Fitness doesn’t need to be all about costly equipment or hitting gyms. Do you know, the things lying about your house can help transform your home into a fabulous fitness zone? Check out a few of my favorite something-from-nothing experiences using these 8 items!
1. Paper Plates
Confused? If you’re exercising on a carpeted or smooth surface, and want to increase muscle engagement during standard body weight exercises, grab a couple paper plates and put them to work. You can make lunges more difficult by placing your front foot on a paper plate, reducing friction between the floor and your foot, allowing the plate to slide forward across the ground as you move into the lunge, then slide backward again as you stand tall. Innovative right?
2. Gallon Water Bottles
One gallon of water weighs roughly eight pounds, so you can easily substitute them in place of traditional dumbbells. Use one or two bottles as per your fitness requirements. Bottle handles make them easy to grip, curl, and swing. Just try to pick water bottles that have a screw on cap to avoid creating a mess.
3. Length of Rope
You don’t need a suspension trainer if you have a length of rope on hand – even a relatively lightweight rope will do. Simply chuck your rope over a sturdy tree branch, grasp each end, and get to work doing assisted pullups, suspension planks, and pushups. Just make sure the knots will hold fast throughout each exercise.
4. Couch Cushion
Couch cushions and comfy pillows in general, are nice and squishy, making them the perfect alternative to expensive balance tools. They’re more difficult to stand on and perform exercises on because your body has to work harder to maintain stability atop the foam or stuffing-filled surface. Balance tools generally introduce a greater level of instability to each exercise, but that doesn’t mean cushions aren’t a good alternative. Try doing pushups atop a cushion, or split squats with one foot on the cushion, and one foot on the floor.
Remember school days of lugging around with heavy books? Simply fill a sturdy backpack with books or heavy things you find, strap it on your back (better if your backpack has a cross-chest strap you can clasp for added support), and wear it around your house, while doing chores, or to add weight to body weight exercises, such as squats, lunges, and pushups. You can even take the backpack off and grasp the straps to perform curls, shoulder presses, or makeshift kettlebell swings.
6. Length of Heavy Chain
If you have a long length of heavy chain sitting in your garage (at least 30-feet long), why not use it like a combat rope? You can anchor the center of the chain around a post or tree, grasp one end of the chain in each hand, and swing away! If you’ve never tried combat rope-style exercises before, definitelywatch some tutorials and remember to keep your core tight and your knees bent throughout each movement.
7. Heavy Book
Almost any exercise you do while holding a medicine ball or a weight plate can be done with a heavy book. A common use is during ab exercises, such as weighted oblique twists, weighted sit-ups, and cross-body wood chops.
8. Beach Towel
Beach towels can be used as impromptu yoga mats mostly on carpeted surfaces and stretch straps. And if you’re on a smooth surface, you can fold them up and use them for sliding exercises, much like paper plates.
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