Fit Tip: Working Out With Household Items

Posted On May 7, 2020 By Amy Kiser Schemper

A woman with a baby

Let's face it, in these uncertain, scary times, we are all looking for the silver linings during this pandemic. And there are many! My home city of Los Angeles has cleaner air without all the traffic, pet adoptions have skyrocketed, people are connecting virtually all over the world in new ways, and most importantly, we are all stepping up to help one another get through this.

One of my favorite side effects of this tough time? More people are exercising! Since much of my work exists in the online home workout space, I'm seeing the surge of people turning to virtual classes and living room exercise, and last month I wrote about getting the most from your home workout. This is of course, partly because gyms and studios are closed, but it's also because many of us are just finding a little more time without commutes to work or social gatherings, and a little more motivation to do what we can to stay healthy. This is all good news, but this also came with a run on fitness equipment purchases. That’s right, it's not just toilet paper and hand sanitizer that are sold out these days; it's been tough to find dumbbells, kettlebells, and other exercise tools anywhere.

Trainers everywhere (including me!) are reminding you the effectiveness of bodyweight exercises and finding fun and different ways to get you active using what you have at home. Here are a few of my favorite found objects turned exercise equipment that you can find around the house.

  • Soup Cans

    I know it seems cliché, but the old saying we’ve heard for decades if true! While they are light in weight, we can get the muscles burning with soup cans through high repetitions and smaller movements like those we see in Barre or Pilates classes. Or add cans to cardio or boxing for added definition.

  • Hand Towel

    Towels make great gliders on a hardwood floor with sliding lunges, plank pikes and mountain climbers and moving pushups. They can also assist in stretching post workout.

  • Laundry Detergent Container

    That jug of Tide can easily be substituted for a dumbbell, kettlebell or medicine ball for strength training and core exercises. Squat, press, swing and twist with your detergent for strength and cardio. Check out the laundry workout below!

  • Kids!

    Had to add this one in as I can’t get a workout done without at least one of my toddlers climbing all over me. Kids can easily become an extra 20 or 30 pounds to squat, a little added weight during a pushup, or just a workout buddy to cheer you on!

The bottom line: getting creative and using what you have at home keeps both your body and your brain from getting bored and can challenge your body in new ways. But remember, the most important thing is just to MOVE your body!

Laundry Detergent Full Body Workout:

Do each move for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds rest, then repeat.

  1. Squat and Press
  2. Lunge and Curl
  3. One Arm Swing
  4. Bear Plank Row
  5. Side Plank Lift
  6. Russian Twist

Check out our other Fit Tip articles for more workout and fitness tips.


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two people performing planks