Posted on February 05, 2021 by Kate Halsall

It’s great to see so many people still carrying on with their workouts despite the gyms still being closed. One thing that I have noticed as a Personal Trainer and Class Instructor, is how what we used to consider “general goods” are now being used as workout equipment! For a while I was teaching an online upper body class with tins of kidney beans; some of my online clients are using bottles of water and one of my friends is using bottles of shampoo! Whilst we may not make any significant strength gains this way, it’s a great way to make the workouts harder and hey – low weights and high reps is a proven method for muscle endurance and tone! So grab a couple of household items and give this upper body workout a go!

This is an 18 minute workout – so give yourselves a couple of minutes to warm up and cool down. Each exercise is performed for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest between each one. Not all the exercises need equipment. If you are using an item like a tin of beans then you need to go for as many GOOD reps as possible. If you are using dumbbells then make every rep count!

  • Inch Worms
  • Single Arm Snatch
  • 1 Press Up, 1 Bear Squat (I can always squeeze in a sneaky squat!)
  • Upright Rows
  • Plank Shoulder Taps
  • Single Arm Shoulder Press
  • Side Press Up
  • Forward Raises
  • Tricep Dips
  • 1 Wide Row, 1 Narrow Row
  • Jabs
  • Side Press Up (other side!)
  • Single Arm Shoulder Press (other side!)
  • Plank Shoulder Taps
  • Upright Rows
  • 1 Press Up, 1 Bear Squat
  • Single Arm Snatch (other side!)
  • Inch Worms

It definitely gets those arms (I’ve tested it and everything!), and it gets that heart rate up too. There are loads of workout ideas in our blogs – including other no-equipment ones for the upper body! Obviously the transition from body weight or tins of beans back to weights in the gym will be a little bit weird (who knew that a 1kg dumbbell was so heavy!?), but it’s better to be doing something than nothing!