Here’s a fun fact: you can build a pretty comprehensive home gym for under $250. As the days get shorter, darker, and colder a lot of workouts that used to be done outside have to get moved inside. We’re pretty hardy winter warriors, but there’s weather even we won’t go out into.
So when one of those famous Carolina ice storms descends upon Chapel Hill, we break out the following equipment to get in a full, comprehensive workout to stay in shape, stay limber, and cross train through the winter months.
Indoor Cycling Trainer (~$149.99-$1,899)
The indoor trainer is an amazing piece of equipment. Even a budget-priced model can deliver a hard, lung busting workout. Simply clamp your road or mountain bike into it, get on, and start pedaling. Sure, it can be fairly monotonous, but a quick Youtube search for ‘cycling trainer workout’ can yield plenty of tough, structured workouts to help you get the most out of your time.
Trainer Mat ($49.99)
This is one of the most versatile fitness items we’ve ever owned. It’s designed to go under your bike while in the trainer to help dampen noise and catch dripping sweat. But we also use it for yoga, core workouts, pushups/sit ups, and more.
Resistance Bands, Kettle Bells, or Fit Balls (~$29.99-$79.99 for a set)
We used to have a pretty comprehensive set of free weights (in fact, they might still be in the basement somewhere), but these days we mostly just use a resistance bands and kettle bells for our workouts. Resistance bands can be used to build strength, enhance flexibility, and improve your overall fitness, while kettle bells are excellent for strengthening muscles we don’t use much during cycling.
*We recommend speaking with a personal trainer or coach before beginning any weight or resistance training to ensure proper exercise form and avoid injury
Foam Roller ($17.99-$39.99)
The foam roller has become an essential tool for us. Using the foam roller can help loosen up tight muscles and adhesions, keeping you loose and flexible which makes you more resistant to injury.