With gyms across the country closed, retailers have seen an uplift in sales of gym and fitness equipment as Australians look for ways to keep fit at home.

No gym equipment? No problem.

"Our homes are full of everyday items that can double as makeshift gym equipment," says VU Sport Fitness Centre Supervisor, Brooke Olsen.

Do you even lift?

You don’t need dumbbells or kettlebells to do strength training at home. Some alternatives to weights include:

  • shopping bags filled with books or canned food
  • milk bottles filled with water
  • books
  • bricks
  • paint tins
  • bags of sand, flour or sugar
  • pets or children – but only if they’re happy to take part, of course!

Top tip: tie a rubber band around any items that feel slippery – it’ll help you to get a firm grip.

Take the stairs

"Going up and down the stairs is a great cardio workout," says Brooke, "and stairs can also be used for calf raises off the step, as well as step-ups."

For an intense upper body workout, lower steps are great for decline pushups.

You can get a great cardio workout by using the stairs in your house or apartment building.

These four walls

Already climbing the walls? Adding a wall to some exercises is actually a really easy way to up the intensity. Walls can be used for:

Dining room workout station

Dining room tables and chairs are some of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the house.

Chairs are useful for:

A dining room table can double as a suspension training system or parallel bar for doing inverted rows – just check that your table is sturdy enough first.

Team Training is a fun and interactive way to exercise.

Sturdy chairs are perfect for doing dips, among other exercises.

Safety first

"The important thing to note," says Brooke, "is that when you are using alternative equipment, you are using it in a way that is not its main function – so be safe."

"Check that the equipment can handle what you plan to use it for."

Need some company?

While gyms are off limits for now, many of us rely on group fitness classes to keep motivated.

That’s why VU Sport is running daily virtual group fitness classes – for free!