12 Cheap Home Workout Hacks for People With No Equipment and No Room

If your two New Year's resolutions were to work out and stay on a budget, you might be faced with a conundrum. Working out at home seems like an affordable alternative to a gym until you realize that you actually need to purchase equipment. But you can forget the weights, steppers, and other costly equipment by grabbing these items from around your house and getting to work. There are no excuses left for your wallet or your workout.

1. Your Own Body

Your body is your best equipment. There are a ton of total body workouts out there. These workouts use absolutely no equipment except for a mat (which isn't really a requirement), and your own bodyweight. Just be extra careful to do your moves precisely as these workouts can be more intense than just push ups and sit ups.

2. Water Bottles and Jugs

Use one to five gallon jugs of water (or milk), which can double as eight to 40 pound weights. The jugs make great dumbbells or kettlebells for numerous workouts. For less weight, a 16 oz bottle of water weighs approximately one pound. The handles will be a little different than what you're used to, so make sure you don't injure your hand as you lift them.

Keep in mind that we're not all equipped to lift giant jugs of water, so start small and work your way up. Another alternative is the giant laundry detergent bottles like Tide. I buy the largest one available at Costco and consistently build up my muscles on laundry day, so why not use it during a workout?

3. Soup Cans

Large tomato and soup cans also make great hand weights. The ribbed sides help you keep your grip so you can use them like you would smaller dumbbells.

4. Bags of Rice

Really, anything in your kitchen weighs between one and five pounds. Bags of rice are easy to lift up and down, and weigh around two pounds.

5. Fruit or Vegetables

When you buy a five-pound bag of potatoes, they actually do weigh… five pounds. You can easily use these to lift up and down to build up your arm muscles. Pumpkins can work as an alternative to a medicine ball as long as they are thrown gently. Of course, there is also the array of bags of apples, oranges, and the like. Use all of these as an alternative to kettlebells or dumbbells.

6. Towels

Use towels as resistance bands. Start by stretching your arms straight out in front for you and pulling, then put your towel above your head and stretch, and then put the towel above and behind your head and stretch. This is a great shoulder and arm workout. Alternatively, use your bathrobe tie. The tie likely has some elastic in it, and will give even more resistance with your workouts. Towels can also be used as yoga mats, if you don't have one but want to get started with a video at home.

7. Chairs

There are numerous workouts you can do with an average, everyday chair. From tricep dips to incline pushups, the options are limitless. And if you love barre workouts, a chair is the perfect alternative to a barre.

8. Pillows

Pillows can be used for a number of workouts. They can make an incline, or can be used as a soft exercise ball alternative. If you love barre classes or inclined ab workouts, this is the perfect and less expensive version. Fold the pillow to make it fit even better between your legs for barre workouts or place under your lower back as you do ab crunches.

9. Wall

Walls are the best for toning legs, abs, or arms. Use one of your four walls in your home to perform wall squats, push ups, or crunches.

10. Books

Books are heavy and can be used in a number of workouts. Grab the textbook that you kept from college or that dictionary you've yet to use in place of dumbbells or weights. Try to keep steady and let your arms get the workout they need. Books can be cumbersome, so be careful not to twist your wrist.

11. Stairs

If you have stairs in your house, you have ready-made workout equipment. Use them for running up and down, stair jumps, or simply strengthening your calf muscles with toe lifts. Be careful not to fall, of course, but stairs can be great for building up leg muscles.

12. Your Child

That's right. If you have a baby or toddler, they weigh between five and 30 pounds (or more!). Not only that, but they require a lot of carrying around. Use your bundle of joy to your advantage by checking out these YouTube workouts. You'll get bonding time and a killer bod all at the same time.

What are your workout equipment alternatives?

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