The current government mandated "house arrest" has been extremely difficult for everybody, but it's most especially challenging for our fellow health and fitness freaks out there. Our gyms are closed, and fitness equipment is no where to be found online or in stores (even if they were open). What do we do? We find away - because slacking off isn't in our blood. At RuK, we wanted to share some resourceful ways you can break a sweat and get your training in at home, using typical household items you may already have.
Any exercise you'd typically do holding a plate or single dumbbell, can be done just as well holding a book. Find the biggest book you own, or even an old phone book, hold tight and start moving!
2. Water Buckets
Water buckets are great because they have handles and the weight can be adjusted. Most are also designed to carry quite a bit of weight. Fill with a desired amount of water, and a bucket can quickly replace a rack of dumbbells.
3. Backpack (RuK Pack... obviously)
RuK most certainly has your back in this category. Take your backpack and fill it with books or canned foods, strap it on your back and get to work! You can do all sorts or exercises while carry your Pack, including (but not limited to) lunges, squats, pull-ups, chins-ups, push ups or even just wearing it around the house, while doing chores. Specifically with a RuK Pack, the high quality kevlar carrying handle can serve as a dumbbell, and you can even grasp the straps to perform curls, shoulder presses, kettlebell swings or hold it while doing sit ups.
4. Paper Plates/ Dish Towels
Paper plates and dish towels is something nearly every individual owns. Sure Gliders are great, but these household items are just as good. If you have a carpeted or smooth surface you're exercising on, and you're looking to increase muscle engagement while performing standard body weight exercises, grab a couple of paper plates and put them to work. Example, up the challenge from doing regular walking lunges to placing your forward foot on a paper plate or dish towel (whichever you choose) and make it a stationary move. This reduces friction between the floor and your foot, so instead of stepping forward into the lunge, you can slide it across the floor before sliding it back as you return to the starting position. Control this sliding motions much as possible, this will make it more challenging the more you're in control.
5. A Gallon of Milk (or TWO!)
A gallon of milk weighs roughly eight pounds and is can easily substitute for traditional dumbbell exercises. Plus, they have handles, making them easy to grip, curl, and swing!
PRO TIP: make sure you use gallons have a screw on cap—the ones with a snap cap could easily pop off, and nobody loves spilled milk!
As we mentioned earlier, home gym equipment is nearly impossible to find right now, so finding a suspension trainer is nearly impossible, BUT, if you can find some rope lying around, no matter how lightweight, you can do a vast amount of resistance exercises. Holding the rope while creating tension in your selected muscle groups will still amount to a great resistance workout. Weather its RDLs, Shoulder Press, hold the rope with NO slack between you're hands and really focus on for and mind to muscle connection.
Surprise! Full beer bottles are perfect to use for movements you typically have super light dumbbells for. Most full beer bottles weigh approximately 1.25-pounds (accounting for the weight of the beverage, bottle, and cap), and are extremely easy to grip.
8. Heavy Chain
If you happen to have a long length of heavy chain sitting in your garage preferably longer or close to 30 ft), you've got yourself a battle rope! Anchor the center of the chain around a post or tree, grasp one end of the chain in each hand, and swing away! Remember to keep you core engaged during this exercise, and you might want to tape off the ends for added comfort if needed to protect your hands.
9. PVC Pipe
PVC can be an amazing fitness tool, for both resistance training AND recovery use. Pick up some caps from a hardware store to close off the ends and fill a large piece of PVC with water or sand (partially, or completely depending on how heavy you want it to be), and use the pipe as a weighted barbell. Then once you're done with your resistance training use the same pipe as a foam roller to release the lactic acid from your muscles and help to speed up recovery time!
This is another great tool that a lot of people will have laying around in a garage, or basement, even in the front yard! Tires are heavy and they can take a beating. You can tie a rope to it, sling it over a tree branch or swing set and have a makeshift pushdown/pulldown machine. You can drop them, throw them. They have other uses too. I used to use one to anchor my heavy bag in my basement.
If you have a really huge tire, like from a tractor or something, you can do tire flips.
11. Large Beach Towel
Beach towels have a lot of uses when it comes to movement and training. You can use it as a yoga mat or a stretching strap.
12. Playground Equipment
Do you kids have a playground or monkey bars in your back yard or somewhere in your neighborhood? You've got a WORLD of potential here is so. Playground equipment, especially monkey bars or a swing set, can be used for so many exercises: Pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, pistol squats, incline push-ups, and tons of other exercises. All these and more can be performed depending on what you have available. Have fun a get creative here!
If you're truly committed to health and fitness, you will get your workout in no matter the circumstance. A solid sweat doesn't have to come from a fancy gym with high priced equipment. As the old saying goes, where there's a will there's a WAY! So start searching for some gear around your house and go DOMINATE THE DAY.