There's a common misconception that you need to have access to a gym to find adequate muscle toning equipment, when in fact, many common household items are perfect for strength and resistance training. You'll be surprised at how many common items can also function as a form of weight resistance. Toning your body at home is easier than you think when you incorporate the following tools into your workout.
1. Cans and Juice Cartons
You don't need to purchase an expensive dumbbell or weight set from the store when you have access to a variety of heavy packaged food and drink items to lift. Just think of how tired your arms feel after carrying in bags full of groceries. Carrying groceries is a prime example of how we use weight resistance naturally in our lives, and many food items make great weight substitutes. For instance, a gallon of milk weighs around 8 lbs. You could easily do bicep curls with a gallon in each hand. Need something lighter? Canned and jarred foods like tomato sauce and soup make excellent lighter weights. If you really want a challenge, double up a couple of plastic grocery bags so that they don't break. Fill each one with heavier food items like canned foods. You can do lunges as you hold the bags in your hands or do a lateral arm raises.
2. Bath Towel or Rope
When you're looking to tone your legs, you can easily add resistance to simple movements by using a towel or rope. For instance, lay flat on your back and lift a single leg up and down in the air (a move that tones your quadriceps and inner and outer thighs). You can place your foot on a towel (like a stirrup) and then hold the ends of it with your hands like you would with a resistance band. As you bring your leg down, pull the ends of the towel tightly so that your leg has to fight and work harder to come down. You can do the same thing with a rope if you have one.
If you don't want to purchase an actual body bar, you can use the shovel in your garage for dead lifts and skull crushers. If it's too complicated to balance out the weight with shovel, unscrew the brush portion of your household broom and the rake in your garage and rubber band them together for a wooden bar. Not only can it be used for arm lifting moves, it also serves as a balance when you do standing leg lifts.
The kitchen is your best bet as you begin looking for muscle toning equipment you already own. Remember that you don't necessarily need household equipment when you strength train. You can use your own body weight as natural resistance in many simple toning moves like push ups, sit ups and planks.