Let's face it, not all of us have the financial means to take out a gym membership, or even the motivation to get there in the first place! You can still keep in shape by staying put at home and turning everyday household objects into makeshift gym equipment - all for free!

Most of us already have many of these items at home, so there's no excuse not to get started straightaway.

 

Heavy book

If you don't own a medicine ball or weight plate, you can still perform abdominal exercises using a heavy book instead. Simply lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and place the book in your hands extended in front of your chest. Slowly lift up your head, neck and shoulders off the floor, and feel those muscles getting to work in your abdomen.

 

Tin cans

Dumbbells are a gym staple, but if you don't have any at home, improvise with tins of canned food found in the kitchen cupboard. Start with using small tins, and build your strength up to using heavier tins for an impromptu weight-lifting session. Stretch the arm and shoulder muscles by placing the cans in your hands and lifting the arms above the shoulders.

 

Bottles of water

For an even greater work out, fill up bottles of water and hold these in your hands to strengthen and tone arms and shoulders, as you lift the bottles over and above your head.

 

Stairs

Household stairs are a fantastic gym substitute, and they are not just great for running up and down. Use the bottom step to complete box jumps or multiple step-ups to get those calves and ankles in tip-top shape.

 

Chair

A dining room chair makes for a top-notch exercise tool, so use it in a number of ways for strengthening and toning. With your back facing the chair and your hands resting on the seat, use the support of the chair to perform squats. This works muscles in your arms, back, buttocks and legs - you will be surprised at just how effective the humble chair can be at keeping you in shape. Just ensure that the chair you use is sturdy.

 

Cushions

Household cushions or pillows are ideal as alternatives to balance tools; plus, the soft and plump materials that fill them are hard to stand on, making your body work harder to achieve stability and balance. You can use cushions in a variety of ways, and as well as balancing, they can be used during push-ups or split squats.

 

Kitchen broom

Sweeping the kitchen floor with a broom may help to shave off a few calories, but it can be used in a different way altogether to keep your waistline looking trim. Simply hold the broom behind your shoulders whilst seated and twist your sides from left to right, to work those tummy muscles.

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