Three Pieces of Gym Equipment You Probably Already Have in Your Home

I prefer to workout away from my home.  However, there are times when being at home to exercise is my only option.  Which often happens in summer when my kids are home and I don’t have the flexibility during the day time-wise that I do during the school year.  What can sometimes be a challenge is shelling out money for equipment to use at home, but don’t necessarily want to buy because you won’t use it all that often.

Today I’m going to give you some ideas for a “makeshift” version of three different pieces of equipment.  All using items you likely have in your house already…or can get for very little money.



Purpose:  to use for warmups, build coordination, and as a cardio tool.  I like to use the agility ladder to add some different movement to cardio intervals…I get tired of the same stuff like jump squats, high knees, skaters, and mountain climbers.  You can do some more interesting footwork to get your heart rate up using the ladder, which I appreciate.  You can also do walking planks with it, too–great for promoting shoulder strength and core strength.

Home replacement how-to:  Duct tape on carpet OR painters tape on laminate/wood/tile.  First, stretch out two long lengths of tape to make the ladder sides.  Run them 10 feet or more…whatever you have room for…and about 18-20 inches apart.  Eyeball this–it does not need to be perfect.  Second, create the ladder rungs with lengths of tape between the sides, placing the rungs about 18-20 inches apart.  Again, just eyeball this, perfection not necessary.  That’s it!

Go ahead and setup your interval timer and do any combination of hops, jumps, jacks, shuffles, cariocas for 60 seconds then rest 30-60 seconds.  Great little cardio blast to break boredom.  And you can leave the tape there as long as makes sense for you.  Rip it up and make a new one again at some other time…tape is cheap, so no worries!!  And, this would be super easy to do while traveling, too…easy to pack, lightweight, transportable!


Make-your-own agility ladder

Make-your-own agility ladder


Purpose:  to add instability to an exercise.  When there is the possibility of your base sliding, you are forced to contract your muscles a little differently to hold your body position.  Use the sliders under your hands or your feet in a variety of exercises.  I find the use of sliders really forces me to contract my core even tighter…great bang for your buck timewise!

Home replacement how-to:  Paper plate for carpet OR folded washcloth/towel for laminate/wood/tile.

Exercises where you can add sliders under your feet:  reverse lunge/curtsy lunge, squat thrust, mountain climber, plank jacks, alligator walks, tucks, pikes, body saw

Exercises where you can add sliders under your hands: archer plank (pushup position, slide one hand directly out to the side and return, repeat other side), forward slide outs (same as archer plank but your hands slide directly in front of you versus out to the side), side plank with reach through

You can also easily use the plates/towels when traveling, too!  Most hotels will have a continental breakfast and you could snag a plate or two from there…and of course, the bathroom will have the towels you need.


Make-your-own Valslides

Make-your-own Valslides


Purpose (sandbag): to carry/press/pull an uneven weight which provides a different challenge for muscles; sandbag training is considered to be very functional, meaning in our daily lives we don’t carry perfectly symmetrical loads with  handles…sandbags mimic how we carry heavy things in real life

Purpose (weight vest):  to add additional weight to your frame to increase resistance when training i.e. if you have more weight to move it increases the intensity; adding more weight during cardio work will force your body to use more oxygen and thus help you improve your endurance

Home replacement how-to:  Use a duffle bag (for a sandbag) or a backpack (for a weight vest) and fill it with things like bags of unpopped popcorn, sand, birdseed, books, canned goods, water bottles, etc.  Think about how you intend to use the duffle or backpack because that will determine what makes sense to fill it with.  If you intend to do overhead presses or fireman carries, use softer things like the popcorn seeds or birdseed.  If you intend to wear the backpack for walking or when you are doing stationary exercises like lunges/squats you would be able to use harder filler like books or cans.


Make-your-own sandbag or weight vest

Make-your-own sandbag or weight vest

So there you go!!  Some great ideas for equipment to use at home with little to no extra expense!

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