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The Equipment-Free At-Home Workout You Can Do with Everyday Items

  • Shutterstock

    Use What You Already Have

    Developed by celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza, this full-body routine keeps your heart rate elevated by following her signature 3-2-1 method—a combination of 3 cardio circuits, 2 strength circuits, and 1 core circuit. So grab the laundry detergent, paper plates, and step stool and prepare to use these everyday items in brand-new body-toning ways.

    How it works: This workout follows the pattern of cardio move, strength-training circuit, cardio move, strength-training circuit, cardio move, and ends with one core exercise. Complete this workout four times a week for fast results.

    What you'll need: Bucket filled with phone books or other sturdy items that add weight, large jug of laundry detergent, backpack filled with books, step stool, two large bags of rice (or your choice of ancient grain!), bag of oranges or apples, stack of pillows, and paper plates

  • Ramona Braganza

    Arm Swing with Bucket (Cardio)

    A. Start in a wide stance hovering the bucket in front of you, knees slightly bent. Hinge forward at the hips as you hike the bucket back between your legs like a football.

    B. Drive hips forward as you squeeze glutes and swing bucket straight out to shoulder height. Be mindful not to stop the movement at the top and instead let gravity make the bucket weightless before you repeat the swing.

    Reps: Repeat for 1 minute

  • Ramona Braganza

    Single-Arm Row with Laundry Detergent Jug (Strength Circuit)

    A. Start by standing, holding jug of laundry detergent in left hand. Take large step forward with right leg and hinge forward at hips to a 45-degree angle. Place right hand on thigh for added support, and let left hand holding jug hang toward floor.

    B. In a rowing motion, pull jug up to ribcage by squeezing shoulder blade and keeping arm tight to your side.

    Reps: 20 on each side

  • Ramona Braganza

    Shoulder Press with Backpack (Strength Circuit)

    A. Start by standing, knees softly bent, holding a backpack filled with books (or other items that add weight) at chest height.

    B. Exhale as you press backpack straight up and overhead, squeezing glutes and engaging abs to avoid hyperextending in the back. Bring backpack to starting position.

    Reps: 20

  • Ramona Braganza

    Single-Leg Bridge on Step Stool (Strength Circuit)

    A. Start by lying on your back on the ground with a step stool near your feet, arms by your sides. Bring the stool close enough so that you can place right heel on stool, foot flexed, knee bent directly over hips. Extend left leg straight up.

    B. Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the ground, reaching left foot to the ceiling. Pause at the top before lowering back down with control.

    Reps: 20 per side

    Repeat Strength Circuit two times through before moving forward with the workout.

  • Ramona Braganza

    Wood Chop with Laundry Detergent Jug (Cardio)

    A. Start in a squat position holding a jug of detergent with both hands just outside left ankle.

    B. In one smooth movement, pull your arms diagonally across body to upper right corner as your torso rotates to the right. Keep feet planted and lower body stable. Return to starting position.

    Reps: Repeat for 1 minute

  • Ramona Braganza

    Incline Chest Fly with Bags of Grains (Strength Circuit)

    A. Sit on floor and prop a few pillows under your back to bring torso to about a 45-degree angle. Holding bag of rice (or similar) in each hand, extend arms out to either side.

    B. Raise arms up and around to touch in front of your chest, then slowly lower back to wide starting position.

    Reps: 20

  • Ramona Braganza

    Triceps Extension with Bag of Oranges (Strength Circuit)

    A. Standing with feet hip-width apart, bend arms and bring back behind head, elbows to the sky, holding bag of oranges in both hands. Engage core and be mindful not to hyperextend back.

    B. Keeping elbows tight to your head, extend arms straight up. Bring back to starting position and repeat the extension.

    Reps: 20

  • Ramona Braganza

    Lateral Lunge with Paper Plates (Strength Circuit)

    A. Start by standing with feet together, weight in left leg and right foot on paper plate. Extend arms forward for balance.

    B. Bend left into a squat, hinging torso forward slightly as you simultaneously slide right leg out to the side. Pause at the lowest point of the movement, then using your inner thigh, glutes, and core, slide right leg back in to come to standing.

    Reps: 10 on each side

    Repeat Strength Circuit two times through before moving forward with the workout

  • Ramona Braganza

    Arm Swing with Bucket OR Wood Chop with Laundry Detergent Jug

    Repeat either cardio move for 1 minute.

  • Ramona Braganza

    Wide Mountain Climbers with Paper Plates (Core)

    A. Start in high plank position with balls of both feet on paper plates. Contract your core as you slide right foot to outside of right hand.

    B. Next, simultaneously slide right leg back as you slide left leg to outside of left hand. Make sure hips are down and core is tight as you continue to alternate legs.

    Reps: Repeat for 1 minute


Alyssa Sparacino

Alyssa is the deputy digital editor for SHAPE & FITNESS and an ACE certified personal trainer. She is a cycling and barre enthusiast, and lover of both planks and pasta. Before joining the #ShapeSquad she was the digital editor for HGTV Magazine and assistant editor of  More →

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