DIY: Weights

If you need some lighter hand weights, you can make your own or use something you already have! It’s pretty hard to find certain weights and workout equipment right now. When you can find it, sometimes the price is inflated due to current demand. Cans of food, books, your kids toys, etc. can be used as weights. You’ll need to measure/calculate out what you need and consider how you will be holding the weight during each exercise. Use belts, yoga straps and/or bags to make larger weights with multiple items.

Do be careful assuming weight. I have three cans of food, two are 15.5 oz of content and one is 14.5 oz of content. They all weigh over 1 lb, one is 1.05 lb and the other two exceed 1.1 lb, so if you are looking for either exactness or consistency, weigh your items on your person or food scale, or ask to borrow one.

Three weeks ago I started Xtend Barre through OpenFit. It’s a “mix of cardio, Pilates, and ballet fundamentals” according to the OpenFit Xtend Barre website. Due to the nature of the hand position in class, I decided to make a small one pound hand weight instead of using a can. The class modifies movements with no weight, 1 lb, 2 lb or 3 lb if you’re adventurous!

No one ever posted or asked about 1 lb weights on my neighborhood’s Buy Nothing so I didn’t try, especially after further research. That was remiss of me, I just get a little discouraged and inconsistent to my mission as many of the things I seek on Buy Nothing get no response. I looked to see if there were any 1 lb weights available online. At the time of my search, there were no 1 lb weight sets on Xtend Barre, Barre3, Target online or Amazon that either existed, weren’t ridiculously overpriced, or would arrive within a reasonable time. I am please to see that cost and availability are way better now as I write this, noting that shipping time is 1.5 weeks – 2 months.

The “green” on this to me is making something new out of what I have on hand instead of ordering a completely new product. Yes, that new product (weights) can be used again in the future but so can the materials I am turning into weights, as could your food cans, books, toys go back into their original intended purpose. To make the “weights” I used sand leftover from my husband’s sandbags. In the past we’ve had sand for my son’s sandbox. There are also yard pebbles I could try. I used snack-size zippered bags I have on hand for deployed soldier adoptions, and plastic packing tape. Unfortunately most of my returns necessitate plastic packing tape otherwise I’d love to use paper packing tape. If you don’t have sand, pebbles or zippered bags consider asking family, friends, neighbors or checking on Buy Nothing. Please do not take material from parks or neighbors without permission.

I used packing tape instead of another type of tape because it would stay stuck on the bag but would not be annoying or uncomfortable. Scotch, painter’s and masking tape would come off easily, duct tape might get sticky from too much handling, and electrical tape may work, it’s great on my umbrella and scooter handles, and I could probably use a smaller strip thank the plastic packing tape but I just didn’t think of it until now.

When I’m done, I can recycle the plastic bags and reuse the sand.
Electrical tape would change the composition of the outside more, I would try and take off any tape other than plastic packaging to recycle the bag.

If I had any makeup bags I would try sand in one of those and tape over the zipper. Those are usually a bit bulky and stiff, but I’ve seen small ones. A pencil bag may work too. The tape keeps the zipper closed so sand doesn’t leak out and it was proven necessary and successful when my toddler found my “weights.” They held up well. At some point I may also sew thicker fabric into a long bean-bag type shape.

Are you using something clever for weights? Please share your ideas!

Be safe, be healthy, be greener!

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