How to Exercise at Home With Things You Already Have

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Want to get a workout in at home, but don’t have any special equipment? Here’s one you can do using common household items. Let’s get creative!

Note: Each exercise can be done with 2-4 sets of 6-12 repetitions each, depending on your fitness level.

Paper plates

Use the cheap, thin ones. (They work best on a wood floor.)

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Plank Jacks

In a plank position, place the balls of your feet on top of the plates. Keeping a strong upper body and core, and keeping your legs straight, move your feet out and in, like a jumping jack.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

In and Out Planks

In a tall plank position, place the balls of your feet on top of the plates. Bring your knees toward your chest, tightening your abs while keeping your back flat, and then extend your legs back out to the starting position.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Hamstring Curls

Lying on your back, place your heels on top of the plates. Lift your hips as you slide your heels toward your body, bending your knees, and then straighten them back out, with your hips still lifted.


You’re about to lie on the floor, so you might as well sweep the floor first before doing this workout. 🙂

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)


Holding a broom with both hands a little wider than shoulder’s width, lie on your stomach on the floor. Lift both your upper and lower body up off the ground for two seconds, then lower back down.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Broom Ab Twist

Holding the broom with both hands, sit down on the ground, hinge back, and lift your legs off the ground. Twist your body as you alternate bending and straightening legs.

Bag of laundry (or large bag of dog/cat food)

The more laundry the better (heavier)!

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)


Place your bag of laundry (or large bag of dog food, etc.) over your shoulders. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees down in a squat, keeping your weight in your heels, and don’t let your knees move in front of your toes. Squeeze your glutes as you come back up to standing.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Reverse Lunges

Place your bag of laundry on your shoulders. Standing with feet hips-width apart, step back with one foot into a reverse lunge. Make sure your front knee doesn’t move in front of your toes, and that your back knee hovers a few inches above the ground. Come back up to standing, and alternate legs.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Plank Laundry Bag Drags

In a tall plank position with your laundry to one side of you, reach your hand under your body to grab the bag and drag it through to the other side. Hold your plank strong the whole time. Alternate sides.

Laundry Detergent

Use detergent with a handle — and, obviously, the fuller it is, the heavier and harder the workout will be!

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)


Hold the detergent with both hands. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down while bending both knees — keeping your chest open and putting your weight into your heels — and then stand and press up through a shoulder press, lifting the detergent toward the ceiling. Lower your arms back to start position and repeat.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)


Like kettlebell swings, but with detergent instead. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the detergent by the handle with both hands. Swing the detergent between your legs as you bend legs in a squat, then straighten your legs and swing your hands up only to shoulder level as you press your hips forward, squeezing your glutes. Keep going in a continuous motion.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Single Leg rows

Stand on one leg and hold the detergent in your opposite hand. Tilt your hips back until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Pull the detergent up to your hip while keeping your balance. After 6-12 reps, switch to the other side.

(Image credit: Emma Lovewell)

Tricep Extensions

Stand with the detergent held by both hands overhead. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Slowly use both hands to lower the detergent behind your head, bending your elbows, and then squeezing your triceps extend your arms long again overhead.

Emma Lovewell is a fitness and wellness guru currently splitting time between New York and California. When she’s not creating workouts, you can find her working on her blog,