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!