of the TV when your show or game is on or out on your balcony when the weather’s beautiful. That’s not the only reason some strength-training fans prefer dumbbells over barbells. A dumbbell lift requires more from your chest and bicep muscles than does a stabilized barbell lift. With Dumbbells, it’s easier to tell if one arm’s working harder than the other. Dumbbells are less dangerous if you experience muscle failure and are better suited to several extreme intensity workouts. They provide more freedom of movement, a greater range of motion, better contraction and less risk of injury.
Last but not least, it’s not uncommon for a pair of dumbbells to weigh less than a “naked” barbell (one carrying no weight plates). That’s a big plus for those who prefer toning with several light reps to building bulk with fewer, heavier ones. Lighter weight/higher rep workout routines can also be good for cardio – and you can get a full-body workout by targeting specific areas with effective dumbbell exercises. Besides the bicep-building curl, you can try lunges (lower back and legs), toe raises (calves), squats (shoulders, arms and lower body), shoulder presses (deltoids and upper body), or rows (mid-back and lats).
So how much area will dumbbells take up? If you’re just starting out with one or two light dumbbells, not much. More and/or bigger dumbbells will naturally make storage more of an issue. However, a strong and well-designed dumbbell rack can allow you to collect a pretty impressive set with surprisingly little imposition on your living space.Another option is selectorized dumbbells, which allow you to dial in or otherwise select the amount of weight you want to lift. When you lift the dumbbell from its rack the handle will remain attached only to the necessary amount of weight plates. Other plates are left in the tray. When you return the dumbbell, it automatically interlocks in the tray, allowing you to instantly select a different weight if you wish. Naturally, these cost more than regular dumbbells, but the space saving and convenience are hard to turn down.
If you’re really serious about cardio, it might be worth moving one of your potted plants outside to make room for a machine. Sure a ficus can be attractive, but can it lower your weight, body fat, stress, and blood pressure? While a cardio machine brings those things down, it dials up your energy, immunity, sleep quality, mood, memory and brain functioning - and it helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, to boot!
Exercise bikes are a cardio option well worth considering. They’re a low-impact means of strengthening your legs and lower body. They allow for interval training and are generally safer than road cycling. But what really sets them apart from other indoor machines is the small amount of floor space many bike models require. Folding bikes are particularly compact (especially when you store them), but they give up something in stability. Fortunately, there are solid, top-name upright bikes out there with remarkably small footprints.
That doesn’t mean other cardio machines aren’t evolving their compact game. Just check out the ingenious space-saving design of some leading step machines.If you have a little extra room or are able to easily move some furniture out of the way, a folding treadmill might be a great option.
Explore the big potential of small spaces at Flaman Fitness.
If you know how much room you have to spare, the experts at Flaman Fitness can help you make the most of it. Once you give them your dimensions, they’ll find the exercise option that not only fits in your space but in your lifestyle, budget and goal set as well. Call your nearest Flaman Fitness location and start discussing how fitness can fit into your life.