If you want to workout at home, but cannot afford the latest in home-gym technology, then there are cheaper options. You may actually already have at home everything you need to create and intensive cardio and resistance workout.
The builders workout simply uses various items from the building trade as equipment for working out, such as bricks, sacks of sand or gravel, sledge hammers and ladders.
You may have seen the ‘perfect push up’ grips advertised. These allow you not only to perform a deeper push up, working the triceps more, but also allow you to turn your hand while transitioning from the lowest to the highest point. This allows you to utilize more muscles in your arms while lifting. However, in the builders push up we make do with two bricks. Just place them on the ground in your usual hand position and grip them with thumbs facing each other. As you lower you turn your wrist so that knuckles face forward. Lower your chest to the floor, then raise up again, reversing the movement.
You will need to perform these on a concrete or stone floor otherwise the bricks will grip. Learn more ways to do push ups here.
No workout is complete without squats. To increase workload, hug a sandbag to you chest while squatting. Drop low so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, and pause before lifting. Vary weight of sandbag (or gravel / compost bag) according to your fitness and strength level.
This time hold the sack on one shoulder while performing a forward lunge. Always hold the sack on the opposite shoulder to your leading leg. Perform 10 lunges before swapping shoulder/leg. Learn more great sandbag exercises here.
Gravel Sack Shoulder Press
Simply take hold of a small sack of gravel, gripping each end, and lift and hold on your upper chest. Now thrust it up to lift above your head. Perform sets of 10. Gravel sacks are sometimes easier to get a grip on.
This is a big movement, like the wood chop, which kettlebell lifters use. Find an old tire and place it on the ground. Then in a large smooth swinging motion, starting from behind you, strike the tire with all your might. Take a few warm up strike to gauge the effect of striking the tire, ensuring the hammer does not rebound too much. Ensure you keep a solid grip on the shaft at all times.
These simple exercises can be done in most back yards, and are a great way to either supplement your usual gym routine, or replace gym membership completely. Combined with bodyweight circuit training and some intensive interval training (running or cycling) they can be a cost effective way to superior fitness.