Getting into boxing? If you want to give yourself the best chance of going the distance, you need to get physically fit. And the best way to get fit outside of your boxing sessions is with a fantastic home gym.
You might equate the words “home gym” with a huge financial investment, but a lot of the most effective gym equipment doesn’t actually cost that much — and even if you splash out, you’ll save a fortune on gym memberships in the long run.
To help you get setup without breaking the bank, here are ten affordable pieces of exercise equipment to consider as you build your home gym:
Chin Up Bar
With decent chin up bars costing as little as $30, this is one piece of equipment you can definitely afford. Most chin up bars are adjustable and will fit almost every doorway.
Chin ups work your entire upper body (including your upper abs) and are one of the most effective exercises you can do.
A punching bag requires a bit more room than a chin up bar — although there are smaller versions that are around 2.5-3 feet long. And they also cost more than some equipment, especially after you factor in the cost of hanging brackets or free-standing frames and a pair of decent gloves.
However, punching bags are one of the best pieces of home gym equipment you can buy, especially if you’re a boxer wanting to get in shape by doing sport specific exercise.
Not only will your punchbag offer an excellent cardio workout but if you opt for a heavy bag, you’ll also get a great upper body strength workout.
Jumping rope is not just for the playground. Boxers jump rope as it’s fantastic for increasing stamina as well as an excellent way to strengthen your legs and improve your reflexes, both essential for fighting.
There is a knack to it, and if you mess up a lot at first, don’t sweat it. Jumping rope is a lot harder than you might imagine, requiring a high amount of concentration and skill.
TRX straps can easily be attached to practically any ceiling and allow you to do a uniquely challenging form of inclined push ups.
Originally created by a Navy SEAL who wanted to stay “mission ready” while on the road, these straps can be easily packed up and taken with you everywhere you go. They also provide an effective total body workout, one of the best you’ll get anywhere.
These over-sized balls full of air are great for working out your core and improving your balance. With a little ingenuity, you can work every muscle in the body yielding some pretty impressive results.
You can also try sitting on one of these at your desk instead of a regular chair to improve your stability.
Adjustable dumbbells might cost more money up front, but in the end, they are almost always cheaper than buying multiple sets of dumbbells or mountains of weight plates and dumbbell bars.
They’re also great if you’re starved for space. You would need to have a whole rack of weights to have the same variety as you get with adjustable dumbbells.
Another benefit is how easy they are to use. Simply turn the dial to select the weight you want and you’re good to lift.
An exercise mat makes it comfortable for you to do sit-ups, back raises, planks, and stretching, while also doubling as the perfect yoga mat. Be willing to spend a little more upfront for a durable mat, and it will save you replacing the mat multiple times.
Want explosive strength? Then get yourself a plyo-box and start plyometric training.
Plyo-boxes come in a range of sizes, a variety of materials, and an equally wide range of prices. If you’re feeling the pinch, any elevated and stable surface – such as a park bench – can be used for plyo training. Or, if you’ve got DIY skills, tools, and some spare timber, you can have a crack at making your own.
Soft Medicine Ball
Medicine balls are extremely versatile and can be used for all kinds of strength and conditioning exercises. You can do push-ups on them, use them as a chest weight when doing sit-ups, or hold onto the ball for weighted squats and lunges.
Medicine balls are also great for boxing workouts. If you’re feeling tough, ask a partner to drop a medicine ball onto your stomach for a little conditioning. Or, try throwing a medicine ball with one hand to a partner that is two or three metres away. This exercise utilises the same muscles as punching, but the extra resistance sculpts the arms.
You may be thinking that this item doesn’t belong in a list of gym equipment for the frugally minded. However, excellent second-hand rowing machines can be picked up at bargain prices.
The same could be said for treadmills, exercise bikes and ellipticals, but we recommend the rower as it’s the only cardio machine that provides an all-over body workout. If you don’t like used gym equipment, there are plenty of fantastic rowing machines priced under $500.
The Verdict On Cheap Home Gyms
You don’t have to re-mortgage the house to set up an efficient home gym.
With just these ten pieces of exercise equipment, you would have everything you need to train like a fighter. You would have an endless amount of strength and conditioning workouts to choose from all without leaving the comfort of your home. In fact, you’d probably be that spoiled for choice, you wouldn’t know where to begin.
My advice? Find a handful of exercises you love, stick to a regular schedule, and you’ll be fighting fit within a few short months.