Don’t Have Workout Equipment at Home? Try These Household Items Instead.

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Don’t have workout equipment at home? Try these household items instead.
Don’t have workout equipment at home? Try these household items instead.

So you’re stuck at home and want to keep up your exercise routine, but you’re not a fan of bodyweight exercises and you don’t have any workout equipment. Not to fear! With a little creativity, you can still get in a great workout using just the items you already have in your house. Here are some common household items that can double as workout equipment.

Cans and bags of food

Cans and bags of food such as rice and beans can be packed into a gym bag or backpack to be used for lifting exercises like squats, bent over rows, and overhead presses. The benefit of using these assorted items is that you can easily change the amount of weight that you’re lifting. Canned foods can also be used individually for a wide variety of arm exercises, including bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, lateral raises, and shoulder presses, among others.

Gallon-size jugs of water

These can also be used for lifting exercises like bicep curls, tricep presses, shoulder presses, “kettlebell” swings, and more. Just like the weighted bag mentioned above, the benefit of using these jugs is that you can adjust the weight based on the exercise. Laundry detergent or other similar items sold in jugs would work just as well for these exercises (and you can even save milk jugs and fill them with water if needed).


Like pantry items, books can also be packed in a bag to use for lifting exercises. Heavier textbooks are especially good for this.

The wall

You can do various exercises just using the walls in your home. Wall sits, wall pushups, and handstand pushups for the more experienced lifter are all great options. And by using a dish towel you can also do wall slides to work on shoulder mobility and flexibility. 

Chairs and benches

Chairs and benches can also be useful exercise tools when you use your imagination. You can do tricep dips using a chair or bench, or you can get a leg exercise in by doing step-ups or sit-to-stands. Chairs can also be used to do a variety of pushups. If “basic” pushups are too difficult, you can place your hands on the chair and your feet on the ground for a “modified” pushup. If you want to challenge yourself a little more you can place your hands on the ground and your feet on the chair for a more “advanced” pushup. 

The key to exercising at home is to find the routine and the items that work best for you. This is not an exhaustive list of items to use for your workout - when trying to find items in your home to use as “weights” for your workout, the possibilities really are endless!