The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Full Body Bucket Workout

Written by
Michael Harper, MEd
Posted in
Fit Tips

Monday, Mar 14, 2016

Finding creative ways to utilize tools around you to make workout equipment can reduce boredom, increase options, and add fun while still providing an effective workout. This video utilizes a 5-gallon bucket as a workout apparatus for a full body workout. The weight of the bucket can be easily altered by filling it with rocks, sand, water, or even different combinations of the three. The shifting of the materials, especially water, while moving the buckets adds an additional challenge. This challenge is magnified when water is combined with the weight of the other items.

A variety of exercises could be performed while utilizing a bucket. This video shows a full body workout consisting of:
  • Squat Curl to Press - A full body exercise.
  • Push-up with Feet Elevated - Exercise focusing on the pectoralis major of the chest while increasing the load by elevating the feet.
  • Lateral Lunge with Curl - Combination exercise targeting lower body muscles in a lateral movement as well as the biceps.
  • Bent Over Low Row - Exercise focusing on the latissimus dorsi of the back.
  • Deadlift - Exercise focusing on the hamstrings and gluteus maximus of the lower body.
  • Chopper Raise - A full body exercise.
  • Close Grip Tricep Push-up - A push up alternative that puts greater emphasis on the triceps.
  • Reverse Lunge with Torso Rotation - Lower body exercise that also challenges balance and core strength.
  • Back Extension - Exercise focusing on the using the erector spinae for stabilization of the spine.
  • Alternating 1 Leg Deadlift - Exercise that provides an increased load to the hamstrings and gluteus maximus of the lower body because it is performed on a single leg which also adds a balance challenge.
A variety of other exercises could also be added or substituted using a bucket. Regardless of the exercise, perform each movement with special attention to proper technique. If starting out, consider creating and using a moderate weight that does not jeopardize form and feels like an exertion rating of a 5-8 on a scale of 1-10. Start by performing 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions and as fitness increases, add additional sets.

For training on creating workouts using alternative equipment that can be used individually or easily adapted for working out in a group setting, consider: Law and Fire Group Training or Military Exercise Leader course.