How to Exercise With Homemade Weights


You can improve your fitness level by exercising for just a few minutes a couple of times each week. Exercising with light weights can help to improve posture and balance, burn calories, reduce the risk of suffering low back pain or other injury, as well as reduce the risk of osteoporosis. There are lots of things around your home that you can use as weights. Follow these steps for using homemade weights to do arm curls.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 empty milk cartons
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Pennies
  • Marbles
  • 2 unopened canned goods
  • Set of candlesticks
  • Fabric tote bags with handles
  • 5 lb. bag of flour or sugar
  • Make your own handheld weights by filling empty milk cartons with water. Use either 1/2-gallon or 1-gallon jugs with handles. Fill with sand, pennies or marbles if you want to work out with heavier weights. Hold one jug in each hand.

  • Fill up two socks with pennies. Knot each sock at the top and hold in your hand to lift. Even a set of candlesticks or two unopened cans of soup from your pantry will do in a pinch. Larger cans can weigh up to 2 pounds.

  • Place a 5-pound bag of flour or sugar in a small fabric tote bag and lift it by the handles to work your biceps. If you can handle the weight, try lifting a bag in the other hand as well.

  • Sit or stand holding weights in both hands by your sides, palms facing forward. Bend your knees slightly if you are standing.

  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your elbows at your sides. Contracting abdominal muscles gives your spine support during exercise.

  • Breathe normally. Do not hold your breath, as you lift the weights. This can cause your blood pressure to rise. Exhale as you lift, and then inhale as you bring the weights down.

  • Bend your elbows to lift the weights. Count to three. Bring the weights down slowly counting to four. Be careful not to move your shoulders. The goal is to control your movements, as the most benefit comes when you bring the weights down.

  • Begin by doing 8 to 12 repetitions at least once each week. As you get stronger, increase your weight lifting routine to 2 to 3 times each week. You can also increase the number of sets. A general rule of thumb is to allow one day of rest following each day you lift. It's important not to work the same muscles two days in a row.

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