Home-made Gym Equipment Alternatives from Exercise Physiologist

A lack of proper gym equipment is not a reason to avoid exercise altogether. This difficult time due to COVID-19 has forced us to get a little bit creative and start utilising what we have at home in order to still achieve an effective home workout.

Our Exercise Physiologists have put together a list of items you likely have at home to enable you to participate in our home-based exercise classes, but also do the majority of the exercises you have previously been doing.

Dumbbell Alternatives

Let’s start with dumbbell alternatives. Dumbbells are probably the most utilised piece of gym equipment thus finding something around your home to substitute will probably be your most beneficial tool.

Our suggestions include:

  • Cans out of the cupboard (diced tomatoes, baked beans, corn kernels etc)

  • Used milk cartons (2L + are best) filled with water or sand. You can adjust the weight based upon the amount of water/ sand you fill them with

  • Washing detergent

  • Drink bottle filled with water

  • Plastic containers filled with sand (Tip. Wet sand has a greater density than dry sand, thus, to increase the weight, add some water to the dry sand)

  • Outdoor items including bricks, place potting mix inside plastic containers or you can just use your pot plants instead…

  • Grab your shopping bags out of the car and fill them with grocery items (this is one of the best ways to create some resistance for your exercises).

Floor Based Exercises

Core exercises are vital and often overlooked when we have numerous pieces of gym equipment. If you are having difficulty getting onto the floor for some exercises or only have floor boards/ tiles which you don’t find appropriate to lay on. Try

  • Placing a towel/ blanket on the ground to exercise on top of

  • Lay down on your couch or bed rather than using the floor

Other suggestions

  • No Skipping rope – Find a piece of rope that you might have lying around in your shed.

  • Lacking a barbell – Grab your broom and pop some filled shopping bags onto the ends of the broomstick

  • Those internal or external stairs that you have and might have overlooked are perfect for step-ups, calf raises, lateral step-ups, hip abduction, and even a calf stretch- a perfect tool for both stretching and strengthening some of the muscles of the lower body.

  • Use a pillow, cushion or folder towel for your hip adduction (ball squeeze exercise)

  • You can use any wall in your house to assist with may exercises too. These include wall sits, single leg balancing, wall push-ups and mountain climbers.

Although gyms are closed, there is still the ability to head outside for a walk, run or bike ride.

Join in with our online classes; the majority of these will not require any equipment, therefore, enabling you to still achieve a whole-body workout including strength, balance and cardio.

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But after signing up and meeting the team I felt so supported that I was willing to try. In 6 months I lost 40kg and have my life back."

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