Let’s face it — we’d probably all love to have a bangin’, fully-stocked home gym. But that requires space and money, so, as sad as it may be, it’s not always practical to buy (or store) all the weights.
Still, it’s hard to get away with just one. Probably the biggest challenge I see with my clients is that it’s almost as if your upper body and lower body require two different sets of weights, with the upper body requiring anywhere from 5-20lbs and lower body needing a heavier and much bigger range of weights. And I’ve also run into this challenge myself when traveling and the hotel gym has offered the most random assortment of weights. Sometimes we just have to make do — and I’ve got tons of ideas for how to cope with these scenarios. Check out this post where I share some of those strategies.
One of my favorite ways to get creative with what you’ve got handy is to take a free weight (dumbbell or kettlebell) and attach a long resistance band to it, which adds more challenge to your exercises. First, the extra resistance makes the weight feel a bit heavier, but there’s another (sneaky) layer of challenge built in — the weight feels even heavier as you move it further away from the anchor point of the band.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here — let’s pause and talk set-up.
It’s pretty straightforward. Grab your long resistance band and lay it out as shown with the dumbbell on top. Then, take one end of the band OVER the top of the handle of the dumbbell and UNDER the loop in the other end of the band, pulling it so the loop tightens around the handle and voila … you’re good to go. You can do the same loop and swoop with the handle of a kettlebell and a resistance band.
Check out this video to see three examples of clever ways you can use this new weight-on-a-band contraption you’ve just created for (1) kettlebell swings; (2) goblet squats; and (3) deadlifts. And these are just a few ideas! The possibilities are endless.
NOTE: I used the band and a kettlebell for the video but you can use the dumbbell too.
What can I say? I’m like the MacGuyver of fitness.
What are some of the ways you make whatever you’ve got work as you work on your fitness? —Alison