20 Household Items You Can Use As Your Personal Home Gym Equipment

Investing in a gym membership is something that works for many people who are trying to get in shape, but working out at a fitness club isn't everyone's cup of tea. There are plenty of benefits to exercising in the privacy of your own home. Not only can you save money on gas by avoiding traveling a distance, you don't really have to buy any special equipment if you're interested in pursuing solid at-home workouts (via Reviewed).


Feeling intimidated by the different fitness machines and contraptions in a gym can be reason enough not to join a traditional health club. Using items around the house to exercise, performing the right movements with your body will improve your health in a major way without getting bored (via Healthline). Fitness at home really comes down to having the dedication and drive to make it happen. These are some of the common household items you probably already have that can contribute to an amazing at-home workout.

Milk jugs

You've probably never thought about using milk jugs as part of your fitness routine, but it turns out that they can really come in handy in the right circumstances. According to Chron, the handles attached to the containers make it easy for you to perform swinging movements that target the quads, shoulders, back, and glutes. 


Once your milk jugs are empty, you can fill them back up with water or sand before you get going with you strength-training exercises, per Bodybuilding. You can work on your biceps, triceps, forearms, legs, calves, chest, and more. Although you can use jugs of any size, using the gallon-sized ones is your best option if you want to see a real physical change with your body. Another positive benefit of using milk jugs for exercise at home, is that you will be eco-friendly by reusing the jugs instead of throwing them away.

Laundry basket

It's typical to use your laundry basket to carry dirty clothes to the washer and to carry clean clothes from your dryer. Now, you can think about using this item for exercise at home. While your laundry basket is full of clothing, you can try sumo deadlifts to target your backside. Performing this exercise with an empty laundry basket can make a difference, but you'll be better off leaving it packed with clothes. "Load up that laundry basket and do more of a sumo deadlift," fitness trainer Steve Cook tells HuffPost. "Sumo deadlifts are when you move your legs out a little bit wider, your hands are in close, and it's pretty much like picking something off the floor, like a laundry basket."


According to the Mayo Clinic, you can strengthen your back, shoulders, and legs while doing your laundry. While in a seated position on the floor with your legs stretched out on either side of the basket, lean forward to pull out a piece of clothing. Then fold the item and rotate your body left or right to create stacks of clean laundry beside you. The placement of your laundry basket will help keep your body aligned, while targeting your core as you're getting your laundry folded.


When you think of a towel in correlation with a workout, you probably think about using one to wipe perspiration off of your forehead while you're working out. In reality, towels can actually be used for at-home fitness routines in a much more useful way. According to Prevention, it's possible to get your entire body toned without using any weights at all. Towels are incredible when it comes to increasing the effectiveness of core exercises (via Resistance Band Training).


When picking out the right towel to use for a workout in your living room, you have to pay attention to the size more than any other detail. The towel can be any color or texture, whether you prefer rough material or cottony softness. The size of the towel matters though, as you won't want to deal with one that's too big or too small. A medium-sized towel will be just right for you to practice arm circles, towel rows, and knee tucks.

Paper plates

Paper plates aren't an item that should only be pulled out for birthday parties and celebratory get togethers. You can also use this kitchen item when you're working out at home. You can use paper plates to slide your arms and feet into downward and upward positions in order to target your core (via Sweet Tooth Sweet Life). You'll want to go for paper, instead of plastic, or Styrofoam for the best results.


According to 2KUTV, with just a couple of paper plates you can practice lunges, lat pulls, bridge climbers, and wax-on-wax-off moves in one solid workout. When it comes to lunges in particular, all you have to do is make sure that one foot is on each paper plate as you move your legs into lunge positions in one spot without moving around the room. Instead of lunging around across a distance of space, you can stay put in one area.


The StairMaster is one of the most common cardio machines used by people who have gym memberships. If you don't intend to go to the gym though, you can still practice the same type of workout at home with a staircase. According to Real Simple, workouts using your stairs can be incredibly effective in 15 minutes or less. You can hit the staircase to practice varied pacing, reverse lunges, tricep stair dips, scooter dips, mountain climbers, and more. 


The most important tip to keep up with when trying a stair workout is to wear sneakers that have good soles to prevent slipping, per Healthline. If you're exercising on stairs made of something smooth like marble or wood, the grip on the bottoms of your shoes are incredibly important so you can avoid falling. If your steps are made out of something less slippery like concrete or brick, they're a bit safer for an at-home exercise routine.

The wall

If there are any open walls available in your house, you can use that space for your workout. According to Muscle & Fitness, trainer Natalie Jill believes that just four movements and a basic wall can help you achieve your fitness goals in your home. Using your wall for hamstring walks, plank wall walks, and wall sitting will cause you to break a sweat in no time. If you try wall sitting while abducting your hips, it will feel even more intense.


To make a split squat more difficult you can use the wall to press your rear leg against it, per Healthline. If doing push-ups on the floor is a challenge for you, you can practice this exercise on the wall in order to get yourself more comfortable. The farther back you place your feet from the wall, the more difficult the push-ups will be. Using an empty wall to work on bridges will help improve the appearance of your glutes as well.


Household chores can actually turn into incredible workouts with a few added movements and adjustments. If you already plan to vacuum the floor and carpets of your home, consider adding in some simple moves to turn the task into true physical activity. Exercise is linked to a healthy weight, no matter what the form is (via Live Science). That means that housework is definitely considered a form of fitness.


Vacuuming your home for 30 minutes will burn around 130 calories. According to Healthline, getting more mobile at home while doing chores will help you burn more calories. There are tons of benefits that come along with vacuuming your house, apart from the fact that your floors and carpets will be a lot cleaner than they were before. If you try this task while tiptoeing or bending down into lunges as you move around your home, you will notice the benefits.


Even if you're completely done with school, odds are you have a backpack or two still laying around your house somewhere. The good news is that they can come in quite handy when it comes to exercising at home. According to Deccan Chronicle, if you make your bag heavy enough you can replace weights to do resistance training in your at-home workout. To achieve the weight you're looking for, just pile in some items you have on hand to add bulk to your backpack. 


You can lift the bag for bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, and overhead shoulder presses. You can also get in a good workout by wearing a heavy backpack while attempting bear crawls, squat presses, lateral plank walks, deadlift rows, step ups, push-ups, oblique twists, and more (via Backpacker). The heavier your backpack is, the more resistance you will feel and the more you will sweat.


Grabbing your broom to sweep up your floors is a brilliant household chore that burns tons of calories. According to Good Housekeeping, it's easy to feel motivated to clean your house if you're fitting in a workout to benefit your health at the same time. All you need to do is get out your broom and put aside 15 to 30 minutes to work your entire body, per Stack.


You can use your broom to do single leg squats, single arm overhead presses, wall squats, broomstick tosses, push-ups, single arm rows, and standing broomstick twists. Your broomstick can also be used for vertical broomstick squeezes, horizontal broomstick squeezes, and lateral shoulder raises. As you hold onto your broom, you can challenge yourself even more based on the variety of movements you choose to incorporate. Using your broom for exercise will also help improve your hand-eye coordination, for an added benefit.


Mopping up any spills on your bathroom or kitchen floor might feel like less of a hassle if you realize that you can burn tons of pesky calories in the process. According to Mops Review, mopping the floor can help you burn up to 240 calories in one hour. While you're cleaning your floor with your mop, your body is experiencing incredible upper and lower body movements.


For these reasons, mopping once a day is equivalent to a legitimate gym workout and equal to completing 340 squat thrusts (via Good Housekeeping). The only difference is that your floors end up spotless at the end of a mop workout. Some of the physical benefits that come with consistent mopping include burning huge calories, reducing stress levels, and maintaining a healthy weight. You're also helping prevent the spread of germs by keeping the floors of your home as clean as possible.

Dining chair

Dining chairs are perfect to sit on when it's time to eat dinner or entertain visiting guests. Interestingly enough, these same seats can also be used for solid workouts at home if you're trying to avoid the gym. You can use any typical dining chair for neck stretches, shoulder circles, bicep curls, seated rows, shoulder rolls, toe taps, knee lifts, sit-to-stands, and heel slides (via Vive Health). 


You can also use your dining chair for core exercises, such as tummy twists. If you're looking to break a sweat, you can also use your seat to do cardio exercises like seated jumping jacks. According to TheSmartLocal, tricep dips are the perfect exercise to do with a dining chair. Working your triceps with these movements helps to improve your range of motion, flexibility, and stability. If all of these things are all in good condition for you physically, facing a random injury is far less likely.

Door frame

Your home is filled with door frames, including the ones that take you from the bedroom to the bathroom, or the living room to the dining room. Fortunately, people can use door frames for workouts at home and they don't require any other gym equipment. According to TheSmartLocal, you can practice burpees for a whole body workout. Burpees are considered an ideal form of exercise to experience higher levels of endurance. 


You can also use your door frame to get more flexible while stretching out your shoulders, per Skimble. All you have to do is stand with your hands above your shoulders pressed on the sides of the door frame. From there, you'll move one leg forward and keep the position for about 20 seconds. After that, you can repeat the same process with your other leg. These are steps you can continue repeating until you feel totally stretched out.

Toilet paper rolls

There are so many ways you can use toilet paper rolls to your benefit, including staying in shape. These bathroom items are perfect to use to get creative while doing planks (via TheSmartLocal). Planks are a great workout since your core is targeted and strengthened. The only unfortunate aspect about planks is that they can be incredibly monotonous and boring. Keep your toilet paper rolls stacked in front of you while doing planks, so you can move them around to mix things up and keep yourself entertained.


According to Shape, you can use toilet paper rolls for a simple jump and turn workout. All you have to do is grab the toilet paper roll in front of you and turn 180 degrees while swiftly leaping. Every time you pick up a toilet paper roll and do your jumping turn, you help build a taller stack of rolls on the floor behind you.


Most people only think about going to sleep when they think about their beds, but it turns out there are several full body workouts you can do while you're still laying down. One of the biggest benefits you might receive from exercising in bed is balancing while working your abdominal muscles (via Healthline). Beds are unstable surfaces, which means your body has a little more work to do to stabilize itself.


According to Apartment Therapy, butterfly bridges, lateral leg lifts, leg raises, and twisting planks can all be done on your bed. Stretching is also incredibly important and can be accomplished while you're laying down. The happy baby pose is a great stretch to start with, as it helps unlock your hips and groin. All you have to do is lie on your back with your knees pulled into your chest, then grab your feet with your hands while keeping your back as flat as possible.

Coffee table

You shouldn't just think of your coffee table as the first place to sit down your car keys or your cup of coffee. This piece of furniture can come in handy during an at-home workout in a way that you probably didn't realize. According to Healthline, you can use a table for push-ups that target your shoulders and arms. Coffee table planks are another winning exercise to try to target your core and upper body.


You can use your living room table for pull ups, box jumps, bicycle crunches, and squats (via Renee Platt). When you use your coffee table for squats, it helps achieve balance each time you dip. Without your coffee table there to gauge your distance, it's easy to fall into poor form. When it comes to box jumps, the handy tables are usually low enough to create a realistic height level for people who aren't advanced in the world of fitness.


When you think about your couch, you probably think about a comfortable place to lounge and relax in your living space. The truth is that your fitness coach can actually provide you so many benefits to doing exercises on your sofa. According to ABC Everyday, you can do tricep dips on this piece of furniture by sitting far enough so that your bottom is on the very edge of the seat. After that, you'll place your palms shoulder-width apart behind your hips, while keeping your fingertips facing down and making sure that your elbows are bent at an angle.


Last but not least, you'll lower yourself off the edge and lift your body up and down to activate your core. The couch is a great place to try seated crunches, leg raises, Russian twists, and clam shells (via Dick's Pro Tips). It's also a great place to practice couch squats, Bulgarian split squats, and incline push-ups.

Carpeted floor

One of the best forms of exercise to lean on for mind and body fitness is yoga. If you don't have a yoga mat, you can still exercise on your carpet at home. According to Yoga My Old Friend, your carpet unfortunately won't offer as great of a grip as a yoga mat would. Nevertheless, you can still do the necessary moves that you care about on a carpeted surface. Practicing yoga on the carpet at home is incredibly easy since you don't have to worry about buying any additional items, per Yoga Basics


Carpet padding helps you feel comfort and protection between your body and the hard surface beneath it. A rug is typically warmer than a cold wood or tile floor, which means it can be way more appealing for a yoga workout. If you practice this form of exercise on a mat, you often feel limited to the space it provides. When you do yoga moves on an open carpet, you don't have to worry about having enough room.


Pillows can be super helpful when it comes to your fitness journey, based on the fact that you probably already have several of them lying around your home. According to Bright Side, you can practice the Superwoman strength exercise by tightening your calves with a pillow between them, while laying on your stomach, and pulling your arms back. As you point your fingertips towards your feet, you begin strengthening your back and posture. You can use your pillow for hop-overs if you're trying to gain cardio benefits (via Today). 


All you have to do is step over your pillow on the floor by hopping once or twice on both sides. Doing a bridge exercise, while a pillow is squeezed between your knees, helps target your core and the bottom of your thighs in a major way as well. Typical bridge exercises don't require you to press your knees together, but adding a pillow in the middle creates more intensity.

Stack of books

Being an avid reader is an amazing hobby to have for more reason than one. You probably have several books lying around your home, which means there are tons of exercises you can do while reading a good book (via What Is That Book About). One of those exercises is called a page-turner plank. The way you'll attempt it is by putting yourself in a plank position, while doing your best to hold yourself there until you successfully finish reading a set number of pages from your novel. 


According to Livestrong, you can complete a whole body workout in just 20 minutes with a pile of books you already own. One of those fitness routines from the circuit happens to be a basic ab crunch with a twist. Instead of leaving your feet flat on the ground without any extra help, you'll stack a few books between your feet to help keep your abs as engaged in the workout as possible. The whole time, you'll want to keep your arms straight and keep your lower back pressed to the ground. Lastly, you'll raise one of the books over your body toward your feet every time you come up.

Unfolded clothes

Dealing with laundry isn't the most enjoyable thing for anyone, but it helps knowing that your clothes are clean as you're about to start folding and putting them away. But, you can actually get exercise in while handling your laundry by lunging around the room, while tucking each item of clothing in a dresser drawer or bedroom closet (via Healthiak). 


According to Chron, you can also mix in stretching and different ranges of motion while folding your clothes and towels. As you're putting freshly laundered items away, you can incorporate toe touches, back stretches, and different strength-based routines to get through the chore. One of the biggest mistakes people can make while folding their laundry is to sit in one place for too long, hunched over with poor posture. Starting to think about exercising while getting your laundry folded is one of the smartest things you can do for your body.