Everyday Household Items to Help You Train

Not feeling up for visiting your local gym? Looking to get back into fitness but you want to do so in the comfort of your own home? That’s perfect! You’ll be surprised at what you can use in your home to help you train.

Water Bottles

Water bottles make an excellent substitute to dumbbells. They are extremely cheap or free if you don’t mind asking a neighbor for a few pieces of recyclables. You can adjust how heavy they are by filling up the bottles to your liking. Best of all, they are very durable. I recommend buying or finding two medium sized water bottles of the same brand so they are equal in size.

Canned Goods

If you want extra weight, you don’t have to look further than your pantry. Canned goods are another great alternative to dumbbells. The unique thing about canned goods is that they move freely with your body. Dumbbells have weights that stick out on either end, which may end up brushing your skin. Canned goods have all the weight in the center.


A broom is an effective alternative to a barbell. Since it doesn’t provide much resistance, it gives you the opportunity to focus on the execution and form of the exercise. It’s important to make sure you’re performing an exercise correctly before adding weight and a broom is ideal for this, especially with squats or bent over rows.

Laundry Detergent Bottles

When you find that water bottles and canned goods have become too easy and you want a challenge, laundry detergent bottles are the next step. Not only do they hold more liquid, resulting in heavier weights, but they are extremely durable. You can throw these bottles around without worrying about them breaking, which is great for an exercise such as the farmer’s walk.

Sturdy Chairs

If you don’t have a bench, a chair is a perfect substitute. A sturdy chair made of wood or metal needs to have a solid foundation so that you can perform exercises without the worry of it tipping over. Chairs are ideal for bench presses and isolation exercises such as kickbacks.


Stairs are the classic cardio substitute. Instead of walking in place hour an hour, stairs provide a more challenging and functional workout. You can also perform a series of leg exercises using stairs including step-ups and calf raises.


Walls act as a way to balance yourself during new exercises and they also are the foundation for exercises that require a stable surface to lean or hold on to. For example, yoga enthusiasts use walls to perfect handstand form. Those looking for a more basic workout use walls for wall squats, which seems easy but is a real challenge for your legs.

At-Home Workout


  • You can use: water bottles, canned goods, laundry bottles, broom
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Bent Over Rows

  • You can use: water bottles, canned goods, laundry bottles, broom
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Wall Squat

  • You can use: wall
  • Complete 2 sets of 30 seconds

Wall Push-up

  • You can use: wall
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Shoulder Press

  • You can use: water bottles, canned goods, laundry bottles, broom
  • Complete 2 sets of 15 repetitions

Bicep Curls

  • You can use: water bottles, canned goods, laundry bottles, broom
  • Complete 2 sets of 12 repetitions

Triceps Dips

  • You can use: sturdy chairs
  • Complete 2 sets of 12 repetitions


Do you perform your own at-home workouts with things around your house? What items do you use? What benefits have you noticed from at-home workouts? Tell us about it in the comments below!

David Sautter is a NASM certified personal trainer and a NASM certified fitness nutrition specialist who has worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years.
During his time in the fitness industry, David Sautter has conducted many fitness workshops, trained hundreds of clients, and has written extensively for a variety of companies. He has been a featured fitness writer on many high-profile health and fitness websites. Aside from producing weekly articles, David has been the writer of several e-books and training guides.
Read more blogs from David Sautter

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