Why train at home?
How often do you resort to training at home? If you don’t have any equipment, I guess the answer is rarely. However in situations when you can’t go to the gym, like the COVID-19 outbreak, or perhaps due to gym renovations, you’ll be left without many other options. Unless you’re about to visit a commercial gym, you can actually use everyday objects found around the house to get a great workout!
Everyday household items that you can use as workout equipment
When it comes to training at home, people think of push-ups and bodyweight squats, and of course, they instantly lose the desire to do anything. However, training at home does not have to be boring or monotonous. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be bodyweight training!
It doesn’t matter if you do not have access to any specific training equipment since you have much more workout equipment than you might think. All you need to do is be a little bit creative with what you have lying around!
This one is fairly obvious. They don’t have to be water jugs per se, anything you have that has a handle and can hold at least 10-20 lbs (4.5-9 kgs) of liquid will do the trick.
If you think these won’t be heavy enough for you, try doing isometric holds or 21’s. For 21’s, you start at the top of the motion and lower the weight halfway for 7 reps. Right after that, you do 7 reps starting from halfway and ending at the bottom. Finally, you do the final 7 reps with a full range of motion. there’s no rest between.
The exercises you can do are endless, from basic bodybuilding type stuff like a dumbbell (water jug) flies to farmer carries or even kettlebell-like exercises.
Since we’re talking about conditioning style training, I’ll skip over putting a gi on a chair and trying to do drills with it. It can be done though!
However, when it comes to at-home workout equipment, chairs are your dips and push-ups station. In fact, think of them as parallel bars.
You can use the backrest to do full-body dips or hold L-sits, for example. Or, you could also place your hands on the seating area and do deep push-ups, which are definitely challenging. You can also set up chairs so that you do triceps dips as well as front dips. Finally, by adding a stick you now also have a spot for inverted bodyweight rows.
Yeah, you read that right. Towels are something you can use to train at home when you don’t have any professional equipment. What can you do with towels? Everything that you can do with an ab wheel and then some.
The moves you can do with towels are called sliders. Towels are the perfect tool to help you slide over surfaces like wood or marble floors. The ab wheel is a great example of an exercise you can substitute with just a towel.
Your BJJ Gi
Since you already train BJJ, why not do some BJJ specific work? After all, you’re bound to have at least a couple of Gis to use as at workout equipment.
The gi is perfect for pull-ups. It may be difficult to find a way to set it up, but propping a strong stick on the top of the door, or finding anything to slide a Gi jacket through will do the trick.
If you want to get strong for BJJ, do pull-ups while holding onto the collars. If you want to get even stronger, hold the sleeves at the triceps level, like when gripping, and then do pull-ups. And, of course, if you want to be world-class, use sleeve grips at the very ends… Good luck with these last ones!
These are fairly easy to find and many people have them at home. However, even if you’re stuck without them, you can fashion a resistance band out of old bicycle tires or any other rubber material you come by. Anything can double as a handle to attach them to a door and you’re ready for a full-body workout.
Apart from doing every imaginable upper body exercises, and even squats and deadlifts you can also train BJJ specific movements with bands. Try shooting for single legs with them, or do reps on any Judo throw entry you cаn think of.
Your Pet, Sibling, or Significant Other
This is where things get fun. In a modern gym setting, you’d be using a sandbag. However, since the theme is at-home workout equipment, you need to get creative. If you want to use some external weight, turn to your pet, sibling, or even significant other (if you can convince them!).
Simply picking them up from the ground and returning them there can be quite a workout. However, squat variations, like Zerchers, are going to challenge even the strongest amongst you, particularly when done with a slightly unruly pet. Bench pressing, deadlifting, and even rowing (use your BJJ belt as a handle) can be easily done with family members.
If you want to take a bodyweight workout to the next level, use a weighted vest. If you do not have access to one, you make one. Simply get a comfortable backpack, and fill it up with weight. I’d go for salt or sand or similarly dense materials. However, anything will do, even the water jugs from earlier.
As for exercises, you can do anything, From basic bodyweight movements to anything and everything plyometric or explosive that you can think of. Looking for a BJJ workout? Try doing animal drills with a weighted backpack.
A stick is a remarkably versatile workout tool. You can use it along with chairs for bodyweight rows or create a makeshift pull-up bar. Perhaps the best way to use a stick is as a tool for shoulder mobility training.
Have you ever done a gymnastic exercise called the Jefferson curl? It is basically a deadlift that you take way past the negative, by standing on something like a chair. And no, you won’t need any weight, just a regular stick. The same holds true for shoulder mobility movements like dislocators.
If you’re looking for indoor cardio options, you can use a lot of the stuff you have at home as workout equipment. For example, you can run up the stairs if you have them in your house or apartment building. Try switching how you go up, alternating between one-legged hops, sprints, crawls, etc.
Another option (if you are DIY minded) is to create your own stationary bike. As long as the rear wheel is off the ground, you won’t go anywhere. From there on, go as hard and fast as you dare.
Your own body
Last but not least, you can actually skip all the workout equipment and use your own body. Once again the goal is to make things interesting, and not just do more push-ups. Why not look into gymnastics? Exercises like handstand training, planche training, manna progressions, and hollow body holds will challenge anyone!
Check out the exercise called the zombie press and try to recreate it. If you dare.
Training at home can be fun, and there are enough options that you can even switch things up every time you train. As you can see from the examples above, workout equipment is all around you, all you need to do is think outside the box. Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Sound off in the comments section!