Are Dumbbells Daunting? Get Creative!

Are Dumbbells Daunting? Get Creative!


So, you want to try strength training and you’d like to work out with weights, but dumbbells seem a bit daunting, and you’re scared elastic tubing could snap you like a rubber band. No worries, there are plenty of other common items that can be used to achieve optimal fitness. Here are some tips on how to use things you typically have around your home or office to strength train.

Water bottle weights are easily accessible and can take the place of dumbbells. Filling them with water will cause some weight displacement, which can help with core stability and balance.

A 16 ounce water bottle is a good size for someone with small hands and will weigh about 1 pound when filled with water; to make it heavier try using saltwater, sand, or other dense fluids. Water bottles are great for toning, and for use by sedentary older adults. Any dumbbell exercise can be completed with a water bottle, from bicep curls to shoulder presses. However you shoulder remember that to lift more weight—say 10lbs—you will need a giant water bottle that can be difficult to find and difficult to hold depending on your size. Here is a conversion chart to help select a water bottle size that will work for you.

Approximate water conversion to pounds:

32 oz = 2 lbs
64 oz = 4 lbs
96 oz = 6 lbs
1 gallon (128 oz) = 8.5 lbs
160 oz = 10 lbs

Another great alternative to dumbbells is high density canned food. A can of broth will be lighter than beans or fruit. Choose a can with a width you can grip and a weight that feels right for you. (Also try to pick a can that has something yummy to eat in it!).

Other strength training exercises can be performed using different furniture around the house. Chairs are great for doing triceps dips, and inclined and declined push-ups.

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for a post on gym equipment that you can purchase for personal use.

Triceps Dip
Decline Pushup
Incline Pushup

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office