Gym in a box
Turn a tiny room into a full-spec gym8th Dec 2020
What with lockdown, gym closures, and all the rest, so many of us have been working out at home. But, eish! Unless you live in a mansion, where do you put the dumbbells, the kettle bells, Pilates balls and – even trickier – barbells? Fortunately, you’re not the only one who’s been wondering about that – and some people have come up with some great solutions.
Gym in a box
I found a really great Kickstarter campaign for the neatest, tidiest solution. The Gym Box is a compact box that would amaze Mary Poppins. It’s a bench (for lying, kneeling or sitting), it’s a step, and it’s a base for a range of resistance bands. And – of course – it’s also the box into which the whole shebang packs neatly. It fact, it could double up as a seat, but – whatever you use it for in its closed state – it’s small, sleek and discreet. There are a whole range of accessories, including a bag that you can use to create a light, compact travel gym.
Gym in a bag
The resistance bands and shoe straps from the Gym Box make a lightweight option for travelling – especially if you combine them with door anchors, which are sold separately, as is the bag. But, hey, any bag would do and, anyway, Gym Box didn’t invent the gym in a bag. You can get various options, including this one by Athleum. Consisting of five different ‘weight’ resistance bands, two foot bands, two wrist bands and a door anchor, it all fits into a nifty small bag, and weighs in at just over a kilogram, so you can pop this into your travel bag and take it anywhere. If you want to be even more minimalist, you can pack just one or two resistance bands and/or a skipping rope.
But, as you probably know, you can keep fit with absolutely no equipment other than yourself, a good pair of running or walking shoes, and whatever furniture happens to be around. You need no equipment to do most ab exercises, including crunches and sit-ups, and you can get a great leg workout doing squats, lunges, calf raises and – uhm, yes – walking or running. Upper body is a tad trickier, but push-ups and dips will tone your arms pretty well, and you can do some very effective bicep curls with whatever you happen to be carrying. I do bicep curls with my shopping bags while walking to the car. (Yes, I repack them so that the weight is equally distributed before I leave the supermarket.)
And, before you start thinking that this is just too much (or more accurately, too little), remember that Nelson Mandela stuck to his boxing training regimen while he was in prison. Four days a week, he did 45 minutes running on the spot, 100 push-ups (on his fingertips), 200 sit-ups, 50 deep knee-bends and a series of squats, burpees and lunges – all in his itty-bitty little cell. As in many aspects of life, he set an example that we would do well to emulate.