File boxes can be a bit bulky and hard to handle, so they’re not a great option for exercises like bicep curls or shoulder presses, but they’re exactly the right size and shape for bent-over rows or deadlifts. Simply grasp the box by its handles, then tip your hips backward and keep your torso straight as you bend forward. When your torso forms a 45-degree or less angle, with your arms hanging loose from your shoulders, simply bend your elbows and tighten your back as you pull the file box up to your body. Just remember to keep your core tight throughout the movement to help protect your back.
Load a backpack up with books for the perfect home gym accessory. Simply strap the pack to your back to add weight to any number of exercises, including squats, lunges and push-ups.
Perform your push-up as usual, keeping your core tight and strong, while balancing on your knees or your toes. Wear the backpack on your back, using the chest strap (if your backpack has one) for added stability. Start light with just a few paperback books, but gradually build up your strength by testing your hand with the giant family Bible or Grandpa’s old encyclopedias — who knew they could still come in handy?