Personal Wellness

Household Items That Double As Exercise Equipment

Mar 19, 2020
Last Updated Jun 1, 2023

As we spend more time at home due to COVID-19, many of us are looking for ways to stay active indoors.

If you’re not used to working out at home that often, you probably don’t own a lot of exercise equipment. There are some everyday items, though, that make great substitutes.

Here are a few household items you can use as exercise equipment:

Canned goods or water bottles

Weights, both heavy and light, are an at-home gym staple since they’re versatile and effective. If you don’t have regular dumbbells at home, try canned goods or full bottles of water. They’re easy to hold, and even though they’re not that heavy, your arms will feel the burn with the right number of reps.

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A broom stick

Exercise equipment like fitness sticks and Pilates polesare great for working on your balance and flexibility. If you’re not stocked up on gym equipment at home, you can turn to a broom stick. Try taking it overhead and behind you (make sure to listen to your body and not overdo it) to open up your shoulders and help improve your posture.

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A chair

A chair is a simple workout substitute for anyone looking for some stability. If you’re into barre classes, don’t worry about not having an actual ballet barre to accompany you. Hold onto the back of a chair to work on your balance and still get a tough workout in.

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A pillow

Want to relax? Grab a pillow. Want to exercise? Grab a pillow! A pillow is a very versatile option for at-home workouts. When you need to find your center, use it as a meditation cushion. When you want to work your core, try placing it between your feet and grabbing it with your hands as you do leg raises. 

A towel or blanket

Don’t have a yoga mat? Use a thick towel or blanket as a substitute. You won’t be able to do a lot of complex yoga poses, but it will give you a softer foundation for the basics, especially if you pair it with some grippy socks. Towels are also useful for an assisted stretch. A lot of stretches involving resistance bands can also be done using a towel. 

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A wall

If all else fails, you can always use a door or a wall in your home. The sturdy surface is all you need to do wall-sits, which focus on strength trainingfor your lower body.

There are many ways to stay active while indoors. You might just have to get a little creative. 

From workouts to therapy, meditation, and everything in between, a Wellhub membership gets you moving — mind, body, and mood. Sign up today and start your free trial.

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Feature image by Lizardflms/



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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