Gym equipment swaps to keep you fit at home

Workout equipment doesn’t have to be fancy – everything from baked beans to stockings can help you elevate your home workouts, says celeb trainer Tiffiny Hall.

Improvisation is key when it comes to ramping up your home workouts, says fitness guru Tiffiny Hall.

“There are plenty of basic items around the home you can use for a serious workout, it’s just about getting creative,” says the mum of one and founder of online health and fitness program

Carving out just 20 minutes in your day for exercise can make a “massive difference” to your physical and mental health, as well as your immune system, says Tiff.

How to set up your makeshift home gym

Can’t get to the gym? No worries.

“Number one, your body is a great gym and your own body weight can create resistance,” says Tiff.

The 35-year-old suggests creating a designated workout area in the home or garage with a towel or workout mat.

Next, raid your pantry and cupboards for stand-in gym equipment. Everything from bottles of milk to your couch can help you mimic pumping iron.

tiff hall gym equipment substitutes

Simple at-home alternatives for gym equipment

Free weights

“Use cans of soup or baked beans as dumbbell substitutes or to box with – they’re comfortable to hold and are the right sort of weight,” says Tiff.

“If you want to up the ante, try a wok or heavy pan as a kettlebell alternative. A basketball can replace a medicine ball.”

Steps and benches

Turn a large pot upside down and you’ll have yourself a sturdy step.

“And use your couch or coffee table for triceps dips and Bulgarian squats,” says Tiff.

Resistance bands

For some calorie-torching leg and glute work, Tiff suggests using a cheap pair of stockings in place of resistance bands.

“Just tie them around your legs and get going with squats or leg extensions,” says the former Biggest Loser coach.


Use plastic plates or magazines on the floor for a DIY slider when you want to add resistance to exercises like skaters and knee tucks.

Creating a home workout routine is key

Home workouts have exploded in popularity this year as coronavirus lockdowns have forced many people out of gyms.

Melbourne-based Tiff says lockdowns have been tough, but it’s important to keep up a fitness routine to stay physically and mentally well.

“I know finding motivation in these circumstances can be really difficult but if you can just press play and start with small steps, you can help create a routine that you’ll enjoy,” she says.

“You can even take it out to the back garden or a local park when the weather is good.”

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Written by Liz McGrath.