Working Out Without Weights
Weight training is an important part of any exercise regimen, but sometimes going to a gym just isn’t an option. Springing for your own pair of dumbbells or kettlebells to use at home might be more than you can currently afford. Thankfully, there are more DIY (Do It Yourself!) options to get the same kinds of benefits.
Working With What You've Got
For example, you can get a good, full-body workout with a sandbag. If you don’t happen to live in an area prone to flooding, and thus don’t have a handy sandbag in your closet, you can use a backpack, a duffel bag, or even a pillowcase. If you don’t have easy access to a good source of sand in the vicinity of your home, check your local Craigslist. You may be surprised at how many people are selling or even giving away quantities of sand for free.
It’s a good idea to have two or three sand holders of different sizes for different resistance levels. Once you fill up your bag, be sure to seal it tightly with duct tape to prevent leakage.
Being sure to always squat (lift with your legs and not with your back!), try some basic moves like picking up your homemade sandbag, then putting it back on the ground. No problem, right? Once you do four sets of twelve reps, you’ll be feeling it, in a good way. Also try lifting the whole bag over your head, or even doing some bench-presses.
If you have some leftover sand, and maybe a volleyball or soccer ball lying around unused, you can turn it into a medicine ball. Remove the plug with some pliers, fill the ball with sand, and duct-tape the hole. Hold the ball tight in both hands as you do squats to improve your workout. If making a lot of noise isn’t a problem, and there aren’t windows to break, play catch with yourself against the outside of your house. Throw the ball higher for a better workout.
Yardwork For Health!
There’s a simple trick that kept people fit for centuries, long before the rise of gyms: digging. If you’re already a gardener, you know what we’re talking about; shoveling is hard work, but it’s also great for your body, especially if you’re using good form. (Bend from your legs and hips, and be sure not to round your back.) Of course, to do intensive digging, you need to have some land that you don’t mind excavating. If you don’t have a yard to work with, never fear; take a long-handled sledgehammer and use that to mimic shoveling motions.
It’s easy to get a good weight-training workout without what most people would consider traditional weights. All you need is a little imagination, and the desire to be healthy. Go for it!