5 Things Around the House That REALLY Give You a Good Workout

Carly Pizzani | Jan 15, 2014 Healthy Living

mom baby workout
How much does a can of soup weigh? Not enough for it to be a valuable at-home weightlifting prop. Any can in your cupboard is going to be somewhere between 10 and 18 ounces, so you would be roughly lifting a pound. Now, you know I’m not the biggest fan of Tracy Anderson’s style of training, but even she recommends lifting at least three pounds! 

So forget all those articles you’ve seen on how you can use soup cans or water bottles as weights for your workout in your own living room. Here instead are some household objects that are heavy enough to get a good workout done in your own living room!


  • Vacuum Cleaner


    The average vacuum cleaner weighs somewhere between 12 and 20 pounds. While it might not work for really heavy lifting, your vacuum is a great prop to hold for adding weight to squats or front raises with your arms if you really want a shoulder workout!

  • A Box of Books


    Don't lift just one book -- lift a whole box of them! We all know that moving is hard work. All those boxes are no fun, and you generally feel pretty sore the day after moving, thanks to the box workout! Re-create the experience by packing a moving box with heavy books. You can find one with handles to make picking it up less awkward. Hold the box and do squats, deadlifts, lunges, or step-ups (if you have stairs in your home).

  • Your Couch


    I’m not suggesting you do a strong-man style workout and try to carry a couch on your back. But you can use your couch as a lever weight. Squat down next to one end of the couch, your fingers curled under the end, then lift as you stand up. Take your time lowering back down and ensure you’re using your legs rather than your back for the lift.

  • Backpack


    Backpacks are designed to hold heavy weights, so grab one and load it up with whatever you have around that will add weight. More than ONE soup can is just one idea for you! You can either wear it on your back or your front to do some basic strength training moves in your living room.

  • Your Child!


    Kids make awesome weights. Not only do they just get heavier, they usually think it’s fun to be lifted and swung about! Here’s where your upper body will really benefit, since your little one is the perfect way to get a bench press, overhead press, or mimic a kettlebell swing.

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