7 Household Items You Never Knew You Could Work Out With
Gyms around the world are closed and people are sheltering in their home in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus. For people who religiously work out at the gym, this can be a difficult situation to deal with. Suddenly, your exercise sessions are up in the air and it's not so easy to burn those calories and build your muscles. While the bad news is that it could still be some time before the gyms open back up, the good news is that you can get a good workout at home, using things you have around the house. Plus, why not incorporate one of these workouts into one of our Virtual Fitness Challenges to earn yourself a medal and raise money for charity?
A Large Bottle of Laundry Detergent
If you're a fan of getting a good kettlebell workout, all you need is a large bottle of laundry detergent with a handle. You can use it like you would a kettlebell and do single arm cleans and kettlebell swings. Make sure you still use good form so that you don't get hurt and create a routine that maximizes each move. Try doing 15 reps of each move you choose and you'll be surprised that you can feel the burn, even without your kettlebell. This also works with a milk jug that has a handle. Grab one out of the recycling and fill it with water so you don't have to worry about your milk going bad while you exercise.
A Cushion from Your Couch
Using an unstable surface when you exercise increases the challenge, and therefore increases the results. If you rely on the BOSU ball at your local gym, but don't have one at home, a cushion from your couch is a good alternative. Try standing on the cushion to do squats, resting your back on it to do sit-ups or incorporating into a home-based yoga session. You can also use the cushion to do lunges and curls, offering a pretty comprehensive workout without any gym equipment. If the couch cushion is too large or bulky, try a throw pillow or the pillow from your bed instead.
A Beach Towel
If you usually go to the studio to do yoga and don't have a mat at home, you can still perform your poses, using a large beach towel. Cue up a yoga video on your television or laptop - you can find many to choose from on YouTube - and use your towel to work your way through the sequence. Yoga is an especially good choice for easing the anxiety and stress that go with being stuck at home and being out of your normal routine. Don't have a large beach towel? Try a twin-sized blanket or sheet instead. Any soft fabric you can lay on your floor will do the job.
Look in your pantry and grab a couple of large canned goods, such as tomatoes or beans. These make great alternative hand weights and you can use them to do many moves, including bicep curls, rows, dumbbell thrusters, reverse woodchops, and reverse lunges with a twist. You can also try any of the other dumbbell moves you do at the gym to create a workout that targets your entire body, right at home.
Do you have stairs inside or outside your house? Then you have a built-in tool for getting your cardio in. Simply run up and down the stairs for a set amount of time to burn plenty of calories and work your lower body and core. You can also use stairs to do a high-intensity interval training session, where you go hard for two minutes, then slow it down for five minutes, alternating between the two until you reach your set time. Make sure you wear shoes for this so you don't run the risk of slipping and falling.
You can also use your stairs to get in the recommended 10,000 per day. Walking up and down repeatedly is an excellent workout as well as making those all-important steps towards our Virtual Step Challenge.
Your Broom or Mop
Holding either a broom or mop over your head while you perform abdominal moves helps to increase your strength and helps whittle your core to a better definition. Press the mop or broom above your head, arms straight above you. Then do bicycle crunches or side crunches, continuing to hold it above you as you perform each move. You'll be able to feel the burn in your core right away and with time, will start to notice more strength and definition in the area.
Did you know you can use your bed at home to challenge your body? You can! Much like a balance ball, standing on our mattress challenges your balance and helps you target the small muscles in your body. Stand on your bed and try doing simple yoga poses, like tree pose or try squats and lunges. You can also use your bed to do hip raises, crunches and leg lifts. Planks may also work well if your mattress isn't too soft. Perform these moves as soon as you wake up and you'll have a great start to your day at home.
The gyms won't stay closed forever and you'll soon be able to return to your regular workout. But don't let your progress get derailed by having to stay at home during the pandemic. Instead, make the most of what you have around the house and learn some new ways to challenge your body and stay in shape. Who knows? Maybe when this is all over, you'll want to stick to your new home routine and won't need the gym anymore. Enjoy creating your own sessions at home and get ready to see some huge gains. Good luck!