Now that we're all being forced to work out at home instead of heading to our favorite gym or studio, we may have to get a little creative with things like equipment. No judgment if you don't have a set of weights or bands or medicine balls at the ready at home! For those of us who don't have the luxury of a home gym setup, it's easier than you think to find things around the house that can act as weights.
When you're looking around for three-pounders, take a glance around your pantry — it's a veritable treasure trove of makeshift weights. Plus, you probably have way more in there than you usually do if you've been stocking up while sheltering in place. Things like soup cans, jars of pasta sauce, and boxes of broth are right on the money and easy to grip while you work up a sweat. The best part? Once you've exhausted all your muscles, you can use those pantry staples to make a delicious meal — or indulge in a little comfort food if that's what you're feelin'.
Keep reading for four exercises you can easily do with common pantry items — then get to work!
This is a great exercise to strengthen both the front and back of the body. Grab two pantry items like boxes of broth or stock to use as weights, and lie down on your mat. Start with your feet on the ground, knees up, and your arms spread wide while holding your makeshift weights. As you exhale, slowly squeeze your glutes as high as they will go into a bridge, and bring your arms straight up over your head. Slowly release on your inhale — the slower you go, the harder your muscles have to work. You'll work everything from your glutes, hamstrings, and quads to your pectoral muscles and biceps.
Russian twists are killer for all parts of the abs, especially the obliques. When you add in a weight, it ups the ante and works your arms alongside your abs. Find something like an unopened jar of pasta sauce to use as your weight, and hold onto either side with your hands. Sit upright on your sit bones, either with your feet on the ground or your legs lifted into a tabletop position. Keep your spine straight throughout the entire exercise, with the crown of your head reaching up to the sky. Pull in your navel, engage your abs, and begin to twist your arms from side to side, gently tapping your jar slowly to the ground each time. The key is to keep your hips and knees stable as you twist and not let them bob and flail.
To burn out your triceps muscles, you'll want to find a DIY weight that's on the heavier side — think: a large jug of juice like V8®. Stand up tall, and hold on to the bottle's neck with both hands. Lift it above your head, keeping your arms straight and active. Slowly dip your arms behind your head, keeping your elbows tight along your ears; don't let them splay out. At first, you'll likely be thinking, "This is nothin'!" — just give it a few reps, and you'll be feelin' the fire.
Plus, once you're done working up a sweat, you'll have easy access to that delicious, plant-powered V8® juice. Guzzle some down and feel the good.
For this move, you'll want two equally weighted items that you can hold in one hand — something like a Campbell's® soup can is right on point. Balance and control is your goal for this exercise, so don't rush through it. On each side, start standing with your feet together at the back of your mat, arms down by your sides with your palms facing up holding your cans. As you lunge one leg forward, bend your front knee 90 degrees — without letting your knee track beyond your ankle — and tap your back knee to the floor lightly. At the same time, bring your arms up into a bicep curl. Like you're moving through molasses, come back to standing with your arms down.