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How to use household items as gym equipment

As part of new social distancing guidelines we’re only allowed to go outside to exercise once per day… and all the gyms are shut.

This is bad news for people who love working out, particularly if you’re following a specific training plan, or if exercise helps to keep you mentally healthy.

Loads of us are turning to living room workouts since we can’t go to the gym, and there are fantastic resources online for hiit sessions, strength sessions and yoga sessions to follow. But the one thing we are lacking is gym equipment.

After just a day or two in lockdown, most of the dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and barbells sold out on Amazon. And if you weren’t in that savvy first wave of shoppers, you might be struggling to find ways to workout effectively without any equipment.

Luckily, a team of elite athletes, including former Olympians, have teamed up with Eastnine’s fitness audio app to share their top tips on working out in lockdown – including how to use household items as your new home gym.

Eastnine coach Ania Gabb has shared her top tips on how to get the best out of your workout, using just a few store cupboard staples and items of furniture.

‘A lot of us aren’t fortunate enough to have access to our own set of dumbbells,’ she tells ‘Although, is it possible to create a gym within our home using furniture and other household items? Absolutely. 

‘With a creative mind, we can have fun and get fit using the objects around us. Here are a few examples:


These can be used as a form of cardio and also as a raised platform for conditioning work.

See how many times you can run up and down the stairs in one minute.

You can use the second step as if it were a PlyoBox – jumping up and stepping down.

The stepscan also be used for knee lifts, as well as raised lunges and push-ups. 


These can be used for so many exercises. You just have to put your mind to it.

Tricep dips, raised push-ups, reverse lunges, jumping jacks, step-ups (if someone is holding the chair), leg raises and single-leg squats.


Bottles of water and baked bean tins can replicate dumbbells. A large bag of potatoes can be used for front squats.


Everyone has that one heavy book. If not, pile up two books together and use them for squat-press exercises.

They can also be used for abdominal crunches.

Bed sheets

These can be tied to your door handle or locked at the top of your door to create a TRX based workout. 

All you have to do is use your imagination and be creative. Who needs a gym when you have access to furniture?

The Eastnine fitness app aims to help people stay fit and focused while they’re in lockdown. It is packed with sessions to support users in getting fitter, running faster and becoming more confident. The sessions are aimed at everyone from beginners to professionals, with useful tips, encouragement and advice from the ‘coach in your ear’.

To support Brits during their time at home, Eastnine has launched a brand-new home-based training plan filled with strength and stretch sessions, aimed at adding structure to long days spent at home.

Over four weeks, users can do nine strength and four stretch sessions with no equipment needed – just a phone, a pair of headphones and a bit of space to work out.

After each session, users can take advantage of the personal journal feature to record how you felt and make notes for next time. Coaches include former military trainer, Vince Ciolino, Tokyo Olympic hopefuls, JJ Jegede and Lewis Richardson and running experts Tashi Skervin-Clarke and Ania Gabb.

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