Household Fitness Hacks

laundry detergent

With no gyms open, we are all scrambling about what to do for at-home workouts. Bodyweight exercises are good, but sometimes you want a little more weight to throw around. Before you splurge on equipment for home, here are 10 regular household items you probably already have at home that are perfect to help you in a fitness pinch.

Duffle Bag

Your travel plans may be grounded but you can still dream about a tropical vacation and pack up a duffel bag with all your warm weather clothes. Pack up the bag as heavy as you want, and use it for bicep curls, shoulder presses, squats, reverse lunges and plank pull throughs.

Milk Jugs 

Save your empty gallon milk jug, fill it with water and BOOM! Instant weight! You can do bicep curls, shoulder presses, bent over rows, squats and so many other exercises with a single gallon jug. Save two milk jugs and you can do even more. A gallon of water weighs a little over 8 pounds, so fill accordingly to what your body can handle lifting.

Alternatively, you can use gigantic laundry detergent bottles. It's a workout lifting those babies on laundry day, so why not use it for a real workout, too?

Dining Room Chair 

Chairs are super versatile for exercise. Choose a dining room chair without arms for incline push-ups, tricep dips, sit to stand squats, step ups and many more options.


If you have access to stairs, you have a plethora of workout options. Of course, you can run or walk up and down the stairs to get a great heart rate boost of cardio. In addition, you can do stair jumps, single leg step ups, incline push-ups, tricep dips and many more exercises.

A Wall

No matter the size of your home, you probably have one wall. That's all you need for endless fitness options like wall squats, wall sits, wall handstands, wall push-ups and for the ultimate in relaxation, legs up the wall.

Paper Plates 

Place paper plates under your hands or feet to act as sliders to up your regular push-up or plank exercise. Try placing a plate under each hand while at the top of a push-up. Do one push-up and at the top of the exercise, slide your right hand forward or off to the side before returning to center. Repeat the sequence.


Alternatively, place the plates under your feet. While in plank position, pull in your feet, one at a time, for a mountain climbers.

Basketball or Soccer Ball

A med ball is a great way to work your core and trunk mobility. Don't want to shell out the money for one? Make your own at home with an old basketball or soccer ball. Simply cut a crescent shaped slit in it and fill with sand. Glue it closed with rubber cement. Be sure to know how much sand by weight you are putting into the ball.

Otherwise you'll have a super heavy ball that you won't be able to lift!


Want to work on speed and gain quickness on your feet? You should be doing drills on an agility ladder. But you don't need to buy one! Simply draw the agility ladder outline with chalk on a sidewalk, driveway or basketball court and run your drills. You'll be faster than ever when the season starts.

Baseball Bat 

Foam rollers are great for improved range of motion, flexibility, easing muscle soreness and preventing injuries. You don't necessarily need to purchase a foam roller to get the same benefits. A rolling pin or a PVC pipe is a great at-home substitute. Another option is a baseball bat. It's great for rolling out the calves. Or you can use it as you would a handheld stick roller by rolling over the quadriceps to break up the sticky fascia.

Lacrosse Ball

You might find that you are being more active or are doing activities that you aren't used to doing, which can lead to muscular soreness, tightness and immobility. Unfortunately, your usual massage therapist is closed. What do you do to rub out the soreness, stress and tension? A close second is foam rolling. However, sometimes a foam roller is just too big for those harder-to-reach places.

Lacrosse balls are the answer. It's a simple SMR (self-myofascial release) tool.

Rolling a lacrosse ball across aching areas of the body like the feet, calves and hips can apply just enough gentle pressure to activate trigger points in muscles and alleviate any soreness or discomfort you may be feeling. Roll across the lacrosse ball for up to 60 seconds to feel the intense relief!

READ THIS NEXT: 3 No-Equipment-Needed At-Home Workouts

Discuss This Article