22 October 2020

29 Hacks for Better Home Workouts

Unless you have a fully-stocked home gym, you’re likely stuck with limited equipment for your workouts due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But just because you may not have the dumbbells, weights, or machines you used to, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in a seriously tough workout around your house.

Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. of Athlean-X shared 29 of his home exercise hacks with his YouTube followers, so get ready to have your mind blown with all of the options you already have at your disposal.

“I’m encouraging you guys—don’t let this get you down. The fact that you’re not in your gym right now, doesn’t mean that you should stop working out entirely. There are so many things you can do,” says Cavaliere.

He divides his moves up by location, starting with your kitchen. But if you’re specifically missing out on implements to help load your workout or tools to help you pull off your favorite exercises, he’s got you covered too.

Jugs of water: Cavaliere uses 40-pound Poland Spring jugs for the farmer’s carry, cleans, and Russian twists
Mop/Broom (and 2 chairs): He uses a mop and places it between the two chairs for all kinds of rows to pull yourself on. You can also use the mop for seated ab twists. And finally, grab that mop for stretching and mobilization work. Use it to mobilize your thoracic spine or a morning stretch.
Dog leash: Use this for weighted pullups and dips. “Thread the dog leash through a weight, hook it to itself, put it around your waist, and you’re good to go,” says Cavaliere. Or use it for assisted stretching or use it as a suspension trainer using the mop, simulating a TRX for bodyweight rows.
Tupperware covers: These are a perfect substitute for sliders for ab exercises.

The Kitchen

“You’ve got a wealth of opportunity at your kitchen counter,” says Cavaliere. “Anything that has a corner, you can do a bunch of exercises.”

He likes to do triceps dips, or turn around and do hanging exercises for your abs. From there, you can head to your kitchen table for rows.

“Wider rows, underhand chin curls…there’s a lot of stuff here you can do in your kitchen, you just gotta open your mind to the possibilities,” says Cavaliere.

The Staircase

“When you’re in a gym, you have access to either a bench a or a plyo box to do all kinds of step ups, box jumps, or different things for your legs. You have the same capability if you just look at your own staircase,” says Cavaliere.

Take advantage of the height elevation of the steps by jumping up two steps at one time or stepping up two steps at one time. For upper body, try decline pushups by utilizing your staircase.

The Doorway

This spot actually provides you an opportunity to work an area of your body that tends to be more difficult to work at home: your back. “We even can do some work for our shoulders too,” says Cavaliere.

For your back, as long as you have a stable jamb, you can do chin ups, pull ups, or a even row variation using the door frame and a step.

For your shoulders, press into the door frame to get an isometric contraction for the deltoid.

The Floor (Hardwood, Tile)

Just slip on some socks and use the lack of friction to try the hamstring bridge and curl. “This is one of my favorite ways to overload the posterior chain,” says Cavaliere.

You can also try some ab work, or work your upper body and back with a pull up simulation.

Your Laptop

Cavaliere points out the importance of having access to the internet, where you can find programs like his to stay active. Make sure you keep up with his workouts—and everything you can find here on Men’s Health, too, of course—to keep moving.

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Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention, and is currently a freelancer writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness.

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