Exercising With Around-the-Home Items - Including Your Kids
No Weights? Strength training can utilize a rock, a couch, or even a cild.
By: Wes Norris
You can have an entire body workout with no equipment purchases necessary!
on't feel that just because you don't
have any weights at home, that you can't get a great workout! Try using these items for the corresponding exercises. Change them around to increase or decrease the resistance to make it the perfect workout for you!
Take a backpack and fill it with books. (this is nice because you can add or take out books based on your needs). Stand holding bag in front of you with straight arms. Let the bag swing down between your legs and behind you a bit. Bend the knees naturally. Swing the bag forward and up, keeping arms straight until bag is overhead. Play with where you hold the bag to make sure you have control of it, especially when overhead. Let momentum happen. This is a fantastic full-body warm-up. Oh, and watch for ceiling fans!
Milk Jug Bent Over Row
A full gallon milk bottle filled with water weighs about 8 pounds. Fill it to make it the weight you desire. Hold in one hand (or you can use 2 containers, one in each hand). Bend at the waist to about 90 degrees and slightly bend the knees. Let arms hang straight down. Pull your elbow(s) up, pulling the jug towards your chest, as if you were starting a lawn mower. This is a great back and bicep exercise!
By the way, I suggest using containers with a screw on cap rather than the kind that snap on. Don't ask me how I discovered this!
Dog Food Squats
Grab a bag of dog food. Hug it close to you. Keeping your back as straight as possible (think "chest up"), bend the knees to about 90 degrees and stand back up. You are working quads(front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and glutes (butt), as well as abdominals! -- Beware of dog!
Kid Press (Really! )
If you have a young child, lie on your back while you are holding them on your chest. Press them up until your arms are straight and still over chest. They will LOVE this! If you don't have access to a child, push-ups will do fine! Great for chest and triceps (back of arms).
You may want to use a spotter or at least do it over a soft run or on a couch just in case!
Kitty Litter Carry
Bag or bucket, scoop-able or not, they all work! If it's in a bag, hug it like the dog food; if it's a bucket, hold it from the handle. Now, simply, walk! Go as long as you can carrying the litter. You can do it inside in a hallway, back and forth, or outside. Great for legs, shoulders, biceps, back, and muscular endurance.
Be prepared to explain rationale to neighbors!
Laundry Detergent Curls
-Hold a box or bottle of laundry detergent and curl it like you would a dumbbell. Arms down straight and by your sides. Bend elbow to brink soap towards same shoulder. Working biceps.
Item can also be used for the "clean and jerk".
Sit on the edge of the couch with your hands face down on the couch next to you. Slide forward so that your butt is hanging over the edge and you are supported only by your hands. Bend elbows to lower butt towards floor. Push back up and repeat! Great exercise for triceps!
Do it during commercials.
Overhead Rock Press
Find a rock or large stone outside (or 2); ones that you can hold in one hand. Hold the rock(s) by your shoulders and press them straight up overhead. Lower and repeat! This exercise works the shoulders and triceps.
Make sure rock is not too heavy as you could strain your back!
Chair Hamstring Raise
Lie on your back with your heels on a chair that's in front of you. Knees and hips are bent at 90 degrees. Pushing down through your heels, raise your hips up towards the ceiling. Pause at the top and lower. Great for hamstrings and low back.
Again, beware of dog!
Stair Calf Raise
Stand on the edge of a step so that your heels are hanging off (on the balls of your feet). Let your heels drop below horizontal and raise up as high as you can onto your toes. Great calf work!
May be done one leg at a time.
Couch Cushion Crunch
Put a couch cushion on the floor. Lie on your back on the cushion with your knees bent so that your feet, butt and low back are on the cushion, but your upper back and shoulders are on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off of the floor. Pause, lower and repeat. For abs of steel!
Put cushion back on couch.
There you have it! An entire body workout with no equipment purchases necessary!
Please Note: These exercises are suggestions only. People are encouraged to talk to a physician before starting any exercise program.
About Wes Norris
James E. Thomas, the Director of Fitness Management & Consulting, has held positions within the fitness industry for 20 years. As company President, and having owned individual clubs, Jim understands the needs of the small business owner as well as the special challenges of larger operations.
Wes Norris, CSCS and a degree in Exercise Science, works as the Fitness Specialist/Personal Performance Trainer for the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut.
Wes has trained elite level gymnasts for over 15 years and is an instructor for the World Instructor Training Schools Personal Training Certification course. You can visit his websites at:
Visit the Author's website at:
Back to Articles Home Page