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Sheltering Arms Blog

A New Bucket List to Make Fitness Easy!

Posted on: February 6, 2019 by Robert Moss

By: Matthew Wren, PT, MSPT, Cert. DN

Health resolutions are easily made and easily broken because daily life simply gets in the way, but there are some simple exercises you can do at home on hectic days to maintain a healthy lifestyle, all with the help of a five-gallon bucket.

Exercising with a five-gallon bucket filled with household items is a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to driving to a gym and waiting for equipment to use. A five-gallon bucket can be purchased for a few dollars at a hardware store and filled with many items you likely already have laying around your home. This will transform the bucket into an inexpensive and adjustable piece of weightlifting equipment that can be used anytime you want. Some ideas of items to fill your bucket with include:

• Five-pound bag of rice
• Canned goods
• Empty milk containers filled with water
• Rocks

Below are five ‘bucket-list’ exercises you can perform at home. Complete two sets of 15-20 repetitions of each exercise. Add items to the bucket until the weight is comfortable yet challenging. Weight can be adjusted for each exercise based on your comfort level.


1. Squat – Hug the loaded bucket to your chest standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly sit down in a chair then stand up.

2. Deadlift – Hold the handle of your loaded bucket at waist level with feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back and arms straight, bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips to lower the bucket to the floor between your feet then stand up.

3. Bent Over Row – Bend forward at the hips placing one hand on a chair or table for support. Keep your back straight and grasp the handle of the loaded bucket with the other hand. Pull handle up to your ribs keeping your elbow close to your body, then lower it to the ground.

4. Standing Front Raise – Hold the handle of your loaded bucket at waist level with arms straight and feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back and arms straight, raise the bucket in front of you from waist level to shoulder height and back to waist level.

5. Push-Up – The bucket is not required for this exercise. Standing at the bottom of a staircase, place your hands on the third or fourth step up from the bottom. Perform push-ups with a straight back. If you can complete 20 push-ups with a straight back, move your hands down one step.

Congratulations, you just completed the bucket-list exercises! Increasing sets or amount of weight in the bucket will increase the challenge. Remember, when life is challenging and you need some personal fitness time, just grab your bucket.

For more ideas on how to increase your activity this winter, click here.

If you need help establishing a customized fitness plan to achieve your goals, Sheltering Arms offers a full array of fitness and wellness services from personal training to nutrition counseling. To learn more about the specific programs available to you at Sheltering Arms, click here or call (804) 764-1000.