Ideally, we would all love to have unlimited time to spend at the gym. With kids, school, work and house keeping, this dream is just that… a dream. Lucky for you we have come up with 5 “hacks” for popular gym machines that you can do with only three pieces of equipment: dumbbells, a kettle bell, and a plyometric step.

gym equipment

Step ups: The machine at the gym with an adjustable platform and two cable handles can be used for a few different exercises, one being step ups. Step ups are a fantastic leg exercise that does not require a machine. This exercise can be done just as effectively by finding a stable platform (1-3 feet high) and some added weight. The added weight can be dumbbells or a kettle bell. The exercise begins by planting one foot on the platform and stepping all the way up then back down, still keep your foot planted. Remember to keep your knee behind your toe!

The Step Original Health Club Step: This is a steady platform that can be used for step ups, box squats, squat jumps and more. Its height can be adjusted by simply adding or removing risers. This step would be a wonderful addition to nay home gym.

health club step

Box Squats: Squats are one of the most beneficial exercises you can do to tighten your toosh and sculpt your legs. The squat machines at the gym are fixed, which means your motion is forced and can be unnatural. By doing squats at home, your can save time, money, and your knees! The problem with doing squats at home is we may fear our form and depth are incorrect. Box squats take the guesswork out of the exercise. Box squats are done by standing looking away from your plyometric box, holding the kettle bell with two hands up by your chest and doing a controlled, tight squat until you tap the box and stand back up.

Empower 3-in-1 Kettle bellWe love this kettle bell because it is suitable for all fitness levels. The kettle bell itself is three pieces that can be added or taken away from the base to change the weight of the kettle bell.

empower kettlebell

Seated Military Press: This gym machine looks like a chair with two handles over head or near your shoulders. You typically set your weight and push the handles directly up. This exercise can be done at home by sitting on your plyometric box and grabbing two dumbbells that suit your fitness level. Start with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle and your hands (holding the dumbbells) at about eye level. Press the dumbbells directly up until your arms are straight.

Apex 3 Pair Neoprene Dumbbell SetThis dumbbell set is perfect for any mom who is adamant about working out at home. This set comes with three pairs of dumbbells (2lbs, 3lbs and 5lbs). It also comes in a convenient carrying case so that you always know where your dumbbells are located!

apex dumbbells

Flys: The fly machine at the gym usually looks like a seat with handles that are a bit lower then shoulder height that a far enough away to grasp with almost straight arms. Begin this exercise by sitting on your plyometric box and holding the dumbbells of your choice parallel to your shoulders. With straight arms, bring the dumbbells together until they touch. Pull them back out until they are once again parallel. This is one rep.

Bicep Curls: This may be one the most popular but unnecessary pieces of machinery in the gym. This exercise starts by simply holding the dumbbells of your choice in each hand. Stand with your arms hanging and palms facing forward. Curl the dumbbells by bending your arms until they are near your shoulders. Slowly bring them back down to the starting position.

Feel free to mix and match these exercises to fit your fitness level! What are some of your favorite gym machine “hacks”?