Looking for ways to work out without buying expensive equipment? Then look no further! In this blog post, we look at 8 household items that can be used as equipment for an at-home workout. From common objects to everyday items, you’ll be amazed by the versatility of these items and how they can be used for a great workout.
1) Towel: The Versatile Workout Prop
When it comes to squeezing in quick and effective at-home workouts, towels may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, towels can actually be a great option to incorporate into your home workout routine. By using towels, you are able to add resistance training to your workouts and target various muscle groups.
The best type of towel to use for at-home workouts is a hand towel, although a thin yoga towel can also work. It’s important to avoid using large, plush bath towels as they won’t provide the necessary resistance.
Biceps Towel Exercise
To do this exercise, simply hold one end of the towel in each hand, pull the towel apart and then curl your hands towards your shoulders, squeezing your biceps as you go.
Squat Hold with Towel Overhead Pass
Begin in a squat position with the towel held overhead. From there, pass the towel down between your legs and then back up overhead as you stand back up.
Bent Over Row with a towel
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the towel with both hands in front of your thighs. Bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight, create tension on the towel and pull towards your chest.
Give these exercises a try and see the difference they can make in your fitness routine.
2) Water Bottle: An Essential for Toning
When it comes to working out, there’s no denying that having some form of weight/resistance is important for building and toning muscle. But what if you don’t have access to dumbbells or kettlebells at home? Fear not! Your trusty water bottle can serve as an excellent substitute.
One of the biggest advantages of using a water bottle is its versatility. It can be filled to different levels, allowing for a range of weights depending on your fitness level. To give you an idea, one liter of water weighs about 2.2 pounds or 1 kilogram, so you can easily adjust the weight by adding or subtracting water.
So, how can you use a water bottle for your home workouts? Here are a few exercises to get you started:
Alternating Biceps Curls:
Hold the water bottle with an underhand grip and curl it towards your shoulder, alternating arms.
Seated Shoulder Press:
Sit with your back straight and hold the water bottle at shoulder height. Press it overhead, then slowly lower it back down.
Triceps Overhead Extensions:
Hold the water bottle with both hands and lift it overhead. Keeping your elbows close to your head, bend your arms and lower the bottle behind your head, then straighten them to lift it back up.
Shoulder External Rotation:
Hold the water bottle with one hand and keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Rotate your arm outward, keeping your elbow tucked in, then slowly rotate it back to the starting position.
Hold the water bottle with both hands and circle it around your head, keeping your elbows straight and close to your ears.
Remember to start with a weight that feels comfortable and gradually increase as you get stronger. You can also increase the intensity by using a heavier water bottle or switching to a reusable stainless steel bottle. So next time you’re reaching for your trusty hydration companion, consider giving it a workout too!
3) Chair: An All-Purpose Fitness Tool
For those who have balance or mobility issues, are pregnant, or are recovering from an injury, chair exercises can be a great option for staying active and working out. But don’t be fooled by the humble chair – it can be used for a variety of exercises that target different parts of the body.
Chair exercises can work the lower body, upper body, and core muscles, and can be used for seated stretches or Pilates chair exercises. They can be incredibly effective when done correctly and can be scaled to different fitness levels to progress or regress moves.
One of the benefits of chair exercises is that they can be done while sitting in the chair, holding onto the chair for support, or using the chair as a prop for standing exercises. Just make sure the chair is sturdy, secure, and tall enough to support your weight.
Here are a few examples of chair exercises:
1. Seated leg lifts:
Sit in the chair with your feet flat on the ground. Lift one leg off the ground, straighten it out in front of you, hold for a few seconds, and then lower it back down. Repeat on the other side.
2. Tricep dips:
Sit on the edge of the chair, with your hands gripping the seat behind you. Slowly lower yourself down, bending your elbows, and then push back up to the starting position.
3. Chair squats:
Stand in front of the chair, facing away from it, and rest your hands on the back of the chair. Lower yourself down into a squat, keeping your weight in your heels, and then push back up to the starting position.
Remember, before beginning any new exercise program, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider to make sure it’s safe for you. But once you get the green light, a chair can be an incredibly versatile tool for your at-home workout routine.
4) Stairs: A Stairmaster Substitute
If you’re looking to get a good cardio workout at home and you have a staircase in your home, you can easily turn it into a Stairmaster substitute. Not only is it a great way to get your heart rate up, but it’s also an effective way to tone your legs and glutes.
Start by simply walking up and down the stairs a few times, gradually increasing your speed and intensity. You can also try stepping up one step at a time, or two at a time to work your muscles differently. For an added challenge, hold onto a water bottle or backpack for extra weight, or do alternating lunges up the stairs.
Don’t have a staircase at home? Try using a step stool or even a low platform instead. And if you’re feeling adventurous, head outside and find a hill or set of stairs to tackle. Just remember to stay safe and use caution when working out on uneven terrain.
Overall, stairs are a simple yet effective way to get your heart pumping and muscles working. So next time you’re looking for a quick and easy workout, don’t underestimate the power of your home’s staircase.
5) Backpack: Weighted Exercise Made Easy
This everyday item can easily transform into a weighted exercise tool, allowing you to amp up the intensity of your workout.
Simply fill your backpack with items of varying weights, such as water bottles, books, or even bags of rice. The great thing about using a backpack is that you can easily adjust the weight to suit your fitness level and goals. Want a lighter workout? Just remove some items. Looking for a challenge? Add more weight.
Once you’ve loaded up your backpack, you can incorporate it into a variety of exercises. Squats, lunges, and step-ups can all be enhanced by wearing a weighted backpack. You can also use it for exercises like push-ups, planks, and Russian twists to add an extra challenge to your core and upper body muscles.
The best part about using a backpack is that it allows for functional movement patterns, meaning you’re engaging multiple muscle groups at once. This not only improves your strength but also enhances your overall coordination and stability.
Just remember to ensure that the backpack is securely fastened and that the weight is distributed evenly. You don’t want the backpack shifting or sliding during your workout, as this could lead to injury.
So next time you’re looking for a simple and affordable way to make your at-home workouts more challenging, grab your backpack and start incorporating weighted exercises into your routine. You’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve with just this simple household item.
6) Books: A Portable Substitute for Dumbbells
If you don’t have a set of dumbbells at home, don’t worry – you can use books as a substitute! They can add resistance to your workout and help you tone your muscles. Here are some exercises you can try with books:
1. Book Squat:
Hold a book in each hand and stand with your feet wider than hip width. Lower down into a squat, turning your knees outwards. Come back up and repeat for 25 reps. This exercise works your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
2. Plank Book Passes:
Start in plank position with a book on your right side. Shift one book at a time to your left side, keeping your core tight. Then, shift the books back to your right side. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise works your core and shoulders.
3. Book Pushups:
Place a few books on your left side, wider than shoulder width. Place one palm on the books and the other arm in a regular push up position. Lower down until your chest is above the ground and push back up. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise works your chest, triceps, and shoulders.
4. Overhead to Knee Book Lifts:
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet off the ground. Hold a book in each hand overhead. Lift one book at a time to your knee and shin area, then place it back overhead. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise works your abdominals and hip flexors.
Using books for your workout is a great way to get creative with your home exercises and switch things up from your usual routine. Just be sure to choose books that are similar in weight for balanced resistance.
7) Wall: Utilizing Your Living Space for Resistance Training
Did you know that you can use the walls of your living space to get in a good resistance training workout? It’s true! A simple wall can be transformed into a powerful tool for building strength, toning muscles, and improving your overall fitness level. Here are a few exercises you can try using just a wall:
Stand facing a wall, with your arms straight and your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Lean in towards the wall, then push back out. Repeat for several reps.
Stand with your back against the wall, then slide down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Stand facing the wall, then step back a few feet and lean against the wall. Bend your knees, keeping your back against the wall, and hold for several reps.
These are just a few examples of how you can use a wall for resistance training. Be creative and see what other exercises you can come up with!
8) Broomstick: Unleashing the Power of Pilates and Yoga
Who knew that a broomstick could be such a versatile workout tool? If you’re a fan of Pilates or yoga, you’re probably familiar with exercises like the standing roll down or the extended leg stretch. But did you know that you can use a broomstick to enhance these movements and make them even more challenging?
One of the most common ways to use a broomstick in your workout is by holding it across your shoulders to perform squats or lunges. This not only adds resistance to your lower body exercises but also helps you maintain proper form by keeping your chest lifted and your core engaged.
Another way to use a broomstick in your practice is to hold it overhead during your sun salutations. This will not only deepen the stretch but also challenge your shoulder stability and balance. You can also use a broomstick as a prop for twisting movements or to assist in certain stretches like the seated forward fold.
So the next time you’re sweeping the floor, grab your broomstick and get ready to unleash the power of Pilates and yoga in your at-home workout. Just make sure to use a sturdy broomstick and check for any signs of wear and tear before incorporating it into your routine.
In conclusion, numerous everyday items in your household can be used for an effective workout. From towels and water bottles to chairs and stairs, these items can be repurposed to target different muscle groups and increase overall strength and endurance. By thinking outside the box and getting creative, you can save money on expensive gym equipment and still achieve amazing results. So why wait? Start incorporating these surprising household items into your at-home workouts today and experience the convenience and versatility they offer. Happy exercising!