Working out at home sounds good in theory until you realize your cramped space doesn’t exactly compare to your favorite studio — and ugh, you don’t have any weights. But don’t give up too fast. Even if you don’t have a home gym with equipment, you can use everyday items as props for an effective workout. If you’re willing to get creative, you might be surprised to find how much you can do with what you’ve got.
Whether it’s a piece of furniture or some canned beans, here are five home items you can use as workout equipment.
Head to the kitchen for your first versatile home item. “One of my favorites is using two hot pads as gliders,” says personal trainer Heather L. Tyler, NSCA-CPT. “Placing them under your feet, you can do mountain climbers and pike pull-ins (add a few pushups for a robust set). “With just one under your foot, you can glide it out to the side for killer lateral lunges and then backward for a reverse lunge.” If you don’t have hot pads, paper towels are a good replacement for sliders as well.
Chair or ottoman
Get out that ottoman, step stool or even a chair for dips and step-ups. “You can also use it to prop feet up as you lie on the floor and do hip lifts — hello hamstrings!” says Tyler. “Lastly, try doing a plank with your feet elevated. Maybe lift a leg for another challenge.”
Most people have some sort of canned food in their pantry, which means you always have a set of weights at home. “Because canned foods come in a variety of weights and sizes, they can be a great substitution for dumbbells,” says personal trainer Mike Martin. You can also fill a backpack with canned foods for weighted squats, lunges, or pushups.
Gallons of water
“These are great because you can adjust the weight based on how full the container is,” says personal trainer Brianna Bernard. “The handles make these an excellent choice for hammer bicep curls. Also, with the caps facing each other, slide your index, middle, and ring fingers in the handles and use them for chest presses, shoulder presses, and overhead tricep extensions.”
Grab your cookbooks or coffee table books! They make a great substitution for a medicine ball. Martin suggests using your books for a core stacker or wall sit. “[The core stacker] is a Russian twist core option,” says Martin. “Set a stack of books to one side, then rotate and make another stack on the other side.” For the wall sit, squat down to where your quads are parallel to the floor and back against the wall. Then extend your arms out holding the book. “Try for 45 seconds, with a 15-second rest,” says Martin.
Just because you don’t have fancy gym equipment doesn’t mean you can’t get in a good workout at home. You can use common items you have around for a full-body workout. What are some household items you’ve used in place of workout equipment?
xx, The FabFitFun Team