Water bottles and canned goods are great alternatives for dumbbells, but what about barbells? A slosh pipe — a larger version of a PVC pipe filled with varying levels of water or sand — resembles a barbell, so if you don't have access to one, you can do just about any barbell exercise with the slosh pipe, from deadlifts to squats to biceps curls.
Regardless of whether you're interested in barbell training or not, using a slosh pipe is a great tool to have in your exercise arsenal. Because slosh pipes are so versatile, you can use them to do a variety of strength exercises, including squats and overhead presses.
Plus, they are much more cost-effective than many other at-home, weight-lifting equipment. In fact, you can create one at home with just a few materials.
Read on to learn about the benefits of training with a slosh pipe, the best ways to incorporate it into your workout routine and how to make one at home.
Slosh Pipes Build Functional Strength
Using a slosh pipe for functional strength training, aka exercises that mimic everyday movement patterns, is ideal because it more closely mimics objects you encounter in real life.
Unlike strength-training machines, slosh pipes aren't limited to a fixed shape or range of motion. You can use them to simulate daily tasks, like squatting, pressing, pulling and rotating, and move them in different directions.
Exercise machines also isolate your muscles in a controlled setting, which doesn't translate well into real-life situations, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Most of the physical tasks you perform every day involve objects that are unstable, whether you're picking up a bag of soil or carrying a child, explains Vincent Metzo, a New York-based certified strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) and dean of advanced personal training at the Swedish Institute.
"Imagine holding a bag of groceries that shift; it's the object you're holding that's moving," Metzo says. "Slosh pipes mimic that instability of the object that we're trying to lift. That causes the stabilizing muscles in your shoulders and trunk to respond by having to stabilize and prepare you for the activities that you're going to do in everyday life."
They Save Space
Unlike dumbbells, a squat rack or a cable machine, a slosh pipe doesn't require you to change out the weights or adjust the plates and height as you progress from one set of exercises to the next.
Because the weight of the slosh pipe depends on the amount of water you fill it up with, you can increase or decrease the load easily as needed, Metzo explains.
Not to mention, slosh pipes are relatively small in comparison to a rack of dumbbells or a barbell with plates, making them a better fit for home gyms.
They Are Cost-Effective
If you've ever scoured the internet for exercise tools, you probably realized that at-home workout equipment isn't cheap. Sure, you may be able to find a barbell for under $100, but once you factor in the rack, plates, bench and clips, the total adds up.
And dumbbells and kettlebells are no exception, considering you probably need several pairs of weights.
But the weight of your slosh pipe will depend on how much you fill it up with water or sand, so you only need to buy the pipe itself, making it a much cheaper, long-term investment.
How to Make a Slosh Pipe
One of the best benefits of using a slosh pipe? You can make one right at home with a few materials that you can purchase at a hardware store.
What You'll Need
- 5-foot x 4-inch PVC pipe
- 2 4-inch rubber-end caps with pipe fastener
- Duct tape
- Tape measure
- Permanent marker
How to Build a 5-Foot Slosh Pipe
- Rub sandpaper across each end of the PVC pipe to help the end caps adhere.
- Using your screwdriver, loosen the hose clamp to help it slide onto the PVC pipe.
- Slide the end cap onto one end of the PVC pipe and tighten the hose clamp using your screwdriver.
- Wrap duct tape on the bottom of the end caps to prevent you from catching the screws while you exercise.
- Add a few equidistant strips of tape across the pipe to add extra grip while you work out.
- Fill the pipe about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way with water or sand, and add the second cap, repeating the same process.