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Top 10 Ways To Stay Fit Using Only Household Items

by M David Scott
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Getting in shape may be one of your top priorities, but it’s harder to accomplish it during the coronavirus outbreak. Gyms across the nation are closed to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. If you’re having withdrawals from the gym, take advantage of the time to get a little creative around your house. There are plenty of items around your home that can help keep you in shape during this tough time such as frying pans, detergent bottles, and even beer cans! Here are ten ways to stay fit during the stay-at-home orders using only household items.

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10 Grab A Chair

A chair has so many uses when it comes to exercising from home. Find a sturdy chair in your house and place it in an open area where you can complete your workout routine. Start the workout with incline push-ups by placing your hands on the seat of the chair and performing push-ups. Then try decline push-ups by placing your feet on the chair this time and perform push-ups.[1]

A chair can also be used for dips. Start by placing both hands on the front corners of the chair seat and extending your legs in front of you. Bend your elbows to lower yourself, and then raise yourself back up to complete one rep. You can also add an extra chair under the feet for added difficulty. The best thing about these exercises is that you can still binge watch your favorite show while completing them!

9 Load A Backpack

Everyone has an old backpack laying around their home, and it’s time to put it to good use. This is where you can get creative. Fill the backpack with items from around your house to add poundage to your bodyweight moves. You can throw in some old books, clothes, cooking pans, or even some of those beers in the fridge that you haven’t pounded back yet during the quarantine. Once the backpack is filled with a comfortable amount of weight, you can wear it during lunges, squats, pushups and other cardio exercises around your home.[2]

8 Replace the Dumbbells

Just because you’re not able to go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t still get the same workouts that you get from using dumbbells. Try replacing the dumbbells with household items such as paint cans, laundry detergent bottles, cast iron pans, and milk jugs. If your looking for lighter weight, you can pull out those beer cans and bottles again.

Once you have chosen the household item you would like to use, you can start checking off exercises. Hold the items in each hand and start doing exercises such a bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, front raises, and overhead presses. These household items can also act as a kettlebell to add several other workouts to your daily routine.[3]

7 Find Those Heavy Books

Walk over to that bookcase that you forget is there and wipe the dust off those large books that you never got around to reading. A heavy book can help take your core to the next level while working out from home. Place the hardcover book on your chest while doing crunches to add extra tension to the intense workout.[4]

Also try laying on your back with your hands in the air holding the book above you. Then use your stomach muscles to raise your shoulders off the ground. You can also pull out that chair again for another exercise that targets your core and legs. While sitting in the chair, hold your legs together in front of your body and place the heavy book on your shins. Slowly raise and lower your legs to feel the burn. The book can also be used for several other workouts if you just get creative!

6 Use the Stairs

Extreme At HOME Stairs Workout

Many homes have a set of stairs either inside the house or outside. If you are lucky enough to have a staircase at your home, they are a great way to get the heart pumping and the muscles burning. Walking or running up and down the stairs provides a great cardio workout. If you want to add some difficulty to your workout, throw that full backpack on your back before hitting the stairs. You can also use the stairs for other exercises such as incline push-ups, decline push-ups, dips, and various stretches.[5]

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5 Grab Some Rope

You might have to search through those several plastic bins in your garage, but there is a good chance that you have some old rope tucked away somewhere. Ideally, you’ll want about 8 feet worth of rope to help you with your at-home exercising. The rope will work as a resistance band and can be used for several exercises such as seated rows, roll up, roll downs, and planks with leg raises.[6]

Tie at a knot at both ends of the rope and find a good strong tree in your yard. Throw one end of the rope over the tree branch where both ends will now be hanging from the branch. You can now use the rope to execute inverted rows, squats and similar exercises. The rope can also be a good tool to help with stretching before and after your workout routines.

4 Utilize A Wall

Maybe you were unable to use one of the previous household items for your workout, but this next item is guaranteed to be found inside and outside of every home. You’ll find at least four walls in every home, and they provide great stability for stretches and exercises. We all hate to do wall-sits, but they are a good way to work out your quads and glutes. Simply stand with your back against the wall and carefully slide down into a sitting position and try to hold it for a minute. Feel the burn yet?

Since you have a wall, you can also do wall push-ups. Face the wall with your arms shoulder length apart, put your hands on the wall, and perform a basic push-up against the wall. Looking for something more challenging? Try some wall walks. Start in a high plank position with your feet against the wall. Walk up the wall with your feet until your face meets the wall. Slowly walk back down until you get to your original position and repeat for a total of 5 reps.[7]

3 Pull Out the Paper Plates

The dirty dishes are probably piling up in the sink since you are now stuck at home, unless you decided to use paper plates and cups instead. If you have extra paper plates lying around, then you’ve found another useful household item for your routine. Paper plates work perfect as sliders for certain workouts. They can be used on hardwoods, tile, and carpets too, meaning there is no excuse for you to not try them!

Double up the paper plates and use them just as you would a towel on the floor. Use them for exercises such as plank jacks, mountain climbers, and pikes. They can also add difficulty to your lunges. Stand on the floor with one foot on the paper plate, sliding that leg back and forth bending the knee until the other knee reaches about a 90-degree angle.[8]

2 Use A Towel

Surprisingly, a towel has many ways of helping you workout in your living room. If you don’t have a yoga mat, lay down a couple of towels. They won’t be as soft as the mat, but it will serve the same purpose. A towel can also help you perform vital stretches before and after your workouts. A resistance band can also be replaced by a towel for many workouts.[9]

While in a plank pose, place a folded towel under your feet and slowly move your hips toward the sky while gliding your feet towards your hands. For those who have doorknobs that are not round can try using a towel for rows. Wrap the towel around the door handle, place your feet against the door, lean back until your arms are straight, and pull yourself up until your chest hits the door. The best part of using a towel is being able to easily swipe away the sweat after each workout!

1 Replace the Barbells

Remember how you can replace dumbbells with commonly found household items? You can do the same with barbells too if you get creative enough. Start by finding a sturdy bar that can hold weight. Metal poles, fence posts, and strong wood can all serve as the barbell. Now it’s time to find some weights. Paint buckets work great because the handles fit over the bar easily. If the buckets are empty of paint, you can fill them with other heavy materials.[10]

You can also create your own barbells with weight by taking two five-gallon buckets and filling them with concrete. Before the concrete dries, stick a large piece of metal in the middle of the bucket to serve as the bar. You can use your homemade weights for deadlifting, squats, curls, and lunges. The homemade weights will also work for bench pressing if you can find something to serve as a bench.

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fact checked by Jamie Frater