I'm sure that I'm not the only one who finds themselves slightly at a loss when bodyweight exercises no longer produce the results that I need, but it isn't affordable to invest in regular gym memberships or various kinds of resistance equipment. I found ways to work with my situation and decided it was time to share a few alternatives for weights. I would also love to hear how others solve this dilemma!
Alternatives to weights (when you don't have any) // The PumpUp Blog

Books! I do not have a TV. But, I derive much of my self entertainment and education from books (and I have many). Sometimes I use my 20-lb. ancient dictionary while I do Russian twists, step ups, lunges, et cetera. Other times I use my two 8-lb. modern dictionaries as dumbbell alternatives. A new idea that came to my attention was to fill tote bags with books and hang them off the ends of a household broom for weighted squats, as well as other leg and booty work.

Inversions! For upper body exercises, I do vertical push ups with my feet against the wall for stability. This is a great arm and shoulder challenge for those of us who have not yet accomplished the handstand.

Alternatives to weights (when you don't have any) // The PumpUp Blog

Logs! My fiancé and I found various sized parts of trees that had been cut and I incorporated them into our routine. One of my favorites was dead lifting a particularly heavy green log. The more wet the wood, the heavier, the better!

Boxes of stuff! You can fill different sized boxes or totes with a variety of heavy objects and hold them in your arms during leg and some ab routines. You just have to see what’s possible.

Alternatives to weights (when you don't have any) // The PumpUp Blog

Pets! One of my favorite methods from social media: seeing fitspirational folks use their pets while they workout. They just pick up their dog for some squats-it just depends on what your furry friend can handle! On a side note, when I was a kid growing up on the farm, I would carry newborn calves up from the pasture to the barn every summer, about half a mile, and would do lunges on the way. Some calves were more cooperative than others: sometimes it was more of an upper body workout just to keep them on my shoulders while they were kicking and wiggling!

Slowly, you can build up your collection of real weight equipment by buying a medicine ball here, and a dumbbell there. Just as you keep improving yourself, you can improve your equipment. And have fun getting creative with your alternatives for weights! Sometimes that’s simply motivation enough to get up and do it!
This post about alternatives for weights was penned by PumpUp member @bodysoulspiritfitness, a teacher and movement artist with a passion for healthy living and adventure. Follow her blog here.