Exercise equipment is great, but can have a lot of drawbacks. To name a few, exercise equipment is a bother to move around, takes up space in the home, and is expensive. I prefer to use dumbbells for weight lifting but at about $1/lb it can get expensive to upgrade my weights. Not only that, but I find that since I move around a lot, lugging the dumbbells around is not very practical.
I have decided to solve this problem by making the ultimate exercise equipment!
To be making our ultimate exercise equipment, we will be using exercise bands. Let me briefly mention how wonderful exercise bands are:
- Bands are cheap! You can get a good pair of exercise bands at Walmart for $15. (see here)
- They are lightweight and portable. You can easily move them if you move around frequently. You can even take them with you on trips of vacations.
- They are compact. You can just throw them under your bed and get them out of the way.
- They are versatile! Not only can you use them for weight training, but you can also use them for cardio.
- They are easy on your body. They have padded handles that won't leave you with hard callouses.
- They are easily adjustable to provide more or less resistance.
There is unfortunately one disadvantage of exercise bands:
- They can be wimpy.
Well exercise bands are wimpy no more!
This project will cost you roughly $30 - $50. (Compared to dumbbells, this is much less than half the price!)
The reason exercise bands can be wimpy is because each band does not offer a significant amount of resistance by themselves. Together though, bands are amazing! The problem is that the bands you buy typically only put three together. This is a great amount, but if you want to do some serious weight lifting, this will not be nearly enough. This is a simple fix.
The first thing we will need to do is buy a couple carabiners. The picture above shows inexpensive carabiners that you can find at most hardware stores. This cost me $2.
*Note: I DO NOT recommend getting these cheap carabiners. I tested them out to see if they would work, and they did, but I think with heavy band usage over time, this might be too much stress for these little guys. So while this could work; I suggest spending a bit more for some high quality, locking carabiners. I was able to find some online for about $20 for two of them with shipping and handling.
Now we need to modify the existing exercise bands. The existing plastic hook is pretty good, but it will not support more than just the three bands.
You can get dikes and cut off the plastic hook.
Now just replace the hook with your carabiner.
You can see in the picture above that a high quality carabiner will allow you to easily hold six bands. (this is two sets of bands from Walmart that can be purchased for $30)
The locking carabiners allow you to easily change the number of bands you would like to use. You can even add more than just the six bands. Go ultra hard core with nine bands!
To give you an idea of how strong this is, the bands were able to lift my 65lb dumbbells. That is pretty incredible for something so cheap!