CREATE YOUR OWN GYM AT HOME AND WORKOUT FOR $1.00
ON THRIFTY THURSDAY… I WILL SHOW YOU HOW:
Paper or plastic? Both can work for a dollar-store version of the Gliding Sliding Disc. “Paper plate exercises work best on a non-carpeted indoor surface,” says Syd Hoffmann, health and wellness expert and author of All Day Energy. “Start with lunges — side, back, front, diagonal lunges, curtsy lunges behind — with one paper plate under the foot that is moving.” Instead of stepping into the lunge positions, you slide the foot in and out — you’ll add a new stability challenge to your workouts while toning your lower body. More advanced exercisers can try hover jacks: Assuming a “plank” position (which is like the “up” part of a pushup), with plates under both feet, simultaneously slide the feet apart and back together for an inner/outer thigh blast.
gallon bleach or water bottles
You know how tired you get lugging heavy bottles home from the store? Time to capitalize on that. One-gallon bleach or water bottles can make great dumbbells. “You want a weight that will tire your arms after 12 to 15 repetitions…and these jugs are probably one of the heaviest items in the dollar store,” says Hoffman. “You can do a ton of exercises like lateral raises, biceps or hammer curls, back rows, chest flies, dead-lifts and so on.” They even have built in handles! If you find the plastic to be a little hard on your hands, you could always make a pair of gym gloves by buying a pair of gardening gloves for a $1 and cutting the fingers off.
Want to whittle your middle? A sponge mop makes for a great pole for torso twists. Place the mop over your shoulders while standing tall and exhale to rotate your torso as far to one side as possible while keeping your hips facing forward. Inhale as you return to center and repeat to the other side. Another idea? Tie the bleach/water bottles from the last slide on each end of the mop with an old pair of socks and presto…you’ve made your own barbell.
children’s plastic ball
Beach balls need not apply. We’re talking the plastic play kind that kind of looks like a dodge or kickball. This bouncy throw toy is perfect for Pilates-type moves and can be just the ticket for minimizing your inner thigh jiggle. Try placing the ball between your thighs while standing, rise up on your toes, and then bendyour knees like you’re sitting down into a chair. Squeeze the ball with all your might while you “sit.” Keeping the ball between your thighs, straighten your legs to stand. Killer thighs with no Thigh-Master required!
Leggs to tone your legs! Yup, a pair of pantyhose can quickly double as a resistance band thanks to the stretchy material. Try tying the feet together in a knot to form a circular band. Lie on your back, slip the nylons around your ankles (feet together), lift your legs straight up so they are 90 degrees to your body. Holding the pantyhose tight, and keeping legs straight in the air, push against the resistance of the hose with the outside of your ankles. Release a little of the tension without letting feet touch. Do 10 to 15 of these “pulses” to tone your outer thighs. Or, Hoffman suggests getting down on all fours (i.e. hands and knees). Place your foot in the center of the crotch (i.e. the support section) and hold one leg of the hose in each hand. Kick your heel back towards the wall behind you and extend the working leg as straight as possible. Do 10 to 12 repetitions then switch legs for awesomely toned hamstrings and buns.
Keep in mind that anything you can do with a band, you can probably adapt with a pair of hose or two.
small plastic step stool or a sturdy bucket/basinLook for the sturdiest bucket or step stool you can find in the store. If you can, test it out at the store by stepping up on it to make sure it won’t collapse under your full weight. Now, use is for any step workout or simply in lieu of a stepmaster. Just step up, step down (occasionally changing the leg you lead with to keep things balanced). You’ll break into a sweat and get a good cardio workout. You can even do this move watching TV. The step also comes in handy for decline pushups – pushups with your toes on the stool/bucket — which will work your chest and arm muscles. One piece of equipment that can boost both your butt and your chest…now that’s a bargain!
The jump rope is an instant cardio option. “One of the best exercises you can do is jumping rope…it’s fabulous for all-weather, anytime-anywhere cardio, muscle toning and burning calories,” says Hoffman. “Fifteen minutes burns as many calories as a one mile run….with much less stress on your knees!” Don’t limit yourself to just jumping up and down either. Play a little. Throw in some criss-crosses, skipping, double jumps, etc…. “To give it a try, start with 30 seconds and add more time as you get stronger,” says Hoffman.
towelBeyond the obvious it’s-great-for-mopping-up-sweat use, you can use a towel as a mat if you’re doing ab work or yoga moves on the floor. Towels also make a fantastic stretching partner. While on your back, extend your leg straight up so that it is 90 degrees to your body and “hook a towel around your toes. Gently pull your leg towards you for a great hamstring stretch,” suggests Hoffman. Also, try holding the ends of the towel with both hands to engage in some upper body stretches. And when you’re all done, spread the towel on the floor, and meditate on all the money you just saved on gym equipment!
This item might be a little more seasonal for some folks, but snatching up one of these long foam-type noodles when you see it is a great idea for any dollar store home gym. “Water aerobics is perfect for all ages and sizes,” says Hoffman. “I lost all my post-baby weight in two months by doing water workouts.” Explore all kinds of toning moves for your arms, legs and abs with this item in a pool (e.g. triceps extensions pushing the noodle underwater or water aerobics exercises using the noodle as a flotation device).
Don’t have a swimming pool? You can also take the noodle out of the water and use it for balance training (standing on the noodle is great for ankle stability). Or try rolling on a noodle to massage out leg muscles (especially great for the outside of your thighs). It can further double as a bolster for your lower back in restorative yoga poses. And chances are it’ll be a fabulous neon color too…which makes it a colorful addition to your gym as well (read: FUN).
If tennis is actually a sport you enjoy, great! You’ll get many physical benefits from a round or two on the court (i.e. cardiovascular conditioning, arm and leg toning, etc.). But tennis balls are also great for the cool down stage. Do some hand strengthening exercises by “Squeezing tennis balls to strengthen your grip and biceps…and it’s great for preventing carpal tunnel,” says Hoffman (which is important for all of you reading this on your computer). What’s more? After a workout, you can roll on a tennis ball to massage achy feet, or try placing it under sore areas of your back for a sort of self-acupressure treatment.
SO FOR $1.00 EACH, HERE YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PERSONAL GYM FOR $10, THE ITEMS ABOVE WERE FOUND IN A DOLLAR STORE!
WAYS TO SAVE MONEY AND GET MORE BANG FOR YPOUR BUCK IS WHAT IM ALL ABOUT!
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