There are plenty of advantages to working out at home: no commutes, a variety of online workouts to choose from and a couch to throw yourself on after you sweat it out. There are some notable disadvantages, the lack of access to all those accessories found in the gym that can take your workout to the next level.
Not all hope is lost, according to coaches, these household items can act as quick swaps of fitness equipment when working from home:
1- Bags of rice/beans or bottles of water: Dumbbells
They make a decent alternative to lighter weight dumbbells if you’ve got a few bags of dry rice or beans on hand. Another option is filled with water bottles. This makes up for the lighter weight and produces more per-movement effects.
2- A Filled Backpack: Weighted Vest
A weighted vest gives your body a little extra weight that can bring your heart rate up faster, activate your muscles more, make you work harder, and improve your workout in general. A filled backpack worn on your back or your front is a simple at-home swap. As long as there is no pain or discomfort, you should keep this on during your daily workouts. I would also consider using a backpack to work out the glutes and quads on the stairs if you have stairs in your house or apartment building. You’re also getting in a bit of cardio that way, as well.
3- Resistance Bands: Pantyhose
Tied pantyhose have just enough versatility to build a bit of tension during workouts. For instance, when doing hip thrusts, you can position the loop just above your knees, or you can keep either end of the loop straight out in front of you and pull outward during high knees or ass kicks.
4- Medicine ball: Larger Sport Ball
Nearly any big sports ball you have would suit the bill for a lighter-weight medicine ball, like a volleyball, soccer ball, or basketball. These are not going to be the heaviest, but if you work out your abs, thighs, arms, or just concentrate on balance, you can still get the job done.
5- Heavier Medicine Ball: Jug of Laundry Detergent
A hefty jug of laundry detergent will save the day in cases where you need a little more weight. For movements like Russian twists or overhead sit-ups, this will be sufficient to the task at hand. Another principle is to use it to work both the core and shoulders at the same time in a side-plank. Set the jug on one side of your body to do this, reach through with the opposite arm, and pull it through to the other side. Just make sure the cover is secure. A laundry detergent jug also makes a decent swap for the kettle-bell.
6- Bench Press: Large Bags of Pet Food
Use a large heavy bag of pet food or grains and complete your reps if you are looking to do barbell curls, a bench press, overhead extensions, or any other barbell exercise, including deadlifts and squats. Make sure you try to distribute the weight equally. If it’s stubbornly lopsided, swap sides with your reps halfway through.
7- Gliders: Paper plates
Fitness gliders are flat plastic discs often used during floor exercises to better engage the heart. For leg and ab workouts, you can use gliders on the floor. Paper or plastic plates are a perfect household substitute if you don’t have access to gliders
8- Pistol or Sit-Squats: the Couch
During all kinds of workouts, your sofa can be a real treasure. For gun (single leg) squats or sit-squats. Try doing sit-squats and pistol squats (single leg) on and off your couch if you feel like you need a little leg burn. Every time hitting the cushion forces you to go low enough to get a complete repeat and offers padding in case you fall. For triceps dips, incline/decline push-ups, and incline/decline running planks, the couch can also come in handy.
9- The Stairs
Run up and down the stairs in your home or apartment building to get some cardio while remaining indoors. In no time, you’ll feel the burn.
With these smilingly simple items that simulate gym equipment, you can have meaningful workouts that are rewarding. With a bit of creativity, a work out routine can be conjured out of basic stuff found at home.