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10 everyday items you can use for home workouts



During this downtime, I know most have been itching to join the bandwagon of working out at home. Marooned in our houses—now is the perfect time to really look after yourself, a must in this current pandemic. It has been great to see the community bonding together via online platforms and setting up home gyms and routines. Unfortunately, not all of us have that luxury to really invest in new equipment, let alone space.

Can you get fit without equipment? You absolutely can. If you have some these 10 household items, we can get your muscles and heart rate pumping!

1. Water bottle

This is probably one of the most versatile tools you can use: Water bottles range from 500 ml to 1l (500g and one kg). You can do a full body workout ranging from single arm presses overhead, loaded squats, deadlifts—you name it!

The beauty of it is you can always refill it with water at any given time for the dual purpose of hydration and keeping fit.

 2. Towel

This can be a deceiving tool but it can do wonders! If you have rigid towel material, a sturdy door handle, and/or rail somewhere in your house—welcome to your DIY pull up or ring row station. Now it can be quite daunting to do, so when you do it make sure you give it a few test runs and have some pillows behind you.
The way to do your pulling exercise variation is to loop the towel around the handle and have a firm grip on both end of the towel (Note this is for your hook type handles and not just your typical knobs.) While lowering yourself down, you’ll have your arms locked out before pulling yourself in. This is a great way to develop grip strength and upper body strength.
For those who have smooth floor boards and access to facial towels, you can use this as what most people know as “core sliders,”—a great abs burner and also a great way to build upper body strength. As you set up in a “push up” position, you’ll simply place your toes on top of both towels and from there you can do sprints and high knee movements. Mind you, this can get tough so be sure to start slow!

3. Stable chair/stool

This seat will serve as a step up station, squat station, and possibly a dip station.
A few key rules when you execute these exercises at home: Make sure if you are planning to do step ups that it is placed against something that doesn’t move (preferably a wall) so it’s stable. For those who want to level up, you can add a little weight to these to give it a bit more of a burn.

4. Couch/bedside

If you’re looking to build single leg strength, your two lounging areas are suddenly a great asset to your leg days. Split squats are a super beneficial exercise to develop single leg strength. You need to be quite particular in your set up, however, so have a camera or mirror ready to ensure your hips are in line. Your leg needs to make a 90 degree angle as you lunge down before coming up into full lock out. If you’re still unsure, ask a trainer to help you out to give you some tips.

5. Backpack

If you happen to not have anything else, I’m sure you can get away with a lot of things with a simple backpack (Just be sure it’s one you can get dirty and sweaty). The beauty of a backpack is you can adjust it according to your size, and for a stimulus, let’s backtrack—canned goods, water bottles, and books. They are going to be your added weight.

What you can do with the backpack can range from presses, backpack squats, backpack swings (similar to kettlebell swings), and backpack squat to full presses, floor presses, Turkish get ups, weighted step ups, and weighted planks.
You can probably do a whole workout with it. Keep in mind not to load it too much and that it’s durable.

6. Water jug

I’m sure most of you know how much of a workout that is when you take it to get refilled! To add it to a workout: If you have two, you can do a farmers carry or hold which is simply done by standing up tall with your shoulders back and down, bracing your core, and holding on for an allocated distance or time. If you want an added burn, you can utilize a single tank in a bear hug position. Remember the weight can range from six kg to 20kg so please be mindful when picking it up and be well warmed up.

7. Books

If you want something a bit sturdier to work with on your routine, thick books are a good resource (no pun intended). You can use them for single arm presses, added weight to your backpack, a great accessory for weighted planks, or a DIY parallette station (for those who are a little more advanced).

8. Rice sack

For those who are your bigger lifters and want a bit more weight added to your session, you can use a rice sack for your ‘Strongman’ type movements. These movements can range from a deadlift, a clean, weighted squat, to  a carry. Start with something lighter before you attempt doing this (unless you have prior experience). Those who are in smaller spaces should be mindful as you would make quite a mess if you drop this.

9. Canned goods

If you have canned corned beef, corn, or non perishable goods in the cupboard, these would be a great accessory piece. Heavy weight is not always necessary when it comes to exercise—it’s how you apply it. This is a great hack for those who want to do some accessory type exercises and work on those smaller muscle groups. (For example, five second single arm holds, five second control down for six reps.)

The focus when it comes to using light weight is mind-muscle connection.
Instead of doing something as fast as possible, focus on what the exercise is trying to recruit and add in your tempo counts.

10. Big laundry bag (Filled with some clothes)

If you have a big laundry bag that you can bundle into a ball, you can make into your DIY slam ball. Just make sure not to disturb your neighbors.The dense clothing and bag can be used effectively as resistance in a circuit. So, how do you do it? Pick it up to the highest point overhead before throwing it down to the ground with full force, repetitively. This is a great way to get your whole body involved and your heart rate increased.

I’m sure some of you have more than one of these items somewhere at home.
If you’re unsure where to start, do your research online or join in on a class to build your basic movement foundations just to make you feel a little more confident.
Eventually if you feel like doing your own workout and can complete body weight movements a lot more fluently you can compile something together with your friends and family.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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