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Alternatives for weights (when you don't have any)

Alternatives for weights (when you don't have any)

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.

This full-body paper towel workout changes everything

This full-body paper towel workout changes everything


It's okay if fancy resistance equipment isn't within your budget. Get creative and grab paper towels or dish rags instead! This full-body paper towel workout by PumpUp member @rachaelgervais can be done on any flat, smooth surface. It's reminiscent of popular TRX group training classes, but you don't need an expensive gym membership to perform the exercises.  With paper towels placed at the bottom of your feet and beneath your palms, simple workout moves become much more challenging. Try our full-body paper towel workout. You'll hardly need to spend a cent and you'll break a sweat! Full body workout with paper towels // The PumpUp Blog

Ab pikes to push-ups

full-body paper towel workout gif - Ab pikes // The PumpUp Blog

Begin with your body raised in a plank position. The paper towels should be positioned beneath your feet, toward your toes. Engage your abs and push your hips upward toward the ceiling, bringing your lower body toward your chest and keeping your legs straight. Slide your feet back into a raise plank position, then lower your body down towards the floor. Do a push-up, keeping your elbows pressed at the sides of your body. Repeat 12 times.

Push-ups with leg jacks

Plank leg jacks - Full-Body paper towel workout gif // The PumpUp Blog

Begin in a raised plank position, with the paper towels positioned at the ball of each foot. Lower your body straight down toward the floor. As you do so, slide both feet laterally and outward past the sides of your body. As you bring yourself back up to plank, push your arms straight up and slide both feet back to center. Repeat 12 times.

Mountain climbers to leg jacks

Mountain climbers - Full-Body Paper Towel Workout gif // The PumpUp Blog

Start in a raised plank and keep the paper towels at your feet. Drive one knee toward the opposite shoulder, sliding your foot as you go. Return to plank and immediately repeat with the other leg. Bring foot back to center and slide both legs outward, extending past the sides of your body. Repeat 12 times.

Paper towel push-ups

Paper towel push-up gif // PumpUp Blog

Keep the paper towels beneath the palms of your hands. Lower your body toward the ground and slide your hands out past the sides of your body, in a wide-grip push-up position. Promptly bring your body back up to a raised plank, sliding both arms back to center. Make sure to keep your spine straight throughout the entire movement. Legs remain stationary and together, extended straight behind you.

Loved this full-body paper towel workout? This modification is an inexpensive, yet effective way to make bodyweight exercises much more challenging. Do the moves slowly and with caution in order to avoid injury. Try any of these exercises today and let us know what you thought of them in the comments below!

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit

Introducing the cutest way to eat your fruit this Easter : cookie cutter fruit


We love a good cookie. If they're made healthier, that's even better. But sometimes we need to learn to put the cookie down (it isn't easy, trust).  If anybody ever told you that cookie cutters should only be used for cookies, they haven't tried it on their fruits. Not only are creatively-cut melons and apples a much more nutritious option to sweeten up your spring meals, they even look presentable enough to bring to a potluck. This idea from PumpUp member latinmarge is absolutely brilliant. Vibrant fruits and colourful shapes come into play as a festive and edible way to celebrate the advent of spring.

6 Pinterest-worthy cookie cutter fruit ideas

Fruit pops

cookie cutter fruit pops

These fruit pops from Bakers Royale will help keep you cool, whatever the weather.

Shamrock smoothie toppers

cookie cutter fruit kiwi had the brilliant idea of using cookie-cutter fruit to top it's refreshing green smoothie recipe, and it literally made our lives. We would consider ourselves lucky to have a sip.

Fruit kabobs

Meat and vegetables aren't the only types of food that shine in the kabob spotlight. Let Mint in the Middle's cookie cutter fruit gleam brightly in the skewer spotlight by serving them as delightful kabobs.

Fruit infused water

cookie cutter fruit infused water

Make your water sparkle with a little flavour and a lot of wonderful shapes. Fruit infused water is perfect for a healthy and refreshing fourth of July celebration.

Fruit bouquets

Nothing says spring like a great bouquet! If you or your significant other is prone to allergies, try making a cookie cutter fruit bouquet instead. Bonus? It's edible. 

Fruit cookies

cookie cutter fruit cookies


If you're gonna go through the trouble of purchasing great cookie cutters, might as well serve the fruits themselves as cookies.

Best fruit for cookie cutters

Look for denser varieties and avoid citrus, as pulp makes it very difficult for cookie cutter blades incise most citrus fruits in a precise shape.

  • Watermelons, and other melons - Cut the watermelon into large, flat, round slices. Remove peel, lay slice flat on a cutting board, and gently trim into desired shape
  • Kiwi - Peel kiwi and slice into discs of equal circumference. Use smaller cookie cutters with kiwis (because when in your life will you ever encounter a kiwi as big as a watermelon? Didn't think so).
  • Apples - Peel and slice apple into flat pieces. Rub each slice with lemon to avoid browning. Cut with smaller, star shaped cookie cutters

What are your favourite ideas for getting creative with your cookie cutters? Let us know by sharing about it with the PumpUp community!



What (or who) helps you track your progress to measure what you’ve accomplished so far? Whether it’s a journal, sticky notes, or a mantra that you repeat to yourself every morning, share a photo of something that’s keeping you on track to achieve your resolutions and goals! New member @fitness_bunny puts exercise tasks in this jar and completes a few every day. Neat, right?

Full #MyResolution photo challenge here: