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A global pandemic is as good a time as any to invest a little in your home gym scene. But what gear to get, and what exercises to do?

The fitness industry is rife with overly complicated, expensive workout equipment, but at Salt Pump, we like to keep our training focused by keeping it simple. Here are a couple of essential workout devices we recommend. For a couple hundred dollars or less, if you’re feeling crafty, you can assemble all the tools you need to walk into Salt Pump stronger than you were before.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll introduce The Home Sessions - a series of training tutorials focused on fundamental climbing-centric exercises you can do just about anywhere with the following gear.

Hangboard:

The hangboard is one of the most effective methods to develop finger strength for rock climbing. There are many different commercial varieties available, each with its own plethora of edges and pockets, but we recommend sticking to a basic design. Studies suggest you get the best gains in finger strength by hanging from bigger edges with more weight, rather than trying to hang from the smallest edge possible. For most of us, two or three edge sizes plus a comfortable warm-up jug, sloper and two finger pocket grips are all that’s needed. For extra skin comfort and style points, consider going with a wood one.

Making your own Hangboard

Hangboard Review

Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard

Metolius Wood Grips II Hangboard

Beastmaker Hangboard

Gymnastic Rings:

Rings, like their more complicated and expensive younger cousin the TRX system, are an extraordinary effective training tool because they require core engagement and stabilization throughout entire muscles groups. They’re easy to hang, and come with long webbing straps and buckles that allow the height to be quickly adjusted when switching exercises.

Wood Olympic Gymnastic Rings from Titan Fitness

Ring Exercises for Climbers from Lattice Training

Reddit Forum: Strength Training for Rock Climbing with Rings

Resistance Bands:

Every climber should have a set of Therabands for working both climbing specific and antagonistic muscles groups. They’re cheap - get several different colors for a variety of resistance levels.

Theraband Set from Amazon

Theraband Set from Yoga Accessories

Reddit Forum: Warming up for climbing using Therabands

Weight:

There are few exercise movements that requiring lots of weights that can’t be replicated with a body-weight exercise. The one-legged pistol squat, for example, is an excellent alternative to a traditional squat done with a loaded barbell and weights. Still investing in a few light dumbbells is worth it. If you’re just starting your home gym - we recommend just a 15 pound weight, which you can use for reverse wrist curls and adding a little extra to your bodyweight as you experiment with hangboarding. As your strength and psyche grows, you can build your collection. Yard sales and second hand shops are excellent places to pick up weights for cheap.

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