Turn your home into a gym by adding these household items to your workout
The unexpected events of 2020 has forced people and their businesses to make many changes and adjustments. Social distancing, self-isolating or self-quarantining has unfortunately become the norm.
Our community, friends and family are what make us thrive and survive. Throughout this pandemic, people have been asked to stay at home and limit the amount of people they see. Circumstances have changed for many – some unfortunately losing jobs, others having to work remotely. Our daily routines have changed as parks, playgrounds, gyms, markets and many other places where people gather have all been restricted. This change to our lives and lifestyle ultimately has a huge effect on our overall health and wellbeing.
Not having enough social connection and interaction can have a profound effect on one’s mental health and wellbeing. It has never been more important to apply a healthy routine focusing on sleep, eating well, exercising and staying in touch with friends and family to ensure the management of our mental health.
Throughout this isolation period, Strength to Strength wanted to make exercising at home as easy and accessible as possible, allowing people to create a healthy routine at home.
Understanding that not every household owns gym equipment, I have put together a workout for you to do at home using some household items that you may already have.
Remember the importance of correct form to get the most out of your workout and to prevent injury. See the videos for the demonstration of each exercise and the guided text for tips to assist you.
Each video contains two exercises using the same muscle group. Complete 10 – 15 reps of each exercise and repeat 2 – 3 times through.
1: Household Item: A chair.
For safety, choose a sturdy chair or place it close to the wall so it won’t move anywhere.
Step ups – 10 each leg
Try not to let your knee go over your toes, keep your core strong as it will aid you in stepping up onto the chair.
If you are a beginner, using a dining chair can assist in supporting your posture and form while you squat.
Ensure your toes are pointed out, always keep your chest up, and as you go down think you are about to sit on the chair. When you come up, drive through from your heels and squeeze your glutes and your hamstrings.
2: Household item: 3kg/L bleach or laundry powder.
You could also use anything else that is a similar weight and has a handle.
Kettle bell swings
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend slightly at the knees with the weight in both hands, and pull the weight between your legs to start momentum. Drive through with your hips forwards and straighten your back to propel the weighted item up to shoulder height.
The aim is to drive with your hips, not using too much upper body.
Stiff leg deadlifts
Your knees should be slightly bent and the aim is to maintain this slight degree throughout the movement.
As you lower down, keep your back straight and lower until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings and glutes. Then slowly straighten back up, keeping the weight close to your body.
3: Household items: 3kg bleach and two x 1L milk or 400g canned items.
Single arm Squat Press
Using the same technique as the sumo squat, place your weights above your shoulders and press the weight up above your head as you drive through with your legs all in the one motion. Keep everything nice and controlled. If the weight is too light, slow down the reps to really isolate the muscle. Aim for a higher rep count so you can feel the burn.
Double arm Squat press
Ensure you keep the weights directly above your shoulders as your drive up and stay controlled on the way down. The key is to use your legs to help drive the weight up.
4: Household item: 400g canned beans or 1L milk.
Shoulder routine of side & front raises
If this feels light for you, use the 1L milk cartons or slow down the reps to really isolate the muscle.
Ensure you have a slight bend in the knees and stay strong through your core as this prevents your back from swaying. Only lift the weights so they are in line with your shoulders and stay controlled on the way down. To make it harder, keep resistance and tension by not relaxing down the bottom.
5: Household item: 400g canned beans or 1L milk.
Keep your elbows tucked in and remain nice and controlled throughout the movement to ensure you isolate the bicep.
Raise your arms directly above your head, pretend you are squeezing a ball in between your elbows and keep them as still as possible while slowly lowering the weight behind your head so you feel a stretch in your triceps. Then drive the weigh back up directly above your head, concentrating on squeezing your triceps as you come up.
Elise is the founder of Strength to Strength, a mobile mental and physical healthcare service that specialises in the promotion of health and wellbeing to support people affected by mental illness. Follow Elise on Instagram @elise_falloon and find out more about Strength to Strength on their website https://www.strengthtostrength.com.au/.