At-Home Workout Gear You Can Make

Looking to get fit from home? If so, there's no need to buy a single thing when you can transform common household items into workout gear.

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Many people are looking to get fit from home these days. But fewer people want to buy expensive workout gear and exercise equipment.

The good news is there’s no need to buy a single thing when you can transform common household items into workout gear. Here’s how to easily make your own at-home exercise equipment.

Transform Any Ball Into Workout Gear

Medicine balls (also known as slam balls) are weighted balls that add resistance to crunches, lunges, squats and many other exercises. Certified personal trainer Rachel MacPherson of Radical Strength recommends making your own from any ball you have around your house. Simply deflate the ball, fill it with sand, replace the plug and cover the ball in several layers of heavy-duty tape. “I’ve had mine for about six years, and it’s still going strong,” she says.

Use a Weighted Backpack to Build Muscle

Weighted backpacks are a favorite of Chris Cooper, a certified personal trainer at Active Movement & Performance in Massapequa Park, N.Y. “Backpacks filled with books can be used as weights for presses, rows and just about any other exercise,” he explains. “You can also wear them as a weight vest to make moves like squats and lunges more challenging.”

Create Gliding Disks Out of Rags, Paper Plates or Furniture Sliders

Gliding disks are a hot exercise accessory that add a muscle- and stability-building challenge to many common moves. You simply place them under your hands or feet before tackling push-ups, planks, lunges, army crawls and more. Fitness pros recommend using rags, paper plates or furniture sliders in place of store-bought gliders. Just make sure to use them on non-carpeted surfaces for maximum effectiveness.

Turn a Dowel or Broomstick Into a Versatile Workout Tool

An approximately four foot long wood or PVC dowel is a popular piece of DIY workout equipment. (A broomstick with the brush head removed works in a pinch, too.) Holding it above your head while you perform exercises like squats, side bends and standing twists will help increase your stability and core strength. You can also plant it on the floor to help you balance while stretching.

Use Old Leggings as Resistance Bands

Ashley Rademacher, a personal trainer who runs the Swift lifestyle blog, advises her clients to create resistance bands out of old pairs of leggings. Tie the ankles together, then double loop them to create an effective and inexpensive band. “Tying them around your thighs provides an excellent way to add resistance to movements such as clamshells,” she says. They’re also good to have on hand when you’re ready to stretch.

Amanda Prischak
Amanda Prischak is a freelance writer based in Erie, Pennsylvania.