From water bottles to towels, here’s how you can use your surroundings at home to get in a heart-pumping workout when hitting the gym isn’t an option
For many of us, fitness is a part of our everyday lives – from early morning spin classes to evening weight training sessions.
But as gyms remain closed across the UAE to curb the spread of coronavirus , we are turning to home workouts to get our heart rate up.
Luckily, you don’t need a home gym to work up a sweat. Look a little closer, and many household items and spaces can quickly be converted into makeshift fitness equipment.
So get on your leggings and reach for that tin of beans…
Household items to use as gym equipment
Water bottles as weights
There are many things in your home that can be used as an alternative to kettlebells and dumbbells.
So why go for a water bottle? Well, as litres directly convert in kilograms – one litre is equivalent to one kilogram – it’s easy to know what you’re lifting.
On your next shop for essentials, pick up bottles in varying sizes to use while training. Smaller bottles can be used as a replacement for dumbbells, while bigger bottles can be use as makeshift kettlebells – although take extra precautions and avoid lifting anything overly heavy above your head.
For smaller hand weights, all those stockpiled tins of soup are great for a quick rep of bicep and hammer curls.
Towel as resistance bands
Believe it or not, there are many ways a towel can come in handy during your home workouts – and we’re not just talking about mopping up the sweat.
Use your towel as a resistance band, which are great for strengthening and stretching your muscles. Try moves such a static lunge row looping the towel under your foot or tricep pull, pulling it taunt behind your back.
On tiled or wooden surfaces, the bathroom essential can also be used as sliders incorporated into your mountain climbers, skates, jumping jacks, burpees and more.
Oh, and towels always make a good yoga mat alternative, too.
Coffee table or sofa as a workout bench
Disclaimer: Please ensure you have sturdy, secure furniture before you start transforming them into workout equipment – both to save the set-up of your apartment and spare you a visit to the chiropractor.
Right, back to business. Whether it’s your sofa, a sturdy low chair or a solid wood coffee table, factor in moves such as tricep dips and hip thrusts.
If your coffee-table-turned-bench is the right height and width (and strength!) try hand elevated burpees and bench jumps, too.
Stairs for cardio bursts
While the above are all great for strength and weight training, they’re not quite the same for when you really want to get your sweat on. If you’re a usual in spin class or a die-hard runner, then taking to the stairs in your house or apartment building might be the answer.
Build up your fitness with a HIIT style approach – running for 30 seconds, walking for one minute, repeating five, six, seven times.
Just ten minutes of this intense workout will release the pent-up energy from a life led indoors.
Duffel bag as a sandbag
Get inventive with the bags you have lying around the house. Since they’re not going to be used for a weekend away anytime soon, invite them into your workout routine.
If you have a duffle bag, fill it with clothes or towels, and use it as a sandbag replacement to work on your strength and stability.
Sandbag beginner? Start with filling your duffel bag lightly and try exercises such as rotational lunges, bear hug squats and deadlifts.
If you’ve got a backpack lying around, you could also use it as a bodyweight when you work out too – from lunges to squats jumps – to up the intensity.
Get creative with the walls
Okay, so you may be mostly confined between the same four walls for the foreseeable, but that’s even more of a reason to get creative with them.
Squat against the wall and hold as you bicep curl with your tins of beans, support your feet against one as you lie on your towel and lift into a bridge, and try a vertical push up against the wall using both hands or one.
Who knew everything you needed to stay fit was under your nose the entire time?