By Mark Nadon 

Don’t wait for gyms to re-open, prices to drop, or stores to get re-stocked with gear to get back to training with equipment. We have you covered with at-home solutions that add to your bodyweight repertoire. 

Solution? Backpack. They are cheap for what they can do for you, most people have them, and they combine nicely with other items you have at home. Best of all, it allows you to hit some often neglected muscle groups when training with bodyweight, like your upper back, glutes (bored of bridges?) and hamstrings. 

Need a 25lb weight?


  • 1 x Backpack 
  • 1 x Honey Container (3kg) 
  • 1 x Maple Syrup Container (2kg) 
  • 1 x Bag of rice (1.5kg)
  • 1 x Nuts container (1.2kg) 
  • 1 x Bag of Oatmeal (2.8kg) 

Instructions: Open Backpack, combine all items into backpack, close backpack. 

Of course you can use any items you have at home that fit in the bag. You might find a few things that weigh a lot more and take up less space so you can really load up your bag if you’re feeling strong. 

Here are three movements you can do once you’ve created your exercise equipment (find the video explanation below). 

  1. Bent-over Rows (Upper Back)With one (or two) arm(s) hinge forward, activating glutes and core to stabilize your spine, then pull back with your arm, bending your elbow until your knuckle touches your ribs and slowly lower until your arms are straight without compromising spinal position or letting your shoulders roll forward. 
  2. Swings – Just like a kettlebell swing, take your backpack with one (or two) arm(s), hinge forward and load the hamstrings and glutes with tension, keeping your core engaged to support your spine. Drive the hips forward into extension, allowing the weight to come up to roughly shoulder height or slightly above then allow the weight to fall down between your legs to a loaded hinged position. If your arms burn out, you’re using the wrong muscles. Remember, this is primarily a hamstring and glute movement. 
  3. One-Arm Presses – You can use two arms, but I favour one arm in this situation to work on shoulder stability and overhead position. Lift the bag to shoulder height with one (or two) arm(s). Press straight up to overhead, locking out the elbow and making sure your ribs are down (so your back is straight) and your arm is straight (not at an angle). Slowly lower the bag back to shoulder height and repeat.

Do you feel you need coaching for these movements or a private training plan? Our group fitness instructors teach interactive group classes, and our personal trainers are available for virtual training



Friday, January 15, 2021 in , ,
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