How to Lift Weights at Home Without Weights

Has your gym closed due to COVID-19? Maybe you want to strength-train, but you don’t want to pay for dumbbells. In any case, there are many other objects you can use instead. From milk jugs to water bottles, it’s time to get a little creative if you want to lift weights at home – without weights.

1. Resistance Bands

This equipment isn’t a household item, but it’s still an effective way to create tension throughout a workout. A quality resistance band set shouldn’t cost more than $30, so they’re less expensive than dumbbells. Plus, they’re much easier to use if you’re new to workouts that require large weights. 

There’s a smaller chance that you’ll push yourself too hard when you use a resistance band. You can try resistance bands for most workouts, whether you want to concentrate on your abs or legs. You’ll only ever need to use one band, so exercises are very manageable.

2. Heavy Textbooks

If you have any thick textbooks on your bookshelves, it’s time to dust them off. You can use them as a replacement for dumbbells whenever you want to work out your arms. Try to find two textbooks with similar weights so that you exercise each arm equally. You could squat with textbooks, too.

You may find that it’s easier to hold a bag filled with textbooks because there’s a handle. Start with one textbook at a time so that you don’t overexert yourself.

3. Canned Foods

It turns out that canned foods work well as weights. They typically weigh around 16 ounces, which amounts to one pound. If you’ve never used weights before, it’s smart to start with smaller weights so that you can build muscle slowly. In fact, there’s not always a huge difference when you choose heavier weights over lighter weights.

Try canned soup or beans. You can also try larger items like canned tomato sauce if you can grip them without any trouble. Like the textbooks, fill a backpack with canned goods when you want to squat.

4. Milk Cartons

Most people have milk on hand, whether they prefer cow, almond or oat milk. In any case, milk cartons can work as an effective substitute for weights. Make sure that the cap stays tight enough throughout your workout session.

A small carton works well for curls and presses. If you choose a gallon jug, you’ll be able to lift more weight – and you’ll have a handle to grip. This size can be beneficial when you want to do squats or step-ups. Choose whatever you have on hand.

5. Cinder Blocks

If you have cinder blocks, they’re a helpful tool for whenever you want to add weights to a workout. You can also use loose bricks. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that you can grip the block tightly enough. If it’s too uncomfortable, it’s a smart idea to skip it.

Like other larger weights, you can lift these as you squat for added benefits. You shouldn’t try to lift these to the side or over your head. You can place a soft mat under yourself as you lift. This way, you won’t damage your floor if you drop the block.

Use These Ideas to Lift Weights When You Don’t Have Weights

You don’t need to have weights to lift weights! A few inexpensive objects can work whenever you want to add weights to your routine.