Unconventional training with household objects
Getting started with any form of training can seem like a daunting task. What methods will work best for me? What kit do I need? How do I balance various types of training? These are just some of the questions you may ask yourself. But don’t worry and don’t overthink it. You have everything you need to get started in your own home.
Even if you are more advanced in your training, you can still use household objects for any session. If you can’t get out of the house for whatever reason, household objects are always at your fingertips, and provide a different training approach, meaning you can always fit in a productive and engaging resistance training session.
I have a client who has a new-born, so they are always having to adjust and re-adjust their schedule training-wise. I came up with these kit suggestions for them, so they could always train at home, whilst watching the little one if necessary.
A wall –you can use any wall in your home or outside as part of your training. Wall walks will help build movement patterns and strength for handstands. A wall also provides support for handstands if you’re just starting to learn them, and can provide a safe guard for you to help build up your handstands. Wall sits can help improve your squat and static leg strength as well as your endurance.
Chairs and a sofa –Chairs or a sofa are great for tricep dips or skull crushers. You can perform incline or elevated press ups too. You can even place two chairs apart from one another and put a broom handle in between to perform aussie pull ups. Or from the backs of tewo chairs you can perform regular tips, if there’s enough height and stability. You can also use them as a solid base for any hip, leg or ankle stretching simply by placing one foot on the chair to elevate it. You can also use a chair or sofa as a great base to stretch your shoulders by kneeling on the floor and bending down so that you’re looking at the floor, placing your elbows on the seat of the chair and lowering yourself down really opens out the chest.
A Towel –A towel is great on a hard floor surface for using as a slider. This will help destabilize whatever body part the towel is under. Fantastic for core work particularly, mountain climbers are a prime example. You can also perform plenty of other core exercises including pikes, lizard push ups or bear crawls with the towel under your feet or your hands. Experiment with what provides the best work for you, but be careful and be safe – try things as a warm up before diving right in.
A large ball (a football or basketball) –With a ball, you can perform Russian twists holding it, really focusing on that rotation element. You can place the ball on the floor with one hand atop it, and the other hand on the floor for a staggered press up, then just roll the ball over to the opposite side and repeat.
A backpack to fill with weight (e.g. books) –This is perfect to add weight or resistance to any exercise. Just strap the bag on either front or back and fill with whatever you have lying around. Just remember to weight the bag, with bathroom or suitcase scales, to know what you’re working with so you can track your progress.
A broom handle /weighted broom handle –A perfect tool for working on form for overhead squats, back squats, shoulder press, chest press, etc. The list goes on and on. A broom handle can also be used to help with stretching or mobility work too. You can add weight one end to replicate a mace or sledgehammer or add weight to both ends to replicate a barbell. Combined with chairs it can be used as a bar to pull against. A broom handle really can be the most versatile tool in ones’ training arsenal.
Sledgehammer –This tool is for those trainers who are DIY inclined or who want to train outdoors. Most of the sledgehammer movements are for the more advanced trainers out there, but not all. Sledgehammer training is fantastic for levelling up compound movements and working the shoulders. Or you can use is as a weighted broom handle for those core exercises, like in and outs. You can use it for training grip strength, muscle stability and balancing work too. A perfect way of really upping your endurance to the next level. Plus, it’s great for working out any aggression! This tool is very similar to the Gravity Fitness Mace Bell (check out a working tutorial here). The weight being at one end means you have to focus on the swing and momentum very carefully, so make sure you’ve got the right weight of sledgehammer for your skill level.
With all of these pieces of equipment you can put together a varied and exciting workout. I’ve provided an example below that you can adapt or use however you like;
Press ups – weighted backpack
Aussie pull ups – two chairs and a broom handle
Split squats – chair for single foot elevation and weighted backpack
Tricep dips - chair
Bicep curls to bar – two chairs and a broom handle
Back squats – weighted backpack
Lizard press ups - towel
Pikes – towel
Mountain climbers – towel
Seated in and outs – a broom handle over and under outstretched feet
Russian twists – a ball
Plank tucks – a ball under the tops of your feet, roll along and up to your elbows and back
Wall walks – a wall
Wall sit hold – a wall
Sledgehammer finisher for max time – sledgehammer – make sure to sledgehammer onto an appropriate surface. A large tyre works well. The key is to let gravity ease the sledgehammer through your grip. Keep the bottom hand gripped firmly and your top hand as more of an accessory grip.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab those household objects and get started! Tag us on social media so we can track your progress!
by Guy Joynson for Gravity Fitness