The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: DIY Fitness Equipment

Skip the gym and use these household items to squeeze in a great workout.

Medically reviewed in November 2022

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a gym membership or expensive equipment to get into shape. Here are some do-it-yourself tips to help anyone wanting to get into shape.

DIY weights
Instead of splurging on a clunky weight set, get creative: Substitute smaller canned goods for lighter weights and use larger canned goods to challenge yourself. Fill water bottles, gallon jugs or even laundry detergent containers to pump that iron. You can fill these containers with things you have around the house such as water, sand or rocks.

DIY stepper
Did you find the perfect step workout on YouTube but you don’t have a stepper? Not to worry. You don’t have to spend money or waste space on one of those bulky steppers. The stairs in your house or apartment are an easy solution. But if you don’t have stairs, use a short stool or low bench. You can even make a stepper out of phone books. Glue or wrap tape around two of them for each foot for a good workout.

DIY gym bench
Sure, having a gym bench at home might look fancy, but there’s no need to invest in something that takes up a bunch of space (especially when you have alternative options handy). Try these exercises with just a chair:

Chair dips: Work your shoulders and triceps with this easy exercise. Sit at the edge of your chair, keep your arms by your sides, palms on the edge of the seat, and your fingers over the edge. Move your body weight forward off the chair and lower yourself down. That’s one repetition. Shoot for three sets of 10 reps.

Knee tucks: Strengthen your core muscles by sitting tall with your chest broad and shoulders down. Brace yourself by holding on to the sides of the chair and lean back slightly, tightening your abs. Pull one of your knees toward your chest. Lower that knee as you raise your other knee and repeat, alternating sides. Do three sets of 10.

Leg extensions: Give your hips and thighs a workout by sitting in a chair keeping your arms by your sides. Extend one of your legs straight out and flex your foot, then lower your leg. After 10 reps, repeat with your other leg. Go for the magic number, which is three sets of 10 for each leg.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. You don’t have to do all these exercises at once. Just starting with one or two, then working your way up, will make a difference in how you feel.

Learn how to incorporate fitness into your life through yogadesk exercisesstretchingfamily fitness and more.

This content originally appeared on Well-Being Hawaii.

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