Move Smarter At Home: Tips and workout routines! – XPAND

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Move Smarter At Home: Tips and workout routines!

How I made a home gym and fitness routine using everyday house items 

Hi, my name is Anthony and I am the Creative & Business Director at Xpand, and I use my passion for photography and business to build amazing partnerships. I am currently focusing on creating initiatives for Xpand to support our communities during this time, you can read more about some of the social initiatives I am working on at

Today, I want to talk about how to maintain a  home fitness routine while we practice social distancing. I know that working from home has been quite an adjustment for a lot of people, but I am here to share some easy home exercises that you can try yourself when you feel that sluggish tiredness set in from lack of movement.  

Going to the gym, lifting weights, and breaking a sweat are extremely therapeutic stress relievers for me. I knew that I needed to find a way to keep my fitness routine while working from home. I spent hours scouring the internet for home gym equipment, but most stores had sold out and used items for sale were marked up two or three times the retail value! It was then clear - I had to figure out a way to make my own gym using everyday house items. 

I spent some time looking around my house for items that could recreate the same movements you do at the gym including deadlifts, lat pulldowns, squats, bench-press, and lateral deltoid raises. 

This is what I found:   

  • A bench ($10 from IKEA
  • Yoga mat for cushioning on the bench
  • Resistance bands
  • Medicine ball for abs
  • Shoes with my Quick-Release Lacing system because I don’t want my workouts interrupted from untied laces, and they can be slipped on with ease
  • A metal bar that acts as a barbell 
  • Reusable bags where I can put weights in (weights could be textbooks, concrete, packets of rice, Paint cans, Milk Jug, Water Jug etc…)
  • Pull up bar
  • A rope to attach the bags and weave through the pull up bar to create a pulley system
  • Large water jugs

I know that everyone’s available space and items vary so this is just to give you an overall idea of what can be used to build your own workout station. Get creative and adjust my tips to fit your own fitness goals and routine. 

My setup allows me to do the following:

  • Bicep Curls
    • Find a metal rod and attach a bag with weights inside. I’ve added resistance bands for additional tension as seen in the photo
  • Lateral Pull downs 
    • Aside from using the pull-up bar with your body weight, you can train your lats by pulling lighter weights using weighted bags. Find a rope you can attach to the weighted bag, sit on the floor, and pull down the ropes from the chin up bar 
    • You can also do tricep extensions, lat pullovers, single arm reverse flies, face pulls…
  • With the bar and bench, you can do the following if you have two  bags with identical weights to put on both ends of the bar
    • Seated shoulder press, bench chest press, skull crushers...
  • With just the bar, you can do the following if you have two  bags with identical weights on both ends of the bar:
    • Deadlifts, bent-over back rows, shoulder shrugs, military press, calf raises 
  • With large water jugs to target the more sensitive muscle groups
    • I found two jugs of distilled water at 4L a piece or about ~9lbs, which is decent enough to complete certain exercises like lateral deltoid raises

There is certainly a way to recreate a lot of the exercises at home that you love doing at the gym. I hope these tips can give you some ideas for what you can do with your household items. Although they might not be your 285lb barbell, it’s a great way to exercise and keep your body active until the gym is open again.

HOWEVER, if there’s one thing that I can show you… in which case you can do anywhere, is my ab circuit.

My ab circuit:

I have 2 versions of my ab circuit, a beginner and an advanced version.

This circuit is based on time and the quality of the reps rather than the quantity. If you need to take a one-second breather, take it. The idea is to focus on the form and the quality of the exercise to feel the burn.

Conduct each exercise for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between them - which is enough time for you to move to the next exercise position. Finish the circuit 3 times, with 1 minute rest between each circuit - unless you want to challenge yourself and jump straight into it again for the second or third time. Set up a stopwatch or timer on your phone to keep track of the timing!

Check out the video that I put together to show you how to do the exercises. 

I hope you find creative ways to use your everyday household items with the ideas above and get a sweat out of my ab video. We hope you enjoy it, comment on our Instagram if you have any fitness tips you want to share with us and our community! 

You can also check out our Youtube for more at-home workouts. 

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