No Weights, No Problem

Using Household Items as Workout Gear

Are you looking to get a workout at home but don’t have hand weights, a resistance band, and / or gliders? Well, take a deep breath and don’t give up. Just replace the seven most common pieces of workout gear with the household items listed below. These swaps are super easy to make and find, so you can get your sweat on!

No Hand Weights? Use Aluminum Cans

Since you probably stocked up on black beans, chicken noodle soup, and canned veggies during one of your many grocery runs, you’ve got weights to use. Cans aside, you can also fill water bottles to create 1.5-pound weights, or use the wine bottles you haven’t cracked into yet (they average about 3.3 pounds each). Let the biceps curls and triceps extensions begin! But the replacements don’t end there… try a bag of rice, beans or onions for deadlifts, a heavy coffee table book for bent-over rows and a container of laundry detergent for upright rows. Just be sure to check the weight of the item before jumping into any workout – and make sure not to drop it on your toes!

No Sliders or Gliders? Use a Towel

Does your workout call for gliders? There are actually a few handy hacks to consider here. The first is the easiest: Slip on a pair of socks or reach for a hand towel and complete the glider portion of your routine on hardwood floors. If your home has wall-to-wall carpeting, try using paper plates (or plastic container covers). They can be used on a yoga mat or directly on top of the carpet – then work those inner thighs!

dog leash
No Yoga Strap? Use a Dog Leash

The family dog’s workout routine has stayed exactly the same (lucky boy!). But once you’re done with the first walk of the day, keep Fido’s leash handy. You can use it in place of a yoga strap to get a deeper IT band stretch or nail your reclined pigeon pose (check out this video for a few great stretches).

No Yoga Blocks? Use a Pillow

When it comes to additional support for your half-moon pose, a stack of books will work wonders. A rolled-up towel can help support your knees in savasana or reclined bound angle pose (aka the butterfly stretch) and can get your hips boosted to the correct angle for pigeon pose. For seated forward fold or an elevated seated position, a firm pillow should do the trick. Just stick it under your bum and you’re good to go. It makes for a rather comfy meditation pose too.

No Resistance Bands? Use Any Weight

If your workout calls for resistance bands for arm or oblique exercises, replace them with a weight of any type. The added heft will naturally add resistance as long as you complete the exercise slowly. That means you can swap the bands for hand weights, dumbbells, kettlebells or any of the items mentioned first on this list.

Need to Kick It Up a Notch? Use Your Kid

Miss your trainer strapping a sandbag onto your back or physically providing some resistance to your planks? Don’t worry, your kids can help out. Ask them to crawl onto your back and hold tight while you pump out push-ups or do squats. If you don’t have any little ones hanging around, you could also add resistance by throwing a stack of books into a backpack and then wearing it during your workout.

tennis ball
No Foam Roller? Use a Tennis Ball

It would be really useful to have your gym’s full lineup of foam rollers, because all this sitting, stress, and anxiety has left you with knots all over your body. But a simple tennis or lacrosse ball will work wonders when it comes to self-massage, so you can roll out all (or most of) the tension you’re currently feeling. This video demonstrates how to effectively use a tennis ball to massage your hips, lower back, and even your arms. Ahh, much better!