There are some upsides to working out at home, like no commute, no waiting to use the equipment you want, and being able to do your sweat sesh anytime you want. But on the flip side, there are some drawbacks to exercising in your makeshift at-home gym, too. And the biggest one may be not having the equipment and accessories that you’re used to working out with. Luckily, trainers say these household items make good swaps in a pinch.
- Weighted vest: A filled backpack -A weighted vest can help better engage your muscles, get your heart rate up quicker and make you work harder, but if you don’t have one, fill up a backpack with water bottles or books and wear it instead.
- Dumbbells: Bags of rice/beans or water bottles -Bags of dry rice or beans make a great substitute for lighter weight dumbbells, and so do filled water bottles. TrainerPhil Catudalsuggests making each rep slower and more concentrated to get the most impact per movement.
- Resistance bands: Tied pantyhose -These give just enough flexibility to create tension you need during certain movements.
- Medicine ball: Larger sport ball -Volleyballs, soccer balls, or basketballs will fill in for a lighter weight medicine ball. And if you need more weight, a hefty jug of laundry detergent will work as a heavier medicine ball or a kettlebell, just make sure the lid is on tight.
- Bench press: Large bags of pet food -For barbell curls, a bench press, overhead extensions, dead lifts or squats, use a heavy bag of pet food.
- Gliders: Paper plates -If you don’t have those flat plastic discs used to help engage your core during floor exercises, use paper or plastic plates instead.