A sack of rice and water gallon are good alternatives to dumbbells and kettlebells

By Nicole Ganglani | Art by Tricia Guevara

For the past few weeks, indoor workouts have been the name of the game for people lucky enough to keep their fitness grind going. If you’re one of them, turn your house into a makeshift gym with items you already have at home. From weights exercises to cardio workouts, here are some useful items you can use for any exercise possible.  


Water bottles instead of kettlebells

An eight-ounce water bottle (that’s equivalent to a pound and a half) can be used for shoulder and arm workouts. Some exercises you can do are upright rows, water bottle swing, bicep curls and bent-over rows. Steel water bottles can also be used during planks to add some challenge to your balance. 


Duffel bag instead of sandbags

If your backpack is just laying around, put it to good use by filling it with clothes or water bottles so you can do some heavy lifting and arm and leg exercises. You can use this for squats (specifically goblet squats, clean and back squats and overhead squats), lunges, push-ups or even when you’re running down the stairs.


Broomstick for mobility work

Grab a broom to help improve your shoulder mobility and flexibility. You can start by putting the broom in between two chairs to form a pull-up bar and then do the broom and chair exercise. You can also work on your abs by using the broom for ab crunches, elbows to knee crunches and oblique twists. 



Stairs as cardio machine 

Stairs are a good alternative to treadmills. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that walking up at least 400 steps of stairs or 33 flights a day will increase your endurance. Stair climbing builds and tones muscles, increases heart rate and lowers body muscle mass. A couple of workouts you can also do are quick runs, side hops, jumping jack squats and sumo squat jumps. 


Sack of rice or water gallons for cardio and lifting exercise

Turn extra rice into extra squats by using a sack of rice or even a water gallon as a replacement for strength and conditioning exercises that require dumbbells and kettlebells. Some of these exercises are stiff leg deadlifts, incline push-ups, dips and overhead lunges. 


Bed for bench press and balance exercises 

Your bed can actually be a good place to do stretch exercises like yoga poses that test your balance. Some poses you can do are wild child’s pose, cat pose, tree pose —all of which require little space. You can also utilize the bed as an alternative to bench presses, which you use to lift weights. A bonus is that you can do it the moment you wake up. 

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