How to: set up a DIY gym at home Advertisement

How to: set up a DIY gym at home

Our guide to shaping up at home

By ELLE team  July 29th, 2015

A gym membership is expensive, but home workout equipment isn’t cheap, either. If you want to stay fit on the fly, check your cupboards for these items that’ll double as weights, bands, and other exercise aids.

Ketchup bottle

Use this, or any other bottle of similar heft, instead of weights for your arm exercises. The uneven weight in these bottles can actually exercise more muscles than a solid weight.


Use a sturdy, hardbacked chair for multiple workouys, including tricep dips – turn your back to the chair and use the seat as a grip as you lower and raise your hips.


You can use stairs simply to do climbing or running sets on, or increase your cardio workout by doing lunges at the base of the stairs (using a second or third step). Or, using the second step as a base for your palms, stretch and bring each leg up to the step one by one.

A towel

Towel exercises require a little bit of self-motivation – they’re only as effective as you let them be – but can deliver impressive results. Grip opposite ends of a thick towel tightly while you do crunches and other ab exercises.

A sheet

Did you know that you can work out without any equipment and also fulfill a patriotic duty? Yoga exercises (or Pilates, if you prefer) require, at most, a sheet thrown over the carpet. Positions, stretches, and breathing exercise are easy to find online. 


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