Home > Home Fitness > DIY Exercise Equipment

DIY Exercise Equipment

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 31 Jul 2010 |
Diy Exercise Equipment

Exercise equipment can be expensive, but there are ways to make DIY exercise gear at home and save money. Be careful with tools, and take care when lifting and throwing heavy things.

DIY Weights

Weight training is a good way to build muscle tone and strength, but hand-held weights can be very expensive. Plastic milk cartons with handles (or the plastic laundry liquid or fabric conditioner bottles) can work as weights – put them on scales and carefully fill them with water, sand or rice until they reach the right weight. Screw the lids on tightly and secure the lids with tape. The advantage of these is they can be filled to a specific weight, and have a convenient handle. Tins of beans (or other foods) also make good small weights.

Small weights can also be made out of fabric. Make a small fabric bag and fill it with rice, lentils or sand – this makes a small weight for lifting. An old sock filled with sand, lentils or rice, with a knot tied in the end, will work just as well, or the sleeve from an old shirt. Attach ties or elastic – the bag or sock could make a wrist or ankle weight when running, or just walking around the house. Tie them to the end of a broom stick, or a plastic tube filled with sand and sealed at the ends, for lifting.

Make a small slit in an old football or basketball, fill it with rice or sand and seal it up using a patch from a bicycle repair kit. This makes a DIY medicine ball for throwing and catching (if the ball is to be thrown against hard surfaces, it might be an idea to wrap the ball in tape such as duct tape or carpet joining tape, to reinforce the slit and strengthen the ball), or holding during sit ups and abdominal twists.

DIY Skipping Rope

Skipping is an excellent form of aerobic exercise, and can be lower impact on the joints than running. Use a soft medium-weight rope long enough to reach the floor when held with arms at waist level. Add handles – thread the rope through short pieces of PVC tube or hose pipe, thread on a washer and then knot the rope at the end to stop the handles coming off.

DIY Exercise Mats

Exercise mats can be expensive but floors alone can be too hard for yoga and other floor-based exercises – use a towel, blanket or sleeping bag (or a combination of these) as an exercise mat, or one of the roll-up camping mattresses. Be careful on slippery or polished floors – try putting the blanket on a piece of the non-slip fabric used under rugs.

DIY Exercise Step

Instead of buying an exercise step, use the bottom step or two of the stairs for exercise, or wrap tape around a couple of out of date phone books or a pile of magazines.

DIY Hand Exerciser

Squeeze a tightly rolled-up sock in each hand to strengthen grip.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Irene
    Re: Activities for 3-5 Year Olds
    I like the comments exercise is very important for young children
    8 October 2019
  • Cat
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son is 8 yrs old and was in football club today. When I came to pick him up they were in shorts and t-shirt outside in heavy rain he…
    24 September 2019
  • Dave121
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I see some comments on here saying that PE is compulsory, however, the Education Act of 2002 prohibits the Secretary of State for…
    12 September 2019
  • PeIsBad
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I'm in Year 10 and P.E is made a living hell for me, the girls in the class shout at you and put you down swearing at you and telling you…
    10 September 2019
  • ASN teacher
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    There is more to pe than simply sports. It is good for growing brain cells (for real). It is good for social skills (if delivered…
    25 August 2019
  • ellz
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son went through he'll at school because of his bullying pe teacher my son has a pigeon chest and shortness of breath and is currently…
    6 August 2019
  • Joel
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I’m 12 and PE in my opinion is stupid. To me, it’s an entrance ticket for bullying. My school especially needs to understand not everyone…
    8 June 2019
  • fina
    Re: Active Games for Teens
    wow interesting thanks this is my essay!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    29 May 2019
  • Waleed
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    Im in year 9 and we have 1 double lession a week and in those lessons we are forced to do exercise. The think I hate is the treadmills…
    23 April 2019
  • EndPE
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    PE needs to not be compulsory for GCSE students, if the kids are unfit that's their problem but PE does not and will not help them,…
    26 March 2019