How to Use Water Bottles as Weights

Updated February 21, 2017

Weight training can prove difficult if you don't have a gym membership or weights at home. Fortunately, you can use water bottles to begin a weight training routine. Water bottles provide enough weight resistance to build lean muscle as long as you stay on a regular workout routine and maintain a healthy diet. Further, water bottles are cheaper than weights and give you immediate access to thirst quenching water at the end of your workouts.

Find a water bottle in your home or in a store that you can easily grip. Water bottles come in sorts of sizes and shapes, but the only shape that matters is the one you can hold during your workout routine. Grip different size bottles to see how each one feels in your hand. Choose the size and shape with the most comfortable grip.

Fill empty water bottles to the top to ensure all the water bottles have the same amount of liquid and, therefore, the same amount of weight. Otherwise use a measuring cup for accurate measurements if you want to fill the water bottles a precise amount (i.e. one-quarter or half way). The key is to ensure all water bottles have the same amount of water.

Dry off the outside of the bottle so you can grip it during your workout. Make sure the bottle reaches room temperature before using it for your workout. Cold bottles can hurt your hand and produce grip-reducing condensation.

Lift the water bottles during your workout routine, utilising different movements to workout out different muscle groups. For example, perform a series of arm curls to work out your biceps and perform shoulder lifts to work out your shoulder and triceps. You can also run with your water bottles in hand to add weight resistance to your cardiovascular workout.

Fill the bottle with more water or, if you can grip it, move on to larger bottles once your current bottle size becomes easy to lift. Continued exercise builds lean muscle mass and your body eventually adapts to the bottle you usually use. Change to a larger bottle or add more water with a measuring cup to continue building strength.


Use water bottles with handles for easy gripping.

Things You'll Need

  • Water Bottles
  • Measuring Cup
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About the Author

David Montoya is an attorney who graduated from the UCLA School of Law. He also holds a Master of Arts in American Indian studies. Montoya's writings often cover legal topics such as contract law, estate law, family law and business.