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Family Fun

Make Weights at Home

Weight training becomes a family affair when you create your own weights at home. Use items you already have or find what you need at thrift and discount home improvement stores. Involve everyone in this creative fun day, and everyone will be happy to use the weights any time. Be sure children are supervised when they use the weights and remember that everyone should stretch before working out.

Let the family decide as a group which pieces of equipment to make, then pair older and younger children, or adults and children, as you take on the task.

Gather what you need:
• utility knife
• Screwdriver
• rope
• sand paper  
• duct tape
• old sheets
• bathroom scale

(Hint: Lay parts on an old sheet to keep them together)
• 800 pennies
• 10 heavy duty garbage bags
• 2 duffle bags
• 10 or more old socks
• old basketball, soccer ball and tennis balls
• 50 pounds of sand or pea gravel (available in 50 pound bags for under $7)

Make the equipment:
Micro weights:
• Fill old socks with pennies: 80 pennies = ½ pound
• Wrap the filled socks with rope or duct tape for better grip
• Make ¼ pound weights (40 pennies) for small children
• Tape two 80-penny weights together for a 1 pound weight

Heavy weights:
• Fill plastic bags with sand or pea gravel
• Add enough filling to each bag so they weigh at least 2 pounds
• Wrap each bag well with duct tape
• Place one, two or more bags in an old duffle bag
• Weigh the duffle bag on the scale to be sure you know how much you’ll be lifting
Medicine ball:
• Turn an old basketball into new weightlifting equipment
• Cut a small hole in the ball and fill it with 20 pounds of sand
• For lighter medicine balls, fill tennis or volleyballs
• Tape the hole well so the sand doesn’t leak 

Use your new weight equipment:
(Tip: Always stretch and warm up before any workout!)
Micro weights:
• Hold one weight in each hand as you do biceps and triceps curls
• Hold micro weights during a run or walk

Heavy weights:
• Hold the duffle bag and do 10 reps of dead weight lifts
• Carry the weight 25 feet; repeat
• Put the bag in a wheelbarrow and push it for 100 feet; repeat

Medicine ball:
• Throw the medicine ball as far as possible 10 times
• Lift and carry the ball for 25 feet, 10 times
• Toss and catch the ball while lying on your back
    Start with a lightweight ball for safety
    Keep feet flat, knees directly above the ankles, abs tight, and head and
    neck supported in a neutral position
    Hold ball just above your chest, elbows bent and pointed out to the sides
    Toss and catch the ball in line with your chest (not overhead or near
    your abdomen) 5-10 times

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