Now THIS is a project I get particularly excited about. Crazy DIY stuff AND gym gadgets? Yes, thank you very much, I’ll take the lot.
Once again, we’re sharing this from another awesome blog, Greatist.com, as well as adding some of our own suggestions to the list. Some of these items may a bit unfamiliar to you, but the bonus is that you may end up spicing up your workout routine in the process of looking them up! See the original article at Greatist here.
WARNING: We ARE focussed on safety more than anything else on this site, so we do ask (nay, we implore) that you are extra cautious when taking on any of these projects. Not just with how you make them, but also when using them. Always practice good form (get somebody to show you or check out the multitude of tutorials online) & have somebody help you make them, if possible.
Have a happy workout!
Strength Training Equipment
1. Pull-up Bar
Pull-ups help you make use of a variety of muscle groups in the arms and back. To make a homemade pull up bar, fit some pipes together and hang the contraption over a suitable load-bearing I-beam. (Load-bearing! Make sure the bar is suitably secure and supported before you start pulling.)
These are a great resource for workouts — but they can also be quit expensive, especially when buying ‘bells with different weights. The bargain solution? Tim Ferriss’ simple “T bar” alternate kettlebell that allows for changeable weights (it’s like 10 kettlebells in one!) and easily disassembles for travel and storage. For those desiring a tool that more closely resembles traditional kettlebells’ shape (and who are comfortable with welding), look no further than these instructions for building a rounder kettlebell made from concrete.
3. Bulgarian Training Bag
What is this? Originally developed for wrestlers, Bulgarian training bags are used around the world to target the legs, arms, back, and core. Simply fill an old truck or tractor tire’s inner tube with wood pellets or rubber mulch, tie up the tube securely, and voila! It’s time to start swinging, squatting, and curling your way to better fitness.
These are used similarly to kettlebells, only their insides (i.e. the sand) shift around during movements, adding an extra challenge. Making a sandbag requires few resources: Just pick up some heavy duty bin bags, duct tape, filler (such as sand), rope or zip ties, and a canvas laundry bag, and you’re soon have your very own sandbag to toss, swing, and slam around.
5. Water Ball
This is quite like a sandbag but even harder to move around. They’re also very easy to make: Just get your hands on an exercise ball (make sure it’s marked “anti-burst” — unless you want to be soaked in more than sweat), fill it up with water (leave some air so the water has room to slosh around), and in no time you’ve got an awesome training tool.
6. Light Hand Weights
For those just looking for something light to start out with, you can make your own light hand weights just from water bottles. Use them in classic dumbbell moves for a budget-friendly hand weight workout. If the small bottles eventually stop being a challenge, simply fill up bigger bottles (like milk jugs) with water, rocks, or sand, and keep on lifting! And this won’t cost you A THING.
7. Medicine Ball
I’ve always wanted a medicine ball! Great for core, medicine balls can be used in a variety of exercises that challenge the whole body and have been shown to improve muscle power and performance  . Make your own with an old basketball, drill or awl, and some sand.
8. Incline Bench
This one requires a bit more heavy-duty work, but can still be cheaper than buying new. Another perk of making your own incline bench: It’s self-adjustable, so it can be tailored to different moves and levels of fitness. Plus, it looks darn impressive.
9. Suspension Straps
This stuff is super popular right now, with the TRX training system has gained popularity for its minimalist approach to resistance training. Make your own suspension straps. Hang them over a door jam, a sturdy tree branch, or Smith machine, and get suspended!
OK, this one I’m particularly intrigued by. Parallettes can help develop coordination, agility, and balance (even their name sounds graceful). Follow these detailed instructions to make your own using PVC pipes, electrical tape, and a little glue. Now what? Check out the list of crossfit-approved exercises below the assembly instructions.
11. Battling Ropes
Instead of using old garden hoses to, say, water the garden, turn them into battle ropes. If you’re inexperienced with this multi-functional exercise, start out with empty hoses. As you advance, fill the hoses with sand (don’t forget to plug up both ends) for a more challenging full-body workout.