You may be guilty. Every gym has it; equipment you see day-in, day-out, but you walk right by, because you're not completely sure of how to use it, why you should use it, or a dangerous mixture of the two. Well, fear not! We're here to provide you with equipment you need to utilize to maximize your workouts. We'll help you understand the what and why—all you have to do is read!
Whether you’re a novice to the gym or a seasoned professional, there are probably some pieces of equipment that you look at and wonder, “What on Earth is that, and how am I supposed to use it?" Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in this case, it will only make you stronger. Read below to find out how you can revitalize your fitness routine and skip right by those dreaded plateaus.
Bosu Ball & Balance Trainer
You've seen it before—it looks like an exercise ball cut in-half. What's it for? SO many different things! It's a versatile piece, designed to improve cardio, enhance strength, and improve the body's flexibility. Due to its dexterity, you can stand, sit, kneel and/or lie on the either side of the ball, recruiting your core to maintain your balance on the unstable surface. Not only does it help you tone your core muscles, but it also develops them in a way that enforces proper posture—which will go a long way in protecting you from injury.
Want a quick warm up with the Bosu? Start by placing the Bosu down on the platform side. Standing a few inches behind the ball, actively toe-tap the middle of the dome, back and forth on each leg for one minute.
Have a good breathing pattern going? Good! Now, place the Bosu in front of an object you can hold onto. Stand atop the dome-side of the ball, holding onto a steady surface. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly descend down, performing a squat. You may notice your legs shaking a tad. Perfectly normal—once you get the motion down, and improve your overall balance, that little shake will disappear. Perform 15 squats. Once completed, get going with that exercise routine of yours!
There's a reason you performed this exercise when you were in gym class. So multi-faceted, it combines cardio with a great workout for your calves
! There's nothing like looking down after a few minutes of jump rope to see the amount of sweat that just left the body. Some people use this exercise as a warm up, and for good reason! The most important thing here, is getting the motion down first. It may take a few days of practice, but once you get it going, you'll find that you absolutely love doing it! Strengthen your feet, ankles, calves and legs, all while improving your cardio, endurance and agility? Count me in! Once you have the hang of things, try performing for three to five minutes to really get the body moving.
Made popular in recent years, the kettlebell is tremendous for toning the arms, shoulders, and for tightening the abs. Unlike many strength-training exercises or machines, kettlebells do not solely focus on isolating a specific muscle group. You may be thinking, "Why do it then?" Well, they are specifically designed to throw your center of gravity off, forcing the body to engage multiple muscle stabilizers throughout practically any motion you can conjure up. Want to get cardio and strength-training in, but short on time? Use the force! By combining explosive power movements, such as thrusters, with the high-intensity interval cardio from the non-stop motion, kettlebells are the way to go!
You've seen them before. Straps hanging from the ceiling or wall, looking very intimidating. Scared? You shouldn't be. These straps are a part of TRX Suspension Training—a simple, but very effective way of utilizing your body weight to perform a number of different exercises. Pushups? Check. Assisted dips? Yup. Rows? You guessed it. What's best is that people of all skill levels, ages, strength levels, etc. can benefit from TRX. Nearly any exercise you can think of can be modified to make it as easy or as difficult as you desire—all by adjusting the angle of your body and/or straps. Interested? Try TRX for free!
Simple premise, great reward when used correctly. Chances are you've seen them. Now is the time to work on them! Considered one of the best exercises for conditioning the entire body, boxing bags have been around for ages. And all for good reason. Nothing like hitting the bags after a a bad day at work, long day at school, or...just for the heck of it! It cognitively teaches hand-eye and muscular coordination, improves footwork, and enhances aerobic capacity. Start with two-to-three minutes of jab-uppercut combinations, steadily sliding your feet from side-to-side with each jab. Feeling fancy? Perform a few punch-kick combinations, making sure to keep your toes pointed away from your body as you kick (think straight as an arrow, knee-down). The bags are a great exercise for all shapes, sizes and skill levels. You can go as fast or slow as you want, making it as adjustable as needed! Come try it out for free!
Looking for a place to get your training started? Your tomorrow begins now.