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5 household objects you can use for your workout

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So, if you’re looking to make your workout a little harder than just bodyweight exercises, or if you’d like to try some new home workout ideas, here’s the first instalment of objects you can repurpose to get you active.

1) Toilet paper

Exercise one: Shuttle runs

Using toilet rolls instead of cones.

What it’s good for: Improving your cardiovascular fitness, agility, and endurance.

How to do it:

  1. Start at one toilet roll, run and touch the other roll with your hand.
  2. Run back to the roll you started at and touch that one too.
  3. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Exercise two: 180 Jump-squat and turn

What it’s good for: Building explosive leg power, improving agility, and burning lots of calories.

How to do it:

  1. Stack 4-5 toilet rolls on one side of you.
  2. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. With your toes pointing slightly outward, sit back and grab one roll.
  4. Push through the heels to jump up, spinning to the left 180-degrees.
  5. Land on your toes with your knees slightly bent, and squat.
  6. Place the roll on the floor.
  7. Quickly jump up, spin to the right, and go back into the squat position.
  8. Repeat this until all the rolls are re-stacked on the other side.
  9. Move the rolls from one side to another 3 times.

2) Backpack

Exercise one: Goblet squat

What it’s good for: Strengthens your core and lower body, and improves mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Fill a backpack with a few cans and/or water bottles for extra resistance.
  2. Hug the backpack tightly against your chest.
  3. With your elbows pointing down, lower your body into a squat.
  4. Allow your elbows to brush past the inside of your knees as you descend.
  5. Then return to a standing position.
  6. Your upper body should hardly move if you're using your legs, hips, and lower back as a unit.
  7. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Exercise two: Romanian deadlift

What it’s good for: This movement strengthens your posterior chain, hamstrings and glutes, as well as enhancing your joint stability.

How to do it:

  1. Hold a backpack with both hands at hip level.
  2. Draw your shoulders back and keep your spine straight.
  3. Push your hips back as you slowly lower the backpack toward your feet.
  4. Press your hips forward to come into a standing position with the backpack in front of your thighs.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

3) Pillows

Exercise one: Pillow passes

What it’s good for: Strengthening your core muscles and improving flexibility.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back and brace your abs by pressing your lower back towards the floor.
  2. Start with the pillow in your hands over your head, with your legs extended out in front of you.
  3. Bring your legs up, and bring your arms down to meet them.
  4. Pass the pillow from your hands to in-between your ankles.
  5. Now that the pillow is in-between your ankles, extend your arms and legs back down to the ground.
  6. Bring them up back together and pass the pillow back to your hands.
  7. This completes one rep.
  8. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Exercise two: "The gun run"

What it’s good for: Improving your cardiovascular fitness and helps to decrease stress and anxiety.

How to do it:

  1. While holding 2-3 pillows, run to the other side of the room.
  2. Slam the pillows on the floor (be sure to use 2-3 pillows to soften the blow).
  3. Pin them down with your knee.
  4. Punch the pillows 10 times, run back and do two star jumps.
  5. Repeat this movement 5 times.

4) Duffel bag

Exercise one: Walking lunges

What it’s good for: Strengthening your lower body, improving balance, and aiding with symmetrical toning.

How to do it:

  1. Fill a duffel bag with objects such as clothes, for extra load.
  2. Start with your feet hip-width apart and the bag in front of you.
  3. Grab the handles and clean the bag to your chest, press it overhead, then rest it on your shoulders behind your neck.
  4. Lunge forward with your left foot until your right knee taps the floor, make sure to keep your torso upright.
  5. Press through your right heel to stand up for 1 rep.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.
  7. Do 3 sets of 10 alternating reps.

Exercise two: Clean and press

What it’s good for: Strengthening your entire body and preventing injuries.

How to do it:

  1. Squat down with a straight back and grab the bag by the handles.
  2. In one swift movement, lift the bag to your shoulders and sink back down into a squat.
  3. Push up through your heels and extend your arms up to press the bag above your head.
  4. Lower safely to your shoulders again, and drop the bag onto the floor, while maintaining a straight back.
  5. This completes one rep.
  6. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

5) Sofa or door

Exercise one: Glute bridge

What it’s good for: This works your glutes and strengthens your lower back, it also improves your hip mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Lie face up on the floor and rest your heels on the edge of your sofa (or a door like we did here). This is your starting position.
  2. Squeeze through the glutes and raise your hips, creating a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
  3. Lower your back to the starting position for 1 rep.
  4. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Exercise two: Bulgarian split squat

What it’s good for: Improving your core strength, testing your balance, and strengthening your lower body.

How to do it:

  1. Get into a forward lunge position with your torso upright, core braced and hips square to your body, and with your back foot elevated on the sofa (or against a door like we did here).
  2. Your leading leg should be half a metre or so in front of the sofa/door.
  3. Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don't let your front knee travel beyond your toes.
  4. Drive up through your front heel back to the starting position, again keeping your movements measured.
  5. Repeat this 5 to 10 times, then swap to the other leg.
  6. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.


Val and Vic

Val and Vik Health & Fitness Instructors, Warwick Sport

Coming from a football background, Val and Vik always been very active. They enjoy group fitness classes, psychology and mindfulness, and are passionate about helping people to achieve their fitness goals.


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