3 Workouts Like Kettlebell Routines You Can Do With Household Objects

Who needs weights when you have *checks notes* gallons of water?

by Emilia Benton
Originally Published: 
A woman does kettlebell exercises in her childhood bedroom. These workouts like kettlebell routines ...
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If you’re aiming for 2021 to be the year you kick your fitness up a notch, you may have already faced challenges in finding the right gear. During the pandemic, people bought so many at-home weights that many are still sold out or back-ordered a year later, and kettlebells are no exception. If you can't find the weights for love nor money, these workouts like kettlebell routines can help you achieve your strength goals anyway.

“If you can’t find kettlebells, you can easily replicate the same moves with other weights or even household items to get the same effect as using the actual weights,” says Holly Roser, an NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness in San Francisco.

Kettlebell swings, Turkish get-ups, and windmills are three examples of moves that can be used with alternative equipment to strengthen your entire body and improve muscle function. Read on to learn how to do each — even if your kettlebell order's still MIA.

Kettlebell Swing With A Dumbbell Or Sandbag

Kettlebell swings are a classic exercise that'll have you feeling super powerful. “This move strengthens your entire body with focus on your glutes and hamstrings,” Roser says. “If you don't have a sandbag create one with a duffel bag full of beans, water bottles, or sand.”

  • Start with your feet hip width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your back flat as you pick up the weight off the ground.
  • Hinge your hips back and swing the weight forward, extending your arms.
  • Try to bring the weight as high as shoulder height.
  • Let the weight swing bank down, keeping your core tight the entire time.
  • Repeat 3 sets of 25 reps.

Turkish Get-Up With A Gallon Of Water

A Turkish get-up is a compound exercise made up of smaller movements to help build muscle memory and coordination. “This is a full-body move strengthening your core, shoulders, and glutes while helping increase mobility and stability,” says Roser. “Using a gallon of water will feel like you’re lifting 5-6 pounds.”

  • Lie on the ground with your right knee bent and your left arm over your head with your gallon in line with your shoulder.
  • Extend your left arm out to the side, push your weight onto your left hand, as you lift your right knee into a kneeling position while your gallon is still over your head.
  • Keeping the weight over your head, stand up and repeat the same movement when going back onto the floor.
  • Try 2 sets of 8 reps on each side.

Windmills With A Backpack Full Of Canned Food Or Books

Windmill exercises are great for building stability and core strength. “The windmill is a functional move, utilizing your hamstrings, obliques, and abdominals, while you’re grabbing the backpack by the top loop,” Roser says. “This move also increases hamstring and hip flexor mobility as well as shoulder mobility.”

  • Start with the feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Grip the backpack with your right hand extending your arm over your head. Your right palm should face forward.
  • Extend the left arm down in front of your left thigh with the palm facing forward. Hinging at your right hip pushing it back, lower your upper body down and to the left side. Your left hand will stay facing forward while it slides down near the front of your left leg toward your foot.
  • Reverse the movement, lifting the body while keeping a strong core. Keep the weight steady and elevated over the right shoulder.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for 3 sets of 10 on each side.


Holly Roser, NASM-certified personal trainer

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