Missed a Gym Session? Household Items you can Work Out with

Missed a Gym Session? Household Items you can Work Out with

Maybe your lifestyle means you can only visit the gym once or twice a week and therefore need some time to work out at home. Alternatively it could be you need a quick fix when you’ve missed your regular session and don’t know where to turn. In your own home and garden you may be surprised by the number of items you can make use of from your cupboards and cabinets.

Here we’ve brought together a wide range of items you could try out if you need an extra burn and haven’t got the chance to get to your gym.

Hand Towel

Not just for mopping your brow, your hand towel can be the perfect partner for working your core out to the max. Sit on the floor and hold the towel tautly between your hands. Ensure your arms are straight and extended at shoulder height. From this position you should then lean back and raise your feet off the floor, holding in your core and bending your knees. Pull the towel down towards the floor to the right and rotate your shoulders and torso in the same direction. One rep complete! See if you can manage 20 right and 20 left.

Stairs

This is a bit of an obvious one. Set yourself a challenge of running up and down the stairs for as long as you can manage. Maybe start with 2 minutes and work up to 5. Just 5 minutes of running up and down should results in at least a 100 calorie burn and it’ll get your thighs and glutes on their way to perfect tone.

Chairs

The dreaded tricep dip is something most people avoid at the gym if they can help it but it’s such a powerful move you should work it into all your routines – including those at home. Opt for one of your stable dining room chairs, not the desk one with wheels, and give your arms and legs and intensive work out. Do as many tricep dips as you can manage without losing form or even consider a few lunges with your back foot raised to chair level.

Dining Table

Your dining table too can also get in on the act once your chairs are done with. The table is the perfect place to try out your standing push ups and when carried out correctly, you’ll feel your pectoral muscles strain and burn. Tight abdominals are essential as ever to ensure you get the most from your exercise.

Pillows

They may not be the first thing you reach for but you’ll be surprised what you can get from a pillow-based workout. You can use a firm pillow to create an incline bench against your wall or sofa. Sit down and lean back and carryout an incline dumbbell bench press, if you have home dumbbells great, if you don’t check out our next tip for ideas.

Tin Cans

Use any old tin cans from beans to soups as hand weights. Carry out that incline bench press from the previous tip or even use them for any regular weight based workout. This could mean your lateral raises, your bicep curls or triceps. You could even treat yourself to the contents of the tin for a well-earned snack!

Bouncy Ball

If the Swiss ball is part of your usual gym workout then you can replicate this at home too. If the kids have a bouncy ball, like the old retro Space Hopper, then this will be pretty useful and work in the same way. Help your muscles wind down with the help of your child’s bouncy pal. Lie down with your back on the ball and feet firmly on the ground. Slowly use your feet to move yourself up and down the ball to gently work out your leg and back muscles whilst also developing your balance.

Broom

If you’re carrying out your evening chores and remember you’ve forgot your workout then there’s still scope to help improve your waistline. As you sweep mix in some waist twists which will help slim down your middle and if you fancy chair-based broom exercises then hold the broom straight as you sit and twist it in the same way as you’d twist your waist. Slow movements are fine and you’ll feel the benefit in a short while.

YOU

Don’t forget all those exercises that your body can do on its own. Lunges or squats without weights may not be the same challenge but you can carry out more and push yourself harder than way. Equally mixing in a range of different types of press up, from standard to diamond to clockwork will help train your body in new ways.

There is always scope to push your body that little bit further even if you can’t make it to the gym. Fitting in a few of these exercises at home will make you feel a little less guilty about missing your regular slot.

 

 

 

Comments

Clare R.
10 February 2014

Clare R.

tin of beans too light? Easy - find the bag of flour from that phase of cake-baking. Might be an idea to wrap it in a plastic bag first though...

Tom D.
10 February 2014

Tom D.

Bradley - rather you than me! I know some of this must be a great idea if getting out and about can be hard but I'm not sure how long it'll have a positive effect - what do you do when you want the next weight up after your tin of beans?

Bradley C.
8 February 2014

Bradley C.

Wonder if telling the missus that it's all good exercise for her will get her to stop nagging me about doing more around the house...

Clare R.
7 February 2014

Clare R.

I would definitely do some of this - fitting in a few minutes of exercise while supervising the cooking or waiting for the kettle to boil works for me! Not sure about sweeping though, does a vacuum cleaner count?

craig t.
7 February 2014

craig t.

Does anyone really do stuff like this?? is there anything I could do with a paintbrush whilst doing painting the wall this weekend??

Pete R.
6 February 2014

Pete R.

I once lived in a house with two flights of stairs up to the bedroom - never been so fit in my life!

Freya W.
6 February 2014

Freya W.

A bag of sugar in each hand is my trick for lifting weights - nevermind that it's sugar hey!

Mary C.
6 February 2014

Mary C.

I work on the principle that "every little helps." You don't even have to try to actually do exercise while you're doing jobs around the house - just lugging a hoover around or giving the kitchen floor a good scrub is enough to make me break out into a light sweat, so I reckon it must count as proper exercise!

Tanith A.
6 February 2014

Tanith A.

This article has reminded me of that scene in Stepford Wives when the perfect 1950'2 housewives all do their housework-based workout. Scary. I notice that the only man to comment has talked about working out at his desk. Honestly, you'd think the 1970s had never happened.

Sasha B.
6 February 2014

Sasha B.

Stairs are definitely a great home workout I run up whenever I can, sometimes even going back down and up again just for the sake of it! And I do the plank, sit ups and stretches in the evening while watching tv. Having young children to run after also helps!

Sasha B.
6 February 2014

Sasha B.

Stairs are definitely a great home workout I run up whenever I can, sometimes even going back down and up again just for the sake of it! And I do the plank, sit ups and stretches in the evening while watching tv. Having young children to run after also helps!

Frank H.
5 February 2014

Frank H.

The world can be your gym! I try to fit in a bit of exercise wherever I am - my work desk is perfect for a couple of tricep dips. It just takes a bit of creativity and you can mimic your workouts from the gym - make sure it's safe though...

Emma C.
5 February 2014

Emma C.

My family know when i've done a home workout because there's cans of baked beans lying around! The sofa is a great one to remember when you're sat watching tv in the evening. Do some tricep dips there and then. Personally, I reckon actually doing housework gives me a very small workout too. Try cleaning all the windows in your house for a quick bicep burn!

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