5 Random Household Objects for a Shockingly Effective Home Workout

Updated: Feb. 09, 2017

No gym membership? No problem. Use basic items that are already in your pantry, fridge, and the rest of your house for a rewarding home workout.

Duffel Bag Bicep Curls

Fill a duffel bag with objects, clothes, and any other clutter you wish to get rid of (a bonus: you can later donate it or toss it to get organized!) until it is heavy enough to feel challenging but not impossible to carry. As the weeks go on, you can fill this bag to make it heavier.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the duffel bag in front of you with both hands, with your arms extended toward the floor and your palms facing away from you.

Lift your hands upward toward your chest, holding your elbows stationary at the sides of your abdomen. Avoid leaning back as you lift the duffel bag. Lower your hands back down and repeat as necessary. You can also do this exercise holding the duffel bag handles with one hand and curling the bag with one arm.

Laundry Detergent Woodchoppers

Start with your toes pointed forward, your feet spaced about shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. With both hands, grasp a weighted object with a handle—such as full bottle of laundry detergent—and extend your arms downward so you’re holding the object over your right thigh.

Keeping your arms extended, life the object up and across your body so you end up holding it over and to the left of your left shoulder. Keep your abdominal muscles tight throughout the movement. Repeat on the other side.

Soup Can Shoulder Presses

Stand upright with your feet together. Hold a soup can or other object in each hand. Lift your hands up even with your ears, with your elbows bent at roughly 90 degrees. Press your hands up and over your head until your arms are straight up, but your elbows aren’t locked.

Lower your hands down until your elbows are once again bent at roughly 90 degrees. As you do so, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat as necessary.

Tricep Counter Pushups

To do these, stand with your toes several feet away from your kitchen counter. Place your hands on the counter, spaced slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest as far as you can toward the counter while holding your body straight (in other words, your rear shouldn’t be sticking out or sagging down). Your elbows should stay close to your body, as opposed to flaring out. Press your body back up away from the counter. Repeat as necessary.

Chair Leg Raises

Stand with your feet together, with a chair to your left side with the back facing you. Place your left hand on the back of the chair for support and lift your right leg in front of you. Keep your right leg straight and lift it as high as is comfortable. Repeat as necessary, then turn around and switch to the other side, holding the chair with your right hand for support and lifting your left leg.

Rodale Books

Get a Total Life Slim Down

Losing weight is a lot like cutting clutter from your home. A recent study shows that people with super-cluttered homes are 77 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. For a clean space and a clean body, follow more exercises, nutrition advice, and organizational tips in the new book, Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight by Peter Walsh. Learn more and buy the book here.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest