10 Household items you can use to get your gym workout!


10 Household items you can use to get your gym workout!

You’ve most likely already stocked up on a host of grocery and household items which can act as the perfect substitutes for gym equipment.  In fact, they might just give you more bang for your buck than machines would have, mainly because of the stabilization factor and recruitment of more muscle groups when using free weights.  The best workouts, after all, are the ones you actually do, and are certainly worth a try.

Here’s our list of Top 10 household objects that will help you realise your Ninja Warrior aspirations.

1. Paper plates

Used as a substitute for “sliders,” not the little snack kind, but the little circular discs used to strengthen your core and glutes.  Slider exercises will challenge your entire core and help build stability in both your midsection and shoulders. Adding these to your lunges and plank workout will add an extra level of difficulty to your workout. 

2. A towel

One person’s towel is another person’s resistance band! Use a towel to help with stretching or for a killer arm workout. Looking for a leg challenge? Try some plank-to-pike moves, which require you to jump from a horizontal plank position up towards your hands into a vertical V shape, these will work both your glutes and leg muscles.  Perhaps you are missing the gyms free-flowing rowing machine. No problem, wrap the towel around the handle of a door, put your feet against the door, lean back so your arms are straight, pull yourself up to the door, hands reaching your chest, then lower back down. 


3. Load that backpack

We know you aren’t heading anywhere with your trusty backpack anytime soon, but all you need to do is add some weight to it – make sure it’s a manageable weight for you – and wear it for squats, lunges, pushups, or when you’re running up and down the stairs.  Good items to use to get the weight you want are cans of food or even bags of sand from your garden.

4. Book Benefit

The ways to incorporate books into your training are endless, start by placing a heavy book on your chest when doing crunches or, target your lower abs by lying on your back, arms above you, book in hand, and use your stomach muscles to raise your shoulders off the ground. You can also some leg extensions by sitting on a chair with your legs extended, balance a book on your shins now raise and lower your legs slowly. You’ll be impressed by how much these exercises feel like leg raises with machine weights.  Finally, a way to benefit from books without actually reading them.

5. Water bottles, laundry buckets, tins and empty paint cans

Give your arms a major workout by doing some front raises (holding the apparatus out in front of you and raising your arms), tricep kickbacks (engage your triceps as you slowly extend your arm back as far as you can),  or overhead presses (lifting the weights over your head),  with of the above household items which can be used as dumbbells. Fill some empty paint cans up with rocks or sand and use them for squats. Grab two filter water bottles and hold on to them as you jog up and down the stairs. These are also great for kettlebell swings.  Depending on your ability fill up on rice or dry beans, water or loose change.

6. A broom
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Besides the cardio workout sweeping will give you it can also give you a great core, hip and glute workout. To add a little extra mobility into your Mr Min routine, shake things up by using the broom to incorporate hip hinges, literally stand with your knees slightly bent, holding the broom perpendicular behind your back and squat slightly.  Alternatively, you can also place the broom on top of two chairs to create an at-home pull-up bar.

7. A chair

Use a sturdy chair or bench for simple bodyweight exercises like seated tricep dips incline push-ups, and step-ups. Change up the routine by adding in decline push-ups by positioning your feet on the chair and your arms on a mat on the ground – this will work those shoulder and lats even harder than inclined push-ups.

8. Dog food, a sack of flour, or a bag of oranges

Leg pressing or bench pressing 10kg’s of dog food is enough to make any hound pant.  Or take a break from bread baking and bring your sugar and flour into your “home gym,” where you can easily use it to get some weightlifting in.  If you are looking for an improvised weight with a handle, a bag of oranges solves this problem and can be used for any swing exercises, and what’s even better is they are in season!

9. A laundry basket

Use all that laundry that’s been piling up as a heavy weight for dead lifts.  It not only builds core stability but directly targets all the major muscle groups responsible for correct posture.  Just remember to bend those knees!

10. A wall
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Use any wall in your house for wall squats. The good news is that anyone can do these, and they are easy on your knees and back.  Just 20 minutes a day will strengthen and tone your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes and core.

Exercise is the best medicine for the body and mind. It will give you the endorphins you need to lighten your mood and it will also help you sleep better.  Clear an area in your house, put a little bit of effort in, and in no time you will be reaping the rewards of a cost effective home gym. What’s great is you’ll probably find the whole family enjoying the novelty of embracing the canned veggies without eating them!


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