9 Simple Household Items You Can Use as Home Gym Equipment

If you’re trying to get a workout at home but don’t have all the home gym equipment you need, you may find getting exercise harder than you expected. After all, there are only so many bodyweight exercise varieties you can do before you need to switch things up. Well, how about you try using some of the simple items you have lying around the house? You’ll find these household items can make excellent home gym equipment with a few minutes of preparation:


Cans come in every size and weight—from just a few hundred grams to upward of ten pounds (for the big cans)—which means they can be quite the versatile weight set. They’re not heavy enough to do serious bench pressing, but if you’re looking for a weight that can help you get some light work it, you’ll find cans are an amazing option that just about every house has!


It’s not the most versatile piece of equipment, but you’ll find it can make one hell of an upper back workout tool. Grab a broom and hang a pair of shoes from both ends. Lie face-down on the floor with the broom extended overhead. Perform a Superman, lifting your back and shoulders from the floor and raising the weighted broom off the ground. Add weight in the form of towels, soup cans tucked into the shoes, or any other type of weight you can find, and you’ve got a killer upper back workout!


Chairs make it easy for you to do dips, but did you know you can curl the chairs, too? With lighter chairs, you can curl them one per hand, or go two-handed for heavier chairs. You can also use chairs to help you get in a good aided squat or lunge—adding support if you need something to lean on.

Gallon Jugs

Turn those old milk jugs into handy weights. A gallon jug weighs around eight pounds when full, which makes them perfect for some lightweight work at home. Though it’s not the most comfortable for curling, you’ll find they can make an excellent alternative to kettlebells thanks to their natural built-in handle.


Fill them with as much weight as they can carry or as much weight as you need, and you’ve got a highly versatile piece of gym equipment that you can use for dozens of different exercises!

Phone Book

Really, any heavy book will do, such as college textbooks, encyclopedias, or anything with a bit of heft. You can use them for simple exercises like Russian Twists or bodyweight squats, and the book will add a bit of weight to make the workouts a bit harder to complete.

Frying Pans

If you’ve got a couple of old cast-iron frying pans laying around the house, you can turn them into quite the handy weight for your workouts. They’ll be especially useful for working on your arms and forearms, training your grip strength. Pretty much any pan with a bit of heft will work, however, so it’s worth rummaging in your kitchen cabinets to see what kind of pans you can come up with.


A simple ottoman can make a huge difference in your resistance training workout! Throw your back foot up onto the elevated surface and you’re making a lunge more difficult, or use it to perform incline push-ups to make the exercise easier. A solid ottoman can be used as a squat seat, a box jump platform, and even a step-up platform to help you make your workout more difficult.

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