There are plenty of good reasons not to go to the gym, but most of those are not good reasons to skip exercise. If the idea of a gym membership leaves you in a cold sweat, be it for financial reasons, anxiety, health, lack of nearby facilities, or time constraints, then take a look at these simple ways to get a great workout at home.
Reimagine Everyday Objects
The key to an inexpensive and simple home workout is to repurpose household objects into exercise equipment. That way, you’ll save money, space, and the environment!
Some top contenders include:
Walls – we all have them, and they are the ideal back prop. Stand with your back against the wall and bend your knees into a squat. Hold for a minute (or longer) and you’ve just turned your wall into a quadriceps workout tool.
Doorframes – great for isometric exercises. Simply stand in the doorway with your arms extended right and left and push your hands against the doorframe as hard as possible for a minute or so to work out your shoulders, biceps and triceps.
Stairs – for a great calf workout, stand on your tiptoes on the edge of a step and lower your heels as far as you can before pushing back up again. Repeat five to ten times and soon your calf muscles will be fantastically toned.
Chairs – set two dining chairs slightly more than shoulder width apart and use them to do semi-push-ups. Place one hand on each chair while kneeling and then lower yourself down between the chairs. Put a towel under your knees for comfort if you have hardwood floors, and make sure to exhale as you carry out the push-up.
Laundry bag – if household chores are getting in the way of your exercise routine then it’s time to multitask. A heavy laundry bag is an ideal weight for deadlifts. And, if you’re feeling brave, repeat the deadlift when the laundry bag is full of wet laundry as it will be a lot heavier then.
Laundry detergent – those big bottles of laundry detergent are excellent for bicep curls. Save old bottles and fill them with water or sand (which is heavier), and gradually increase the number of repetitions you can do to tone your arms.
Shampoo bottles – everyone has to shower, so why not use the time for a few triceps presses. Just remember to make sure the bottle is closed, raise it above your head with your arm straight up and then lower the bottle down behind your head, keeping your elbow right next to your ears the whole time.
Towels – stepping out of the shower gives you another great opportunity for exercising at home. Fold your towel into a long, thin roll and with your arms straight up at the side of your head hold the towel so that your hands are about 18 inches apart. Pull as hard as you can with each hand and hold the stretch for 5 seconds, repeating the exercise 5 times in each set.
Cans – tinned food is ideal for a home workout as it tells you exactly how much you’re lifting and you’re pretty much always guaranteed to have a couple of cans somewhere in a cupboard. It might not seem much, but doing 15 reps each of bicep curls and triceps presses with a can of beans in each hand will soon have your arms tired and on their way to toned.
PGX* shaker bottles – if you’re making a protein shake with PGX then you may as well use the shaker bottle as an exercise tool. Just like with the cans, you can fill these up and use them for triceps and bicep exercises. Or, if you’re getting really fancy, make sure they’re well sealed and do some controlled arm swings. For daredevils, use tea towels to tie the bottles to both ankles and then do some leg lifts while sitting on a dining chair. Voila! Your smoothie is all shook up!
Other household items you can repurpose as exercise equipment include brooms, water bottles, and paper plates (use them as sliders for your feet when doing gliding abdominal tucks).
Set Up a Training Circuit
Once you’ve figured out your home exercise tools you can set up a training circuit. Running between the kitchen, bathroom, front stoop, and laundry to get to your next set of reps is a great way to mix up your resistance training with some simple cardio.
Get the kids involved and you’ve just saved yourself a whole heap of cash on a family gym membership, as well as having prevented another landfill getting clogged up with discarded dumbbells and exercise bands.
*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®