11 Workout Moves You Can Do With Everyday Objects You Have at Home
Exercising at home? These two all-star trainers demonstrate how to easily turn your home into a gym that provides a full-body workout.
How to get a good workout at home
Celebrity trainers Amanda Kloots and Tal Cohen know a thing or two about staying in shape no matter where or how busy you are. When she’s not training clients at Studio B in New York City or filming workout videos, Kloots is traveling the globe for special events. Cohen picked up his stay-in-shape-anywhere skills when he served as a combat soldier in the Israeli army. Here the two personal and group fitness trainers show us how to use everyday household items to sneak in a full-body workout when you can’t make it to the gym. That can help keep you healthy in at least two ways—avoiding germy places (the gym is a hotbed) and boosting your immunity with exercise. (Check out these tips from doctors for avoiding colds and flu.)
Curtsy counter knee lift
This move works your legs, glutes, and abs. Kloots suggests thinking of your countertop as a ballet barre. With your left hand holding on to the counter, take your right leg behind in a curtsy position, squeezing your inner thighs as you squat with your left leg. As you lift up, bring your right knee up and around to tap the counter as you pivot to face the counter. Pause, and then repeat. Do 30 reps on each side. (Curtsy lunges are just one of the great leg exercises you can do at home.)
Counter push up with knee pull
“This move works your arms, abs, and legs,” says Kloots. Stand facing the counter about arms’ length away. Lean forward and place your hands on the counter edge, shoulder-width apart; you should be in an upright plank position. Lower your chest toward the counter to do a push up; as you come down, bring your right knee forward, engaging your abs. Pause and then repeat. Do 30 reps on each side.
Opening the oven door
Here’s a fun one that works your glutes and hamstrings. If you have a high oven door handle or towel rack, place your hands on it shoulder-width apart; slightly bend your knees and tuck your hips to start. Lift your left knee into your chest, then lean forward and extend your left leg back behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do 30 reps on each side.
Work your legs with this move: Place your hands on the top of a step ladder and step up with your left leg, then the right. Jump down with both feet at the same time with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart. Do 30 reps starting with the right foot and 30 starting with the left. Want more cardio? Check out the best cardio workouts you can do at home.
Your obliques will benefit from this move, says Kloots: Hold a mop or broom over your head with your arms in a V position. Lean to your right and bend your right elbow to your hip while engaging your core. Repeat on your left side. Do 30 reps on each side.” (Here are more ways to lose fat.)
Overhead towel squat
“Overhead squats not only build all-over-body strength, but they promote stability and mobility, while the towel works to keep your shoulders aligned,” says Cohen. Start standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hands gripping a rolled-up towel overhead. Your hands should be wider apart than your shoulders. Squat down as low as you can without your knees going out past your toes. Return to a standing position. Repeat for 30 seconds. (Here’s how many squats it takes to see results.)
One-arm elevated push-up
Cohen likes doing push-ups with one arm on an incline; he says these elevated push-ups work your chest, shoulders, and triceps more than regular ones. Get in a push-up position next to a stair, box, or other elevated surface and place your right hand on it with your left arm straight, both hands directly below the shoulders. As you squeeze your abs and glutes, lower your body as close to the ground as you can. Pause at the bottom before pushing yourself back up. (Modify this move by placing your knees on the ground.) Repeat for 20 seconds before switching sides. (Here are some more upper-body exercises that don’t require weights.)
Towel Superman rollout
If you don’t have a stability ball or an ab roller, this a great move to target your entire core. Place a mat or towel to on a wood floor or other smooth surface and kneel; put your hands shoulder-width apart on another towel. Flex your glutes and abs and, keeping your back straight, lean forward as you push the towel forward until your arms are as close to parallel to the floor as you can get. Push back to starting position; repeat for 30 seconds.
This move works your abs, glutes, and back, and Cohen says adding a towel not only makes this banana more difficult, it works to keep your body aligned since it prevents your hands from creeping forward. Lie on your back with your legs flat and your arms overhead, hands shoulder-width apart grasping a rolled up towel. Slowly raise up till your arms and legs are lifted toward the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds. (Here’s how these women strengthened their core.)
Towel plank to pike
On a wooden floor or smooth surface, get in plank position with your feet firmly planted on a towel, your back straight (core tight), and your shoulders over your hands. Pressing your hands firmly against the ground, slowly slide your feet forward until your legs are in a pike position. Pause and then slide back to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Next, check out how to do the crab walk for a full-body exercise.
- Amanda Kloots, a former Broadway dancer, Radio City Rockette, and now celebrity trainer
- Tal Cohen, a personal trainer