Nine Exercises You Can Do at Home Without Buying Any Equipment

Soup cans, water bottles, or even a child's toy are all you need to complete these exercises

By Alicia Marshall, publisher of Macaroni Kid Scranton, Pa. January 21, 2021

Are you looking for ways to stay fit — without having to leave your house or buy any fancy equipment?

Exercising has many benefits. Not only do you gain muscle, but regular exercise can improve your posture, help you sleep better, gain muscle mass, and boost your metabolism. Plus being strong gives you the stamina you need to not only keep up with, but play hard with your kids!

OK, OK. You knew the benefits already. So what's holding you back? Is it that you don't want to buy all the expensive exercise equipment that comes with working out? 

Please note: Please check with your family doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

We've got you covered there! Here are nine ideas for exercises that you can start doing today at home just using your own body weight or items around-the-house like a soup can or bottle of water:

1. Timed planks

Start with timed planks. Use your phone to time yourself and gradually increase the time. Once you have those down, try some side planks! See how to do a proper plank:

2. Pushups 

Pushups are an excellent exercise that can be done every day. Use a dresser or a countertop to do an elevated pushup. Pushups can be easily modified depending on your skill level, which makes them a great exercise for all!

3. Tricep extensions 

Triceps are located on the back of your arms. Tricep extensions — during which you slowly lower and lift a weight with your arms behind your head — are a great way to tone the area under your arms! Soup cans are a great weight to use when doing tricep extensions.

4. Calf raises 

Calf raises are a super simple but very effective way to shape your legs. Simply stand up straight, then raise your heel until you are standing on your toes. Start with 10 basic calf raises and as you progress you can do them on one leg. Hold onto a dresser if you need help with balance.

5. Situps 

Situps help to tone our middle area. Hold an object (a bag of sugar, a bottle of water, or even a doll!) to add an arm exercise to this workout. 

6. Squats 

Squats can help tone the muscles in your lower body. These muscles are used for almost every daily activity. Start with basic squats to perfect your form. Overhead squats can be done with weights available in your house. For this, you could use a gallon of water, soup cans, or even a child's bookbag.

7. Bicep curls 

Bicep curls will sculpt your arms. These can be done with any type of canned goods or filled water bottles. 

8. Run the stairs

The stairs in your house (or at a park or a stadium) can provide a workout similar to a Stairmaster. Walk — or run! — up and down the stairs three to five times mid-workout to get a cardio boost. Want to make it more challenging? Put a bookbag on your back. 

9. Goblet squats 

Goblet squats are another way to tone your lower body as well as your arms. How to do it: Hold a weight at your chest with both hands and keep your feet hip-width apart. Keep your elbows tucked in and hold your hands together. If you do want to use a weight, try a water bottle or bottle of laundry detergent. Then tighten your core and drop down to a squat! See me do one here:

Make sure to journal your at-home progress — including photos — to help motivate yourself and see how far you have come! Each day that you complete a workout, give yourself kudos for showing up!

Alicia Marshall is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Scranton, Pa.