Who Needs A Gym When You Have These Household Items?

As many of us are in our second month of self-quarantine, we’re quickly finding out that staying home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You already went through Tiger King on Netflix (in a 24-hour period, but who’s counting), you’re about two minutes away from reaching a new and probably dangerous level of stir-crazy, and there’s also the issue of staying (or getting?) fit without a gym. I’m here to tell you not to fret over the lack of proper workout equipment, people, because you have everything you need right at home! Everywhere you look, there’s something with fitness potential. Even if you don’t have weights, resistance bands, or a yoga mat, you can still work up a sweat by grabbing everyday items from your bedroom, your closet, and even your pantry. It might get a little weird, but that’s how you like it anyway, isn’t it?

Now, three, two, one, let’s work those thighs (and don’t forget to SANITIZE!).

Canned Goods

canned goods

Want to sculpt your ‘ceps (that’s what I call my biceps or triceps, FYI) but have no free weights to give you that perfect resistance? Have no fear! Go to your pantry and grab some cans of beans, soup, tomato sauce, or whatever you’ve been hoarding since day one of the quarantine. We know you’ve stocked up at the grocery store, so why not put those canned beans to good use before you decide to empty them on taco night? If you’re feeling really wild, this also works with full water bottles, jars, or even gallons jugs if you want to get ripped. Just finish the contents of the gallon jug first and replace it with tap water. No waste! Now sculpt. Those. ‘Ceps.


Ah, the trusty towel. It’s useful for so many things, like drying off after a shower, cleaning up after accidentally dumping water all over the floor from the jugs you used as weights, and yes, even being the ideal companion for your Pilates, yoga, or barre workouts. Use it as a stabilizer on your feet or hands so you can achieve those tricky yoga poses that make you feel like a flexible goddess. To keep your arms taught during an online barre class, use the towel as a resistance band. You can also lay it out flat to use as a makeshift yoga mat. The sky is the limit!

A Chair

Sometimes working out is a balancing act, but not all of us have the grace of a ballerina. If barre is your workout of choice, you probably already learned the secret to modifying challenging moves: a good old-fashioned chair. Use it to keep yourself stable while doing lifts or sculpt your arms by using it during pushups or tricep dips. You can also supplement your kitchen counter, a table, the end of your couch, or whatever else is closest to you for this.

Paper Plates

Time to fire up your core! Simply place some paper plates under your hands to use as sliders for a challenging (and slippery) workout. Now you can finally take your planking to the next level by moving seamlessly into different positions and working out your core, back, arms, and butt. Never forget the butt: it’s basically a cardinal rule of fitness.

Your Laundry Bag

laundry bag

Let’s face it, despite the newfound free time, you’ve got a huge load of laundry piling up. Even if you don’t have to go to the laundromat, the motivation to clean those clothes can wane when you work from home in your pajamas all day. Pack up that bad boy with as much as you can lift (safely) and use it as some sort of jumbo kettlebell. Your arms and shoulders are going to be like marble once you can finally go outside, and you’ll also look hilarious doing this, which will entertain your family. That’s what I call a win-win.


Just like the reliable towel, pillows are excellent ways to provide extra weight and resistance, as well as helping you keep your arms in formation for Pilates and barre. You can also use it as a support for a nice, restorative yoga session. Hey, we could all use a little support right now!

A Broom or Mop

There are so many possibilities a broom or mop can give you besides keeping your floors sparkling. Use them to add some extra challenge during Pilates or as dumbbells to sculpt your arms, back, and shoulders. Hang some buckets of water on the end for a little extra weight. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has nothing on you.

Your Vacuum Cleaner

If you really need some heavier weights to build up bulky muscle, turn to your vacuum cleaner. Do a few press-ups with the appliance –– with someone to spot you. Safety first. Or, you could just vacuum your home. It’s good cardio and you’ll have clean floors! Multitasking!

Written by: Andrea Romano