Making Your Own Workout Gear

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Channel that inner MacGyver!

When I was a teenager, I wanted a set of dumbbells I could use for curls while doing homework or watching TV, but I didn’t have money to buy a real set. So instead of doing something sensible like getting a part-time job, I opted to flex my imagination! I pulled two big iced tea jugs out of the recycling bin, filled them to the brim with water, then used duct tape to secure the caps and create comfortable handles. Boom, instant dumbbells. If for whatever reason you find yourself lacking in necessary funds to procure exercise equipment, then don’t fret! There are numerous household objects and doodads that can work in a pinch.

If you’ve got some flour or sand you aren’t using and a few plastic bags (and let’s be honest, every home in America has a big ball of plastic bags somewhere), you can create an ersatz kettle bell. Just fill a bag with powder, layer on a few extra bags to keep it sturdy, tie it tight, then add one or two more bags so you have handles. Swingin’!

Got a jacket you don’t wear anymore? Tie it to a sturdy fixed point and pull back on it until it supports your body weight. Voila, instant TRX bands! Just make sure the jacket is made of a sturdy material, lest it tear and land you flat on your butt.

Stuck at home with the kids? Good news, children are heavy! Have one of ’em sit on you while you do push-ups, or hold them on your back while you do squats. You get a good burn, and it’s also a family bonding moment.