Keep crushing your fitness goals while social-distancing


If Peddie’s strength and conditioning coach has anything to say about it, being stuck at home won’t stop us from getting totally jacked during the novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020. In fact, Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Volkmar has shut down pretty much all of our excuses that would otherwise keep us on our gluteus maximus playing Borderlands 3 while simultaneously shoving pastries into our faces.

Thanks to him, all students, faculty and staff have access to Peddie’s TeamBuildr app, where he is posting daily workouts that require little-to-no equipment. For those really gunning for the Iron Falcon fitness award, here are nine cheap alternatives to expensive gym equipment as suggested by our muscular overlord. 

Strength band

These bands are 42” long and come in different levels of thickness. They are great for adding resistance to tons of different exercises: pull aparts, face pulls, upright rows, bicep curls, rows and many more. 

Mini band

These are short, thinner bands that wrap around your knees and ankles to help activate your glutes, one of the major core muscles.

Foam roller

Aside from massage, they can be utilized between your knees and ankles to better activate your adductors (groin muscles). This is the major muscle that helps turn on your lower abs during leg raise exercises. Volkmar also uses them for glute bridge and leg curls. 

Medicine ball

This is a progression from the foam roller. Volkmar prefers the Dynamax ball. However, you can use any ball that is soft and easy to grab and hold between your knees and ankles to better activate your adductors. We also use soft medicine balls for power slams. On a beautiful day, you can get outside and throw it around. 


Use a traditional weight bench to add range of motion to core exercises like reverse hyper, side crunches, back extensions and side plank raises. The bench also supports dumbbell exercises. Nothing special here, any good bench will do.


A quality physioball is crucial because it creates the perfect fulcrum for the perfect crunch and allows for extension at the thoracic spine. It also is a major player when you progress from the traditional front plank. It can also be a substitution for the bench for exercises like reverse hyper and side crunches if you have a solid anchor point like a power rack. 


Dumbbells can be used for a full-body workout. Lighter dumbbells are used to add eccentric and rotation resistance to advanced core exercises, as well as added resistance to your posterior exercise – the superman. Heavier dumbbells are used for lateral exercise, the farmer carry and posterior exercise, the good morning. Volkmar recommends looking on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. 

Ab wheel

The Ab Wheel is quite possibly the only piece of “As Seen on TV” fitness equipment from the early 2000’s that’s worth a darn. When used correctly, the ab wheel will leave you sore for days! 

Furniture sliders or a towel on a hardwood floor

Yes, you could pay $35 for Gliders or another pair of overpriced sliders. On the other hand, you could go in your junk drawer and pull out the sliders you used when you first moved into the house to help move that massive couch. Sliders are cheap, easy to use and easy to store. They are the perfect complement to any workout or a standalone workout. 

If you need expert advice, Volkmar is eager to help you set up a custom “garage gym” with cheap or upcycled gear. Just reach out at for more information.