Home Gym: Substitutes For Your Favorite Pieces of Equipment

Home sweet (or sweat) home! If you're unable to make it to your gym, you can still maintain your fitness and strength in the comfort of your own home.

You’d be surprised what everyday household items can be substituted for your favorite pieces of gym equipment.

Let me guide you through your new home gym!



If you’ve got a flight of stairs or even one step, your cardio is covered.

It's a real life step machine.

Jog up and down your flight of stairs. Alternatively, if you’ve only got one step at home, tap one foot on the step and in a jumping motion switch feet. Continue to repeat foot taps on your step.

Tip: Try to stick to the same amount of time you’d normally do on any cardio machines.


Back Pack Full Of Books

Substituting the heavy machines at home can be very difficult. Try filling a back pack with books or any heavy objects. This is a safe option to add as much weight as possible. Wear the back pack on your back and it can be used for barbell squats.

A substitution for the leg extension can be done by sitting on a dining chair. Loop your legs through one strap of the back pack each. The back pack should be resting on the top of your feet and your shins. Then extend both your knees straight.

Another favorite heavy machine is the leg press. A modification of this at home is a wall squat hold with the back pack resting on your thighs.

Tip: In the home environment it will be difficult to use as much weight as you’d use in a gym. To counteract that go for large, slow ranges of movement and include holds at the end of range.


Dining Chair

The simple dining chair is a very diverse home gym necessity. Replace the leg curl with feet up on the dining chair bridges. Perform tricep dips instead of using the dipping bars. Also, replace the pec deck with feet up on the dining chair push ups.

Tip: To make any of these exercises harder, move further away from the dining chair. This will create a longer lever arm and increase the resistance for your muscles.

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3L Milk Bottle Filled With Rice, Dirt Or Sand

This easy to make piece of equipment can substitute dumbbells, kettlebells and a medicine ball. It can be used for many exercises that would be a part of your normal gym program, such as bicep curls, shoulder press, kettle bell swings or Russian twists.

By filling the milk bottle with rice, dirt or sand will make it heavier than water.

Tip: Duct tape multiple milk bottles together for extra weight.


Face Washer

Place a face washer under each foot and you have a leg abduction/adduction machine. Keep knees straight and slide legs apart and slide back together. This will work the adductors. Bend knees into a squat position, repeat above and this will work abductors.

Face washers can also replace any exercise where sliders are required.

Tip: Be careful not to do the splits. Start with a small range of motion and then increase to make it harder.


Arm Rest Of The Couch

We can’t forget to cool down and stretch after a home gym session. The arm rest of the couch can replace thoracic extension and rotation on a foam roller.


There’s no excuse to not exercise when everything you need is already at home.

Enjoy your new home gym!

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