Activ8 @home Weight Substitutes

While the Activ8 @home workouts have primarily been designed to utilise your bodyweight to complete the exercises; for those looking for a more challenging workout, there are options to incorporate additional weights. For participants who already have basic gym equipment at home, the use of dumbbells is a simple method for increasing the intensity of many HIIT exercises, such as squats or man makers. However, if you don’t currently have access to dumbbells, but are still looking for a challenge, there are several everyday items around the home, which can be used as an innovative substitute for weights.

It is particularly important to only substitute alternative items for equipment in the home, if the replacement can be used safely. Exercise extreme caution at all times. For instance, if the object has sharp edges, or won’t reasonably support your bodyweight, do not attempt to use it to complete your HIIT workout.

Check out the Activ8 team’s favourite substitute suggestions for weights and equipment in the home.

Innovative Weight & Equipment Substitutes


Consider utilising other heavy, but compact items from the home, to substitute for dumbbell weights. For example, filling up cylindrical plastic drink bottles or empty soft drink containers with water, means you can still still monitor the amount of weight you are lifting. In some instances, tinned food can also be a creative substitute for dumbbells!


Suitable alternatives to kettlebells, are largely the same as the innovative options to replace dumbbells; cylindrical plastic drink bottles, soft drink containers, or even tinned food. Large bottles of tomato sauce, or small water drums can also potentially be used as an alternative to larger kettlebell weights! Ensure there is no liquid residue on the outside of the container which could pose a safety risk of the bottle slipping from your grip.

Exercise Mat

Exercise or yoga mats serve to provide cushioning between your body and the floor, by absorbing some of the impact from your movements. If you don’t have access to a mat while at home, consider performing exercises on a carpeted floor, or on a non-slip rug. Make sure you lay down a towel over the top of the cushioned surface for hygiene purposes! If you have a yard, you can also perform HIIT exercises on the lawn.

Step or Box

When at the gym, you may have had access to a dedicated box or step, which could safely take your body weight and remains stable when performing exercises such as step ups. You may have access to suitably sturdy structure, which can safely take the weight of your body; such as a low brick wall in a courtyard, or a strong, wooden coffee table.

Dip Bars

The steps of a staircase within your home, the back of a chair, or arm of a sofa may serve as an alternative support for performing dips, when dip bars are not available in the home.