With gym memberships, fancy gadgets, and overstated sports outfits, working out can get expensive. You think that working out at home may be a feasible option and try to look it up, only to find out that investing in home exercise equipment is a lot more expensive. This can be incredibly daunting for people who are just starting to work out.
The enforcement of the lockdown has further caused people to consider working out at home. But a lack of knowledge and proper equipment can lead to procrastination.
You can overcome this issue by using everyday household objects that double up as gym equipment. Yes, it is possible to workout using random stuff that is likely lying around the house.
Here are some such equipment and how you can use them to enhance your workout routine.
This isn’t exactly an object but an under-utilised commodity for working out at home. Stair climbing can provide you with a solid aerobic workout. You don’t even need to follow any specific routine or set with it – just adding a few extra steps each day can help you reap its benefits. Replace one or two elevator rides with stairs per day. Also, don’t stock up your hands to carry all the grocery bags up in one trip and instead take multiple trips back and forth, or take a five-minute stair climbing-break every day and try to maintain a consistent pace.
The humble step stool, whose sole purpose seems to be reaching the high shelves, can help you tone your glutes. Using a step stool for your step-ups is an excellent way of replacing the step platforms used in aerobic and steps classes. Just make sure to brace it against a wall or something sturdy to prevent it from sliding forward while you workout, as that, could lead to some severe injuries.
Bottles are the perfect object you can use to replace dumbbells. An 8-ounce water bottle weighs approximately 1 ½ pound. A beer bottle weighs about the same. A standard wine bottle weighs a little over 2 ½ pounds. In contrast, a 1-gallon water bottle weighs around 8. Depending on the weight you need, you can pick from various sizes of bottles for your workout. If you’re confused, you can fill it with water and weigh it on a scale to confirm its weight. The water bottle handles are the perfect shape for you to grip, curl easily, and swing during a workout. Just follow your regular weight training routine with dumbbells or find one online and replace the dumbbells with similarly weighted bottles.
Sack of Flour or Sugar
Another thing that is an excellent substitute for weight is sacks of flour or sugar. You can easily add them to your routine for some heavier weight lifting and use them for deadlifts if you get larger bags. Ensure that the bags are strong and sturdy and won’t break as you use them during your workout. You don’t want to be dusting flour off every nook and corner of the room!
Don’t have a suspension trainer but have a random rope lying around the house? Now is the time to put it to fair use. All you need to do is tie the rope over a sturdy tree branch or any similar heightened pole you can find around the house, grasp each end, and get to work. You don’t need a heavy-duty rope either. A lightweight rope is excellent for assisted pull-ups, pushups, and suspension plans. Consider tying sturdy knots at each end for added security. You can even tie loops at the end to use as hands and footholds. Just make sure that the knots are tight and would undo themselves with pressure. You can also tie a rope in a loop to use it as a resistance band.
Backpacks were the original weighted vests. Remember lugging around what seemed like 50kgs of books as a kid? If you think about it, that wasn’t too different from working out in a weighted vest. Just take a sturdy backpack and fill it with books or canned food. Strap it on your back and wear it while doing bodyweight exercises such as lunges, squats, or pushups. Or wear it around the house while doing chores for a convenient workout. It will be a bonus if the bag has a cross-chest strap that you can clasp for added support. You can take off the backpack and hold the straps for makeshift kettlebell swings.
A sturdy chair – one without wheels – can be beneficial for your workout routine. Whether you’re doing triceps dips, practising some leg raises or trying to perfect your squats, a chair can make all of these workouts more efficient. You can even perform this 5-5-5 Chair Workout that is a perfect home workout and incorporates cardio, strength, and flexibility.
Waiting for the water to boil or the over to preheat? Why not use this time to sneak in some physical activity into your day? While you wait in your kitchen, scrolling through your social media feed, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to strengthen your arms and chests. Instead, practice several sets of counter-tops pushups. Just face the countertop and place your hands on the edge shoulder-width apart. Step backwards until your body straight from head to heels but at a 90-degree angle to your hand. Lower your chest toward the counter while keeping your elbows in, then press your body back to the starting position. Repeat for a few sets.
As you can see, a good workout doesn’t require any expensive or fancy equipment. If you’re enthusiastic enough, you can turn just about anything into a tool for your workouts. So if you’ve been procrastinating because the gyms are closed or unsafe, this is the time to stop making excuses and start getting to work.