Lifting Made Easy

If you're like most people, you have at least one backpack lying around your house. Whether you've used it for school, work, or travel, it's durable enough to carry some weight and is the perfect tool to become your new dumbbells in disguise. All you need to do is fill it to the appropriate amount of heft with books, gear, jeans, tightly sealed water bottles, or anything similar. You'll want to make sure that the weight is balanced well inside the bag to protect your back. To avoid the objects shifting around during your routine, you can simply fill the empty space with a small blanket or sweater.

Here are some great exercises that you can do at home with just a backpack:

Push Ups

With the backpack on, face the ground in a plank position with your hands placed directly under your shoulders. Slowly lower yourself down to hover just a few inches above the floor. Hold the position for a couple seconds, and slowly push yourself back up in a controlled manner until you return to plank. Repeat the movement.


With the backpack on, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and lower yourself to a 90-degree angle. Make sure that your knees stay parallel with your feet and that they don't bow outward. Keep your hands out in front of you, or wherever they are most comfortable. Keep the weight in your heels at all times. Squeeze your glutes as you stand back up, especially when you return to the top. Repeat the movement.

Bear Crawl

With the backpack on, get into a crawling position with your hands placed directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Avoid locking your elbows, and instead create a slight bend. Slowly and with control, keep your hips low and crawl forward four steps. Reverse the movement and crawl backward four steps. Continue this for 45 seconds, or as long as desired. Take a 30 second break before repeating the movement.

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