Transform everyday household objects into workout equipment


Woman doing pushup against bed

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The idea of a home gym sounds great, but it can be very costly for just a few pieces of equipment. Did you know there’s workout equipment right in front you? You may even be sitting on one.

Save your money and re-purpose, recycle and reuse your everyday household items for a great at-home workout. Here’s some ideas:


Counter top or secure bed

Work out your posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings) with a reverse hyperextension. Using something elevated and stable, grab one end and dangle your legs off at the hips while lying on your stomach – then lift until they are parallel (or bend your knees if there’s not enough room).


Canned food

For a resourceful way to add resistance, family size cans or tins of soup, condensed milk or fruit can make for instant hand weights. Recycled laundry detergent bottles and old water jugs filled with rice work too, so just think creatively.


Stationary chair (no wheels/swiveling)

To work the triceps, stand with your back to a chair, place your hands on the seat and lower yourself with your arms for a pull-up exercise (variations – one-handed and one leg up). For squats, try standing up and sitting down again.



Instant ankle weights were never easier to make. Just fill socks with dry rice, sand or beans (aiming for around 2 lbs.) then tie shut while leaving enough room in the toe to fasten around your ankles. Lie on your back, with one knee bent and the other leg straight – making sure your lower back is flat on the floor – then raise the straight leg as high as you can. Now switch leg positions and repeat.


Hard-sided suitcase

Fill it up with something heavy like books and you’re ready for a cardio step workout!


Beach ball

Forget the ThighMaster, a beach ball makes for an excellent thigh workout. Just squeeze between your legs for five minutes and you’ll feel the burn.



For a great hamstring stretch, sit with your legs straight and hook a towel around the ball of one foot and pull – resisting with your foot. You can also pull it behind your back for a tricep stretch.


As long as you keep safety in mind, many of these exercises can be good for toning, stretching, and weight loss.

Gyms have tons of fancy equipment, but your body doesn’t require expensive gear for an effective workout. You’re already burning calories by taking out the trash and walking up the stairs, so kick it up a notch!