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Stuck at home? Work out with these household items

From woks to bamboo poles, many things in your home can help you keep fit

If you are working from home or on stay-home notice during the Covid-19 outbreak, you can still get your daily workout fix indoors without gym equipment.

Here are 10 things around the house you can use to exercise at home, so that you can keep your fitness levels and immune system healthy.

Use a towel as a mat or slider

Need a soft surface to do yoga on? A large beach towel can double up as a mat. It might be a tad slippery, so make sure your movements are careful and controlled.

Folded up, a towel can also work as a slider for exercises like mountain climbers and knee tucks.

Use a laundry basket or large wok for deadlifts

A large sturdy item with handles can be used for deadlifts that work out your core and hamstrings. Fill these up with dense items, such as cans of food, for extra weight.

Use a bench or folding chair for elevated support

No workout bench? No problem. Even a regular dining bench, folding chair or the sofa can be used as a workout bench for tricep dips or glute bridges.

If using a chair, choose a sturdy one that isn't too light (or it will slip out at the most inopportune moment and likely cause injuries), or set it against a corner for stability.

Use a bag of flour or rice for an easy weight add-on

For a convenient option that's already in your kitchen, look no further than the humble sack of rice or flour. These are usually a few kilogrammes at least, so you can use them for extra weight when doing squats and lunges.

Use canned food as small weights

For smaller muscle groups, try using cans of food. They'll ideally be tall and slim enough that you can wrap your hand around them comfortably. These can be used as hand weights to do light exercises such as bicep curls, overheard presses and chest flyes.

Use a cushion as a Bosu ball

A Bosu ball, which resembles a ball sliced in half, is typically used for balance and core workouts. In a pinch, a cushion can be used the same way - it can take your planks or Spiderman crunches to the next level.

Since it might be slippery, we'd advise adding friction underneath in the form of a yoga mat and keeping your movements slow - that means no jumping on and off it - to avoid having the cushion slip out from beneath you.

Use fixed items around the home to ensure form

When we're working out on our own without the eye of a trainer, it's easy to just go through the moves without focusing on form.

The good news is, you can use fixtures around the home to help. When doing burpees, for example, use the top of the door frame as a gauge to ensure you're reaching high enough during the jump.

You don't have to hit the top, but having it there as a mental marker will spur you to make the extra effort. Likewise, even the toilet bowl can be used.

Close the lid, then stand with your back to the toilet and do your squats, lowering yourself as though you're about to sit and making sure your glutes tap the lid before rising again.

Use a broom or pole as a weight bar

A broom, dry mop or bamboo pole can replace the weight bar you usually hold in the gym. We would recommend a bamboo pole for even weight distribution. These can be held overhead when doing squats, or for mobility work by lifting it over your head, behind and down towards the glutes.

Use a ball for extra core work

Want to make your push-ups harder? Use a basketball instead of a flat floor; it'll train your core muscles. But for safety, first get used to doing a plank with both hands on the ball. When you're comfortable, try doing a few push-ups in that position.

Use a laundry detergent bottle or milk jug as a kettlebell

You'll need something with a large handle that you can get a firm grip on. If your bottle is nearly empty, fill it up with water for extra weight (after decanting the contents).

A makeshift kettlebell can be used for several exercises, like weighted lunges, overhead presses and pistol squats. If you can get both hands on the handle, you can also do kettlebell swings.

This article was first published in Home & Decor Singapore (

Stuck at home? Work out with these household items