13 Household Items to Use As Workout Equipment: Hack Your Way to Frugal Fitness by Jessica Mazzucco Certified Fitness Trainer
Many of us are so used to being around the house for the past year, that some have become quite creative in terms of workout “equipment.” If you still prefer to keep your exercise routine at home, there really are effective things around the house to give you a solid fat-burning and muscle-building at-home gym session.
For those staying home due to budget concerns, just because you don’t have a fat wallet does not mean you can’t get buff. The following are my top budget-friendly at-home fitness tips:
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- Use soup cans for weights. You can do any triceps or biceps exercise at home using cans of soup that you'd do at the gym with dumbbells. To properly gauge the weight, don't go by the ounces listed on the can – that's liquid weight. Instead, weigh the cans on your scale to figure out the poundage that's best for you.
- Use jugs as weights. Fill a household bucket or jug with water (or sand, rock salt or powdered detergent) and secure the top with duct tape. Lift it up and down in front of you as you do squats.
- Substitute paper plates for body sculpting equipment. The key here is to use the plates to help your body slide on a carpet. This allows you to do body sculpting moves that would ordinarily require workout equipment. You can do the sliding lunge (put the paper plate under one foot and lunge forward). Try simulating skating to work your butt and thighs – just attach the plates to your feet with rubber bands and slide away. Or, get down on all fours, put the plates under your hands, and use them to work your chest by sliding your arms back and forth.
- Substitute a countertop for a push-up bench. In most homes, at least one countertop, either in the kitchen or the bath, is the right height for a push-up. Put both hands on the countertop, extend your legs behind you at an angle, lean down into the counter and then push back up.
- Substitute pantyhose for resistance bands. Almost any exercise you can do with a resistance band, you can do with old pantyhose or tights. For example, sitting on the floor with your legs straight, loop a pair of pantyhose around the balls of your feet and pull back with both hands as if you are using a rowing machine.
- A fitness ball. Sometimes called a stability ball, it looks like a large beach ball. You can do many core exercises, including abdominal crunches, with a fitness ball. You can also use a fitness ball to improve your flexibility and balance.
- Kettlebell. A kettlebell is a round weight with the handle attached at the top. A kettlebell can be used to do strength-training exercises and to help improve grip strength. Kettlebells are available in many sizes.
- Jump ropes. Skipping rope can be a great cardiovascular workout.
- Resistance tubing. These stretchy tubes offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them. Use the tubes to build strength in your arms and other muscles. Choose from varying degrees of resistance, depending on your fitness level.
- Chair or step stool. Use a chair for support when doing exercises such as leg curls. A low, sturdy step stool can become exercise equipment if you use it for step training – an aerobic exercise resembling stair climbing.
- Towels. Make your waist-whittling planks more effective with towels. Take two and place them under your hands or feet, then move forward, backward and sideways.
- Clean sweep. This one’s easy: You can burn 80 calories every 20 minutes of sweeping. Pull out the broom and get to sweeping every corner of your house or apartment. How’s that for multitasking?
- Laundry twist. Sit next to a full basket of laundry and twist to grab an item from the basket. Twist to the other side to lay it on a pile. Continue until your laundry is finished.
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