Thinking Outside the Box with an Unconventional Home Workout

By Angie Hurley, CSCS, CAT(C)

During this unprecedented time, there is a lot of uncertainty. But one thing is certain. We don’t need to attend a gym to do an effective workout. Here is a unconventional home workout you can do in the comfort of your home, perfect for social distancing. :)

Do 3-5 rounds of each of the following exercises. Go from one exercise to the next with minimal rest (e.g., just enough time to set up and move to the next exercise). Once you get to the last exercise, start over again! Time yourself and let us know how many rounds and your time!

1) Facecloth Slide Lunge

  • On hardwood, linoleum, or tile use a face cloth as your slider
  • On carpet use a paper plate, a plastic container cover, a frisbee, etc.
  • With one foot on your makeshift slider, push that leg back until slightly less than fully extended, bending the front stance leg
  • To stand tall again, drive down through the front bent stance leg
  • Do 10 reps per leg (cat optional, lol)

2) Mop Bucket Suitcase Farmers Carry or March

  • Fill a cleaning or mop bucket with a handle about half-way
  • Carry it in your left hand, 30 paces, then your right hand 30 paces
  • Standing and marching in place is cool too if you don’t have much room to walk
  • Ensure to keep your hips and shoulders level, staying tall. Caution: Leaning too far away from the bucket or into the bucket will cause splashing!

3) Backpack Squat

  • Fill your backpack with some books, cans of soup, bag of rice or sack of potatoes…
  • Feeling adventurous? Wear a backpack on your back and hold a duffle in front!
  • With feet at shoulder width, squat by sitting to parallel then standing tall.
  • Do 20 reps

4) Water Jug/Bag Windmill

  • With a 4L jug (water bottle, container etc) in one hand, half kneel, one knee down, one knee up – both at 90 degrees, with the jug held overhead
  • A heavy-ish shopping bag will work too!
  • Keeping the jug overhead, reach down to the side with the empty hand, and then come back to being tall through the torso
  • Do 10 reps per side

5) Shopping Bag “Kettle Bell” Swing

  • Using a reusable shopping bag, where you trust the handles, fill with heavy items (rice, potatoes, or others listed above)
  • Standing with feet shoulder width apart, hinge at the hip to bend forward
  • Then squeeze the glutes and push the hips through as you stand tall, raising the shopping bag to chest height
  • Receive the bag in between the legs and snap your hips forward to stand tall for the next rep
  • Do 15 reps


A 4-min and 25-sec song that will have you wishing for Assault Bike intervals instead…

Do jumping jacks for the entirety of Jump (For my Love) by the Pointer Sisters. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, do a squat jump every time the song says the word “JUMP!”

Have fun with this workout and be safe out there.

~Angie 🏋️‍♀️

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