Michael Kranak, MA – @KranDaddy
Going off to college and living in the dorms, and/or finally getting that first apartment of your own are some of the best feelings and experiences! Your newfound freedom and independence is exhilarating, but it’s not all positive. Dorms and apartments are usually small and have limited space. For those of us who dream of having a garage or basement gym, it can seem rough to want those things and not be able to have a squat rack, bench, or cables in our current living situation. So the solution? For most, if not all of us, it’s to join a gym or make use of whatever recreation center a school or apartment complex has. This can be a problem. Some gyms might not have every piece of equipment we have, or can be so crowded that we’re pressed for time to use what we want. Having lived in a dorm and going on my sixth year of living in an apartment, I’ve come up with a list of five MUST HAVES for any gym-goer that will make his or her life so much better:
- Foam Roller: To me, the foam roller is one of the TOP TWO pieces of training equipment you can have in your dorm or apartment for a few reasons. First, a lot of gyms only have one or two foam rollers so it can be tough to make sure that one is available whenever you want it. Second, if you have a foam roller at your apartment, you can ALWAYS be working on mobility and recovery. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, rather than spend a huge bulk of time on the foam roller, you can use it throughout the day. This is especially useful for people just starting to use a foam roller.
- 25lb Plate: Along with the foam roller, a 25lb plate is the other top two pieces, in my opinion. The plate is so versatile and can allow you to hit a TON of movements quickly and easily. Most commonly people use the plate for weighted crunches, which is another reason it’s perfect for a dorm or apartment. You can knock out 4×25 weighted crunches once or twice a day with no issues.
- Lacrosse/Mobility Ball: This is similar to the foam roller. Having a lacrosse or mobility ball around can allow you to always work on mobility and recovery. The ball will allow you to hit those areas you really want to focus on (e.g., shoulders/rear delts, piriformis) that the foam roller just doesn’t hit those the way you want.
- Stretch Band: 3/5 of these essentials are geared towards stretching and mobility, this is because we can ALL benefit from additional stretching and mobility. A standard green band from Rogue or Elite FTS is perfect. You can use this to stretch your legs and get loose the night before a big leg day; you can use it to do banded pushups, and everything in between!
- Ankle Weights: These might not seem that important, but they can be a staple in a morning or nightly ab routine. 2-4 sets of 25 weighted ankle raises will help strengthen your abs and core, as well as let you get in that extra ab work you might not have had time to get to in the gym.
There you have it! My five MUST HAVES for any dorm or apartment. Be sure to watch the plate routine video and make the most out of your living space here:
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