Common household items make for excellent substitutes for traditional fitness equipment. Kettlebells, dumbbells, and resistance bands are coveted pieces of equipment that many have been adding to their home gyms.
However, these items are not required to get a substantial workout. Strength and resistance training can be accomplished using bodyweight exercises alone, or common household objects.
1. Laundry detergent
Containers of laundry detergent weigh a considerable amount. Detergent bottles vary in size, making them substantial weights for bicep curls and single-arm overhead presses.
Because detergent bottles can be quite cumbersome, I recommend using the single-arm press with the bulk of the bottle draped over the wrist on the backside of the hand.
Detergent bottles can also be used in exercises to work the hamstrings and glutes.
For detergent style suitcase deadlifts, keep the bottles hanging by your thighs as you bring your hips backwards and slowly rise to a standing position before repeating again.
2. Water bottles
Water bottles are ideal for lightly weighted exercises such as front and lateral raises.
For lateral raises, keep the hands at the sides and raise the arms out to your side at approximately a 45-degree angle.
Maintain this same starting position for front raises, only lift the arms straight out in front of the face and keep the hands together.
Once the extended hands reach shoulder level, bring the bottles back towards your body and repeat.
Soup cans and other bottled items also work well with these exercises.
Living room furniture can be used in place of benches.
A flat cushioned surface, such as that found on an ottoman, can be used to perform chest presses, assisted push-ups, suspended Russian twists and much more.
When using an ottoman for assistance push-ups, ensure that your knees are protected with cushioning.
Rest the hands at the edges of the ottoman and release your bodyweight downward. Be sure that your elbows stay in alignment with your forearms and don’t flare out.
To perform Russian twists on the ottoman, sit on the edge of the cushioning and keep the legs suspended in the air while alternating from side to side.
Chairs can be used to help perfect squat form. Keep the feet about shoulder width apart and sit back onto the chair.
Once the glutes touch the seat, rise up from the squatted position and bring the hips through until you are standing again.
Be sure not to lock out the knees as you engage the glutes and lift yourself up on the concentric phase of this movement.
Chairs can also be used for stability when resistance training.
Indoor cardio can be performed by pacing up and down a staircase.
For aerobic exercise in the absence of an entire set of stairs, you can use a stepping stool or a footrest for step-ups.
Use the support of a nearby wall or railing for balance.
Be sure to weigh the objects that you use for strength training before integrating them into your fitness routine.
This will ensure that you’re using items with equal weight and not at risk of creating muscle imbalances.
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