7 Surprising Household Items To Level Up Home Workouts

houshold items home workout

Origym Build-A-Home-Workout 

There are many situations that pop up in busy lives that lead to us needing to get a workout in on-the-fly. Travelling for work and no access to a gym? Stuck at home waiting for a delivery? Spontaneously decided to squeeze a workout in? And all of this is before we consider the monumental shift in workout behaviours as a consequence of Coronavirus. Whatever the reason, being able to execute a high-intensity workout on-the-fly at-home or in a hotel, which utilises the space and “equipment” available to you is very important. 

We developed a 'Build A Home Workout' app to generate a workout that suits your needs and environment perfectly for these situations. 

What if I have no gym equipment at home?

Despite the recent surge in demand for workout equipment, many homes are workout equipment-free zones, this is particularly true for those who prefer to get their workouts outside or at the gym when possible. 

This is no barrier to getting a great on-the-fly home workout going given the abundance of amazing bodyweight exercises. To spice things up though, the home workout builder includes many exercises where you can use typical household items instead of gym equipment to dramatically increase the variety and fun in the workouts it delivers. 

There’s no need to step outside to break a sweat. In fact, you’ve probably got everything you need for a serious sweat session in the comfort of your own home.

Check out these items that might be right at your fingertips, that can double up as exercise equipment. They’ll ensure you can get that endorphin boost from home, whether you need a one-off home workout burst or need a regular workout schedule setter.

# 1 Paper Plates

Stacked Paper Plates

When you don’t have sliders, what can you use? Towels only work on wooden floors, but paper plates work on carpets too. The Shape’s Paper Plate workout is a revelation. 

They recommend paper plates rather than plastic - picnic party-size plates are ideal, but you can use any size. 

These sliding moves are amazing for achieving a toned physique, and all from inside your own four walls.

# 2 Sack of Spuds

Sack of Potatoes

For this item, find a routine using the Origym ‘Build Your Own Unique Home Workout’. Simply enter the size of your space, how long you’d like to work out for, and that you have a sack/bag of potatoes to hand. It’ll provide a full workout that includes exercises using your spuds. Expect killer exercises such as the Push Press:

How to do it

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the bag of spuds held in both hands at chest level.
  2. Whilst maintaining a straight back, drop down into a shallow squat. Press up through the heels and drive the bag of potatoes up, directly above your head.
  3. Lower them back to the starting position in a controlled movement and repeat.

# 3 Bottles

Lines of bottled drinks

Top tip: make sure you don’t pick the bottles straight from the fridge… they may be too slippy to grip onto. A classic 2-litre bottle is likely too large to grip but any size smaller should work great. Dare we say that wine bottles are about two kilos heavy each, so they fit the bill perfectly and ensure that you have earned your reward when you crack it open later that evening!

Follow fun Blogilates creator, Cassey Ho’s ‘Killer Arm Workout’. It uses the following moves to be completed using your bottles:

  1. Bicep curls
  2. Tricep pulses
  3. Prayer pulses
  4. Shoulder presses
  5. Double tray opens
  6. Front raises
  7. Reverse flys
  8. Press and closes
  9. L raises
  10. Upright rows

Using bottled drinks for more than just props, here is one best reserved for weekend workouts - Prosecco Pilates, Drink a glass of prosecco at the same time as improving balance, flexibility and muscle strength.

#4 Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent Bottles

Swap washing for squatting. Laundry detergent bottles make for the ideal kettlebells - as long as they have a handle. Oh, and definitely make sure the lid is screwed on tightly. The Build-A-Home-Workout app will include some exercises that use these types of bottles instead of a kettlebell if you select it as a household alternative. For a complete workout specifically using detergent bottles, you can follow the ‘Laundry Detergent Strength Circuit Workout’. After 8 reps of each exercise and 3 rounds, you’ll be sweating!

#5 Backpack

Backpack front and back

An item that you’re almost certainly going to have around the house and can be used in a variety of exercises is the humble backpack. Adding different amounts of weight by placing things into the backpack makes this piece of pseudo gym equipment exceptionally versatile and useful in workouts for toning, weight loss, and muscle gain. 

A weighted backpack pops up as gym equipment alternatives in a number of the exercises in our home workout generator including seated calf raises, goblet squats, and sissy squats.

#6 Frying Pan

Frying Pan

Something from the kitchen used to make some of your favourite things can also be one of your favourite pieces of workout equipment. The shape and weight distribution of a frying pan make them a surprisingly good alternative to dumbbells for various exercises.

Check out these demonstrations of the frying pan getting worked by Alexia Clark. Make sure you check the frying pan when using the home workout generator to potentially include exercises like these in the workout it builds for you.

#7 A Dog


OK, so we have to admit there are no exercises in the home workout builder that require your dog to be present - we’ve stuck to better behaving inanimate objects for the stability they provide. But it’s definitely worth mentioning that while Dog’s are our best friends, they can also be part of your workout routine? Doga = Dog Yoga.

While this might not be the sweatiest you get working out at home this week - it focuses a lot on your pup - Doga is definitely the most fun. Have a go by following this Doga class on YouTube.  

The Cooldown

You can also try using a long-handled brush for ab exercises, your sofa for glute bridges, and a full laundry basket for deadlifts. 

Having the right equipment can make your home workouts as good as what you get at the gym, but if this is just a stop-gap for you and you’ll be back at the gym soon then these alternatives and our Build-A-Home-Workout app are perfect for you. Hopefully, this article has provided some inspiration for creative ways to workout from the comfort of your own home.

Written by Chloe Twist

Fitness Content Manager, OriGym

Join Chloe on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Chloe graduated with a BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University and prior to OriGym worked at J&R Digital Marketing Agency on the Liverpool 'Female Founders' series. Since joining the company, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and advanced Sports Nutrition Specialist. Chloe’s professional interests intersect content-development and the world of online fitness, especially across social media and YouTube, and Chloe has herself contributed pieces on fitness and weight loss to sites including the Daily Star and The Express. Outside her day-to-day role, Chloe enjoys playing the guitar, gaming and kettlebell training.