So you thought this year was going to be #20plenty in the gains department. Now you’re self-isolated with a tempting-looking couch and even more tempting-looking kitchen cupboard full of stockpiled delights. Don’t give up on your goals, Susan. You can get a full-body workout in every day using your bodyweight alone. But if body-weight workouts start getting boring (it’s still early days, after all!) that kitchen you’re standing in is a gym storeroom waiting to be unlocked. Check out all this fitness equipment you never knew you had!
Sub it in for: Kettlebells / Dumbbells
Five litres of water weighs roughly five kilos and, conveniently, comes in a large bottle with a handle attached. That makes it the perfect home kettlebell. If you’re using it for more explosive movements like KB swings, though, make sure your bottle has a sturdy handle and stop at shoulder height, rather than taking it overhead. The healthcare system is strained enough without adding a concussion resulting from DIY fitness equipment. Got identical 500ml bottles? Fill ’em up and sub them in for dumbbells in presses and curls.
Pocket of Potatoes
Sub it in for: Sandbag
The awkward, lumpy shape of a (still sealed) sack of potatoes gives it the same destabilising properties of the sandbag at your local gym. Without realising it, you recruit more muscles when you work with equipment like this because you have to compensate every time it shifts around. It’s also a great form of functional training because it mimics carrying real-life weights like toddlers or, um, a sack up of potatoes. Try doing walking lunches up and down your passage with the potatoes across your shoulders or hold the potatoes in front of you and do front squats.
Sub ’em in for: Gliders
If you’ve ever done an equipment-based class at the gym where they hauled out gliders, you probably hate them. And the reason for that is because they’re just so freaking good for strengthening your core. And if you have any weakness in your core whatsoever, you can be sure the gliders will find it! Well, there’s nothing you can do with gliders that you can’t do with good old paper plates. In fact, the plates are even better because they work equally well on carpet and hard floors.
Sub ’em in for: Cones
If you’ve ever gone to watch live cricket or have toddler-age digs mates, you probably have an abundance of these. And that’s great because they’re an ace piece of equipment for bootcamp-style workouts. Use them to mark out training areas or demarcate stations in a circuit. Or improve your speed and agility by creating a cone obstacle course to run through.
Sub ’em in for: Dumbbells
We’re all for lifting heavy, but you can also score great results using light weights but longer time under tension. In other words, do more reps or just keep your muscles engaged for longer.