The Target: Total Fitness - Homemade equipment

If, on the other hand, Spartan simplicity is preferable, formal equipment may be dispensed with totally. Many exercises can be performed without any equipment at all. For example, various sets of exercises have been designed for practice in the shower, sitting down at the work desk, or standing up in an ordinary room. More on that later.

Many household items can be converted to exercise props. Weights can be made out of plastic dish detergent or bleach containers. The containers need only be filled with sand or water. If desired, the weights can be attached to the ends of a bar made of a broom or mop handle. Numerous heavy objects such as ski boots, telephone books, or bricks wrapped in towels can also be incorporated into exercise routines.

A little creativity can turn other everyday items into perfectly adequate fitness equipment. A length of clothesline makes an admirable jump rope. Two solid chairs of the same size can be placed back to back a couple of feet apart to form parallel bars. A heavy towel, held with arms spread an appropriate distance, can be used to provide both variable resistance and a massaging effect. Different exercises to increase endurance, equilibrium, speed, suppleness, strength, and coordination have been devised utilizing lengths of cloth.

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