exercise equipment

How to use household items for exercise

Not in the mood to go to the gym? No problem. There are plenty of items at home you can use as your workout equipment. How, you might ask? Read on.

Health should always be everyone’s top priority. But, sometimes, it’s not easy to squeeze in going to the gym in your schedule, right? Despite your busy schedule and other limitations, you must keep in shape. Committing to a fitness routine helps you achieve that.  

Unfortunately, gym memberships can be quite expensive. If you consider buying your workout equipment at home, however, they aren’t cheap either. Now, what’s the next alternative? A little do-it-yourself might do the trick. 

With some creativity, you’ll find that (almost) everything you use in the gym can be replicated at home. You’re probably already working out, in effect, from using some of the items in your household.

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute explores how to use stuff you already have at home for your next exercise.

Best home exercise equipment for beginners

A home workout usually involves a yoga mat, some weights, and a resistance band. If you’re just starting, you don’t need to spend too much on this exercise equipment. You can still work out from the comforts of your home with a towel, books or bottled water, and some ropes.

Chairs are your versatile companion when working out at home. Most homes have them. Any solid material that you can lean on, like a countertop, can also be used to support your weight. Walls are typically used the same way. 

Stairs are your next best friend. They are good for cardio as you go up and down a flight of stairs. You can also use them for extended, elevated lunges and step exercises, for example.

What would be the best home exercise equipment for beginners? With so many options, it’s hard to say. Whatever is available and closest to you would be the best answer. If your house has a lot of chairs, that’s your best workout buddy. If you have towels, that’s your next best ally. Just look around your place and you’ll be surprised to find just what you need.

What to remember when finding exercise equipment at home

Before you begin any workout, there are a few elements of fitness you should consider. These could give you an idea of what household items you might need.

Elements of Fitness:

  • Warming up
  • Cardiovascular (aerobic) workout
  • Resistance (strength-building) exercises
  • Flexibility moves
  • Cooling down

Now, start thinking about what gym equipment you usually associate with these elements. Then, you can be creative about their alternatives.

Common objects used at home for exercise

Here are some of the easiest items you can grab at home that can serve as DIY exercise equipment as its dual purpose.

  • Beach towel as a yoga mat
  • Towel, sweatshirt, or rope as resistance band
  • Bed for balance practice
  • Wooden crate as plyo box

They are so readily available in any house, in general, and can be replaced by its closest alternative. There are no more excuses when you’re stuck indoors, especially these days when forced to lock down due to covid-19 restrictions. Other reasons that keep you from going out to the gym like traffic and bad weather should no longer stop you from being active!

Household items that can be used for strength exercises
exercise equipment
Image Source: Bicycling.com

Get moving at home by incorporating strength exercises. These should help lessen joint pain while improving your balance, muscle strength and bone density. Sometimes, strength exercises may involve pushing or working against gravity or any kind of resistance. Hence, these household items should help with your endurance and aid in making your muscles work more than you would otherwise normally do. 

  • Hand towel, socks, or paper plates as sliders, mountain climbers
  • Basketball to make push-ups harder
  • Rope as a suspension trainer
  • Toilet for box squats
  • Folding chair as a weight bench
  • Gallons of water and bag of flour as heavier weights; and weighted backpacks as a weighted vest (bottles for squats)
  • Duffel bag as a sandbag
  • Vacuum cleaner for lunges
  • Broom for mobility work
  • Shovel for unilateral training

Household items that can be used for cardio and core
exercise equipment
Image Source: Self.com

Cardio exercises are the answer to pumping your heart up, and core workouts are the best for your abdominal muscles.  If your goal is to lose weight, especially in your belly area, a combination of this exercise will do the trick, and they don’t have to be complicated. You can be creative even with these things at home:

  • Stairs for cardio
  • Door frame for burpees
  • Steel water bottle or toilet paper rolls for planks (to add difficulty)
  • Couch for glute bridges or cushion for balance, split squats, etc.
  • Pan for upper body strength
  • Wall for walks
  • Mop as abs burner

Household items for compound exercises
exercise equipment
Image Source: Fox2now.com

Compound exercises typically involve more than one specific muscle group targeted simultaneously. For example, arm exercises can help you get more defined and stronger arms. But, you can also do lunges while working your arms. You can find stuff at home that can work both arms and leg muscles if you know where to look. 

Here are other objects you probably have at home that you can use for exercise:

  • Laundry detergent or milk jug as kettlebell Arnold press
  • Folding chair as a bench for triceps and push-ups
  • Laundry basket for deadlift
  • Soup cans, rubber-banded spoons, and coffee table books as small, pulse weights
  • Bike pump for triceps strength

Found other items at home as exercise equipment?

If you think about it, you can work out even without any sort of equipment. For instance, you can do jumping jacks, leg raises, shoulder taps, lunges, and Russian twists sitting or standing on the floor. Stretching exercises, planks, arm exercises, and inchworms are the same.

Weight lifting has always been the key to muscle building. So, if this is your goal and you’re wondering if you’ll still be able to achieve the same results even without the equipment, the answer is still yes, most especially for beginners. You’ll only have an issue with alternatives like home replacements if you are used to heavy barbells and equipment from the gym. 

The use of DIY exercise equipment from home can still be effective if you turn up your number of reps, sets and timing each time you train. You should also stick to functional and compound movements so that you can involve as many joints and muscles as possible. Target your upper, lower, and core! Always challenge yourself to train better!

Here at Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute, we believe that there’s no excuse to be healthier. We hope that this blog helps you to find a reason to exercise more even when you are only at home. Happy workout!


top ten exercise equipment machines

Top ten exercise equipment machines

When it comes to optimizing your workout regimen, the use of exercise equipment would surely make a huge difference. Machines can assist you in improving your form and keeping up with a realistic and sustainable program for your lifestyle. 

It’s common to see people with different preferences when it comes to exercising. Others are okay with walking and jogging, while some perform best with weights and equipment. 

You can’t underestimate the benefits of exercising with machines and equipment. Sure, they can be intimidating at first – with the knobs, pulleys, handles, and cables – but they are the answer to making strength training effortless. 

If you are one of those people who have started to invest in exercise equipment for your home since the pandemic, we are listing down basic gym equipment set-up you should have for your home.    

The best overall exercise equipment for home

(1) Multi-gym

When you decide to invest in gym equipment, don’t go modest! Make it all out with a multi-gym and perform a diverse kinds of exercises at home. 

This machine is the best when your goal is to build muscles and burn fats simultaneously. With the makeup of this equipment, strength training is possible. The weight stacks and pulley system are responsible for offering weighted resistance proven to bear better results for the body.

A multi-gym is ideal for home use, for it only eats up limited space. Its design is for small corners. This equipment may not appear to be the most efficient in length, weight, and height, but it’s versatile enough to fit in your garage. 

(2) Cardio rowing machine

Cardio rowing machines are also known as ergs or ergometers. They claim to target and hit almost 86% of your muscles. Thus, this kind of equipment is effective in toning, endurance, and strength.

Rowing is not only your physique; it also has benefits for the lungs and heart. And this is a full-body workout compared to the misconception that it only focuses on the arms. 

American Fitness Professionals Association or AFPA reveals that rowing is 65 to 75 percent leg and 35 upper body. With this composition, you can expect to strengthen your pecs, arms, upper back, obliques, and abdominal muscles. 

(3) Leg press machine

Building your leg strength is a vital foundation to your overall training. If you aim to pump up the most prominent muscle in your body, this machine is what you need.

Emphasize your muscles by adjusting your foot position on the footpads. This is the kind of equipment that your quads will thank you for – there’ll be less of the hamstrings and glutes as compared to your regular squats. 

The leg press machine works by promoting leg development and isolating it. During the push and lift-off phase, your quads work so hard that they become the most involved in the exercise. 

(4) Dumbbell set

Top ten exercise equipment machines - dumbbell set

A dumbbell set may sound like a basic, but it is the core to any fat-shredding, sweat-inducing, and fat-shredding workout that would lead your body towards body recomposition. 

If you want to save more space for this equipment, you can also go for the adjustable dumbbells, which have gained popularity these days. This new technology is a serious investment with quite an expensive price tag, but it weighs from two to 24 kg which you can access by twisting its handle. 

Don’t get us wrong. If you are still a beginner who’s just getting the hang of your routine, then the hexagonal dumbbells should be fine for you. This set is floor-friendly. It has a stable base that can support your renegade rows, which is the best companion for casual home training. 

(5) Weight bench

Top ten exercise equipment machines - weight bench

Setting up a weight bench in your home gym is a wise step to take, for this equipment is instrumental in targeting various areas in your body when you are strength training. It provides ample support that allows you to fix your form.

In the market, you’ll find two kinds of weight bench – flat and adjustable. 

The adjustable weight bench is recommended for strength training, for you can set it up depending on your target for the day. It also enables you to extend your range of motion. The flat weight bench, on the other hand, is capable of handling heavier weights. So the choice would depend upon the program that you are in. 

(6) Lat pulldown machine

A lateral pulldown machine is a staple in gym facilities, and it’s crawling to home as well. Today, it’s common to see space-efficient variations of this equipment, so owning one should be possible!

Using this machine enables you to do multi-joint exercises that would target your latissimus dorsi or the so-called pulling muscle. As a result, you’ll improve and tone your back which will give you good posture. 

Contrary to common impression, lat pulldowns don’t just strengthen your lat muscles; they also maximize your lower and upper back muscles, including the trapezius, rhomboids, teres major, and teres minor. 

(7) Cable biceps bar

Whether you want your biceps to bulge like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or just tone them, the go-to equipment to do just that is a cable biceps bar. 

The American Council on Exercise noted cable curls as one of the most effective exercises for the biceps. With this equipment, you can exercise your biceps forward, sideways, and across your chest. 

Since this tool focuses on the biceps brachii, it has the ability to develop it independently. If you are aiming to concentrate on the said muscle, and you want to hit it more precisely, then a cable biceps bar is a must-have to your home gym.   

(8) Leg extension machine

A leg extension machine is perfect for anybody who wants to lose weight or tone their legs. This equipment should be your companion if you want to strengthen your lower body and target your quadricep muscles that include the front of your thighs.

With this equipment, you only sit on a chair and use your quadriceps muscle to lift the weight bar. You contract your quad that brings your knees up to fight the weighted resistance when you do this exercise. 

Deadlifts, lunges, and squats also concentrate on the quads; however, they do not provide the same muscle isolation a leg extension does with a machine. 

(9) Stair Climbers

Step up your home-fitness game by owning a stair climber machine. If you want equipment that will give you cardio and glutes simultaneously, this buddy is for you. 

This is the type of machine that works best for a high-intensity and low-impact workout. It’s also very low risk, so anybody looking for a chance to sustain their routine long-term can use this machine to their advantage. 

It’s easy to associate stair climbing with booty-shaping benefits, but it’s also effective in strength training. This machine can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Thus, if you miss the gym, make a space for this equipment in your home!

(10) Power Rack

So you’ve got the budget and space, a Power Rack is the best equipment to include in your home gym. This cage pumps you to do the three essential workouts for strength and conditioning: barbell squat, deadlift, and bench press.

This machine is a regular for serious bodybuilders who need all the support they can get in lifting heavyweights. A Power Rack is vital in strengthening your lower body and practicing more demanding movements, including muscle-ups and pull-ups. 

Power Racks have come a long way! This piece has eliminated the dangers of failure, accident, or falling weights from a cable-assisted stack to free-weight equipment. In turn, you can improve your lifts and performance. 

Is it worth it to invest in your own exercise equipment?

Is it worth it to invest in your exercise equipment? It is a big purchase and decision, so you have to weigh the factors in building your gym at home.

While an intimidating and expensive idea, there are many benefits to having your exercise machine. Regularly going to the gym is an uphill battle, most especially in today’s situation. Keeping up with your fitness goals with the crowd, traffic, membership, and time, is a challenge that becomes achievable when you have easy access to equipment. 

Many people struggle to realize the results of their regimen for the lack of consistency and quality. But when you establish a safe space where you are motivated to move and perform, working out becomes enjoyable. And this is what your exercise machines can do!

It doesn’t matter whether you are in for a simple home gym or a sophisticated one – exercise machines are going to be your solid companion in this journey! Do it at your own pace! 

Think with the end in mind

Before buying any fitness equipment or machines, you should think about the end in mind. What is your health and wellness objective? Are you going through the process alone, or will you do it with other members of your family?

Take time to decide and research as much as you can. Talk to professionals and ask about the machines you are eyeing for. Consult your doctor as well and ensure that your body is ready for rigid training. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute want you to enjoy a quality life with the length of life. Start by exercising regularly and observing a balanced diet.