10 Ways You Can Use Household Objects To Work Out
Getting in shape may be a priority, but gym memberships are not cheap. That shouldn't stop you, though—our cavemen ancestors didn't have any high-tech workout equipment, and they still managed to build up enough muscle to fight off predators. All you're fighting is a waistline and low self-esteem.
Thankfully, plenty of the objects around your home are perfect for helping you get fit. Try the following fitness hacks if you're looking to burn calories on a budget.
1. Stairs are awesome for cardio
If you've got stairs in your home, you can get a cardio workout just walking up and down them a few times. Carry around any heavy objects while you do, and you've added weight resistance. It's simple, but effective—especially if you live in a fifth-floor walkup. Plus, if you've got roommates or neighbors, walking up and down the stairs repeatedly might convince them they're seeing a glitch in The Matrix.
2. Use a chair for dips
Any chair you've got can be used for dips. Place hands on both front corners of the seat, extend your legs, bend your elbows to lower yourself down, then straighten your arms to raise yourself back up. Dips are great for triceps, and you can even catch up on Netflix while doing it!
3. And for incline push-ups
A chair can also be useful to add a twist to your typical push-up. Placing your hands on the seat and extending your legs, you can now perform an incline push-up, lowering your chest to the chair, then raising yourself back up. Unlike our buddy above, you don't need to look like you're whispering secrets to it. But we recommend it.
4. And for decline push-ups
Same concept, except this time, your feet are on the chair instead of your hands. By performing multiple types of push-ups, you're blasting all of those chesticles!
5. Loading a backpack up with weight adds intensity to exercises
You don't need expensive equipment to throw in extra challenges to your workout. Grab an old backpack, add some weight—make sure it's an amount you can handle—and wear it during cardio and bodyweight exercises. Again, be careful not to injure yourself.
6. A heavy book can take your core to the next level
Placing a heavy, hardcover book on your chest when doing crunches adds an extra level of tension to an already difficult exercise. Or, lie on your back, arms above you, book in hand, and use your stomach muscles to raise your shoulders off the ground, targeting your lower abs. Add some extra difficulty by sitting on a chair, with your legs close together and extended out, with the book balanced on your shins, slowly raising and lowering your legs. If you're not gonna get around to reading Infinite Jest, might as well get some use out of it.
7. If you've got a wall, you can do a wall push-up
Can't really pound out push-ups? No matter. Wall push-ups are an easy way to build a foundation of strength as you prepare for more challenging workouts. Facing the wall, arms shoulder level, put your hands against the wall, a little more than shoulder-width apart. Back away from the wall so that your arms bend, then straighten them to push yourself outward, performing a basic push-up motion in this standing position.
8. A towel and a door handle are all you need for rows
Something as simple as a towel can give you all you need to do some rows. Wrap the towel around the handle, put your feet against the door, lean back so your arms are straight, pull yourself up to the door, hands hitting your chest, then lower back down.
9. Paint cans, water gallons, and laundry detergent make great weights
Fill some empty paint cans up with rocks and use them for squats. Grab a couple gallons of water and hold on to them as you jog up and down the stairs. Opt for small laundry detergent containers if you want a little less weight. You don't need dumbbells to add extra resistance to your workout. Plus, you can tell yourself you're recycling. Gallons are also great for kettlebell swings.
10. Paper plates are perfect for lunges
A paper plate can add an extra level of difficulty to your lunges. Stand on hardwood floor with one foot on a plate, sliding that leg back and bending the knee until your opposite knee bends to about a 90-degree angle, then slide back up.
Joe Oliveto is a staff writer for Supercompressor, and is upset that he no longer has an excuse to avoid exercise. Follow him on Twitter.
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