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The Best Weight Substitutes For Resistance Training At Home, With Exercise Examples

No weights? No problem. We've put together a list of household items you can use as substitutes for your regular gym weights, plus exercise examples!

clock-circular-outline-lightPosted 25 Jan 2021
The Best Weight Substitutes For Resistance Training At Home, With Exercise Examples

Here at Gymshark, we’re big on resistance training. And, if you didn’t know that, well, where have you been for the last eight years?

Lifting is what we do, but it’s not all we do. So when the pandemic struck, and the gyms here in the UK shut their doors, we hit the streets clocking up the miles on foot, and adapted our gym workouts as best we could - moving our bodyweight like never before.

Almost a year down the line, resistance training has been sorely missed (excuse the DOMS pun), and we’re craving a little added resistance to our home exercise programme.

Homeshark is back (ffs), and it’s about time we take it up a notch. No matter your geographical location, we're all fighting this pandemic together, so, we've got a list of items you’ll most likely find lying around your house, and, if not – well, they won’t break the bank to pick up on your next supermarket sweep.

WHAT HOUSEHOLD ITEMS CAN I USE TO ADD RESISTANCE TO MY HOME WORKOUT?

Ah! The question you’re no doubt here to find the answer for. We’ve put together a list of items you can safely utilise to add further resistance to your home workouts, but let us not forget – this is all about being creative, and using items you already have, where possible.

When considering which household items to use for each exercise, think about the different exercise movements and how you normally hold the weights at the gym. Also, be mindful to consider risks associated with different household items, and ensure they’re safe for use before beginning your challenging new workout.

Before you say it, yes, milk cartons and compost bags may not be quite as insta-worthy as a shiny set of dumbbells - but hey, who actually cares!? A workout is a workout, no matter what.

Here’s your list of household items to use next time you need a little extra resistance for your exercises:

  • Milk Cartons / Bottles With A Handle

  • Water Bottles

  • Bucket

  • Backpack (with added weight e.g. water bottles)

  • Garden Compost Bag

  • Cans Of Beans

  • Old Pair Of Gymshark leggings Tied Together (= homemade resistance band)

WHY ADD RESISTANCE TO YOUR AT HOME TRAINING PROGRAMME?

If you’re like us then air squats, 5k runs and burpees have most likely been a staple whilst you've been training at home. But, as our body adapts, it’s important to consider progressing in difficulty even when training at home.

Incorporating resistance training into your home workout schedule has countless health benefits, from increased strength and bone density to improved sleep quality and cognitive state.

To ensure you’re always progressing, adding further resistance to your home workouts can force your body to adapt and develop further, avoiding a strength plateau and developing those much-desired lockdown gains.

HOW TO USE YOUR NEW HOUSEHOLD WEIGHTS

So, we’ve given you some ideas of items you can use to replace the absence of gym weights. Now it’s time to use them!

We’ve put together a catalogue of different exercises below, divided into full-body, lower body and upper body exercises, showcasing how simple it can be to add resistance to your home workouts.

Take a scroll through, and get a little inspiration for your next at-home workout...

Full Body Exercises

Clean

Equipment: Handled Bottle Key Areas Worked - Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Shoulders

Kettlebell Swing

Equipment: Weighted Backpack Key Areas Worked - Glutes, Hamstrings & Core

Renegade Row

Equipment: Tin Cans Key Areas Worked - Back & Core

Push Press

Equipment: Compost Bag Key Areas Worked - Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Shoulders

Thrusters

Equipment: Handled Bottles Key Areas Worked - Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Shoulders

Lower Body

Back Squat

Equipment: Backpack Key Areas Worked - Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Glutes

Deadlift

Equipment: Compost Bag Key Areas Worked - Hamstrings & Glutes

Front Squat

Equipment: Weighted Backpack Key Areas Worked - Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Glutes

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment: Water Bottles Key Areas Worked - Hamstrings & Glutes

Upper Body

Bent-Over Row

Equipment: Weighted Backpack Key Areas Worked - Back & Biceps

Front Raises

Equipment: Weighted Tote Bag Key Areas Worked - Shoulders

Bicep Curls

Equipment: Handled Bottle Key Areas Worked - Biceps

Bench Press

Equipment: Water Bottles Key Areas Worked - Chest & Shoulders

How have you been adding weight to your at-home training? We'd love to hear how you've been creative with your training over the last year, drop a comment below!

GymsharkBy Gymshark