Household Items To Replace Gym Equipment — Cheat Sheet

Posted by Ryderwear HQ on

Now that the world has moved to at home workouts, we want to try and make the transition as smooth as possible. We have gotten creative and made a couple of lists to show you that it's not all doom and gloom!

Our first list is for those who are wanting to be resourceful and utilise household items as a replacement for gym equipment. 

Our second list is for those wanting to know what our top equipment purchases to expand on a mini at home gym, and take home workouts to the next level. 

So let's get started! Believe it or not, your house is full of items that can be used as ‘gym equipment’ and we have complied our most creative swaps for you to make the most of: 

Household equipment ideas:

Upper body 

  • Fill a backpack with heavy books to load pull up variations if you have access to a bar or anything similar. 
  • Use a chair or coffee table for movements like tricep dips, incline/decline push ups, elevated peak push ups. 
  • Use a filled bottle or can for a lightweight lateral raise and any upper body posterior work. 
  • Fill two material shopping bags with items to use as “kettlebells” for movements like farmers walks to promote core stability through your hips and trunk. 
  • Use a sports bag full of books for front shoulder press, bent over row and floor press. 

Lower body 

  • Hold two heavy bags of rice on each shoulder for walking lunges. 
  • Skateboard for kickbacks. 
  • Fill a backpack with heavy books to load for back squats and good mornings. 
  • Sports bag full of books for deadlifts, RDLs, goblet squats, front rack lunge variations. 
  • Bulk pet food (eg. 10 kilo) to put on hips for hip thrusts and glute bridges. Don’t forget isometric and single leg variations too. 
  • Use a mop or broom for mobility.  
  • Socks/tupperware lids and floorboards/laminate surfaces for sliding exercises like glute bridge hamstring curls, ab rollouts, knee tucks, pikes, reverse lunges and lateral lunges.
  • Coffee table or any stable elevated surface for step up variations and hip thrust variations. 


  • Use stairs for running up and down. 
  • Go for a run around the block. 
  • Instead of steady state running, try some tempo running, fartlek (tempo cardio with active recovery) and/or interval running. 
  • Try combining a bunch of body weight movements together that target as many areas of the body as possible. Try to stick to compound movements like squats, lunges, core and combination exercises like burpees. Combine these together in a circuit or HIIT workout and you’ll be a sweaty mess for all the right reasons.

Now to our next list! If you are wanting to purchase some essential pieces of equipment from department stores, these are what we recommend: 

Top equipment purchases for your mini home gym: 

With just a set of dumbbells or a heavy power band we can immediately introduce a variety of exercises that would usually get neglected with having no equipment available. If you are wanting to up the ante with your home workouts, these are the pieces of equipment to do just that!

- Interchangeable dumbbells: You can create so many different workouts with simply a pair of dumbbells. Easily adds weight to any lower body movements, as well as adds load for upper body movements as well. Furthermore it makes training back a lot easier too. 

- Power Bands/Booty Bands: Like dumbbells, entire workouts can be created from bands. Booty bands are great for activating the glute medius, which tend to get neglected. It's the stabiliser muscle of the hip, meaning it's important for hip joint health and function, particularly for the office worker who sits in the same position for long periods of time. Power bands are great for introducing back focused movements like bent over rows, and adding resistance to squats, thrusters, bicep curls, tricep extensions. 

- Skipping rope: Making cardio a little more interesting at a reasonable price. Want an extra burn? Try supersetting skipping with a body weight movement for an advanced cardio session. 

- Swiss Ball: What we love most about a Swiss Ball is it can be used as a bench for pressing movements, decline/incline push ups, hamstring curls, hip thrust variations, ab crunches and planking variations. It is also great for core and joint stability! By doing movements such as planks or push ups on an unstable surface makes for a great challenge.

- Medicine Ball: While this one is a bit more of a luxury, but it never hurts to spoil yourself. Add a medicine ball to your push ups or planks for added shoulder stability. For your core exercises like crunch variations, sit up variations and Russian twists, it will add load and really increase intensity. 

But of course, one of the most important pieces of equipment for home workouts is your activewear. There is nothing more motivating than training in fresh workout gear! 

Above, WBFF Pro Maya Basse is rocking the Freestyle Seamless collection. It's designed to have a weightless, unrestricted feel, with a super flexible seamless knit fabric providing freedom of movement for your home workouts. Shop the range here!

There are no excuses! Keep up your fitness game by adapting to your new found routine. If you have a bench and a floor, you’ve got a gym. Get creative with your workouts and show us what you come up with. Tag us on Instagram @pushhfit or @ryderwear so we can see you PUSHHing through this challenging time.

Tags:At Home Training