There are countless exercise machines and fitness tools out there, each claiming to be better than the next for toning your abs or giving you the body of your dreams. Unfortunately, most of them simply don’t work. We’ve distilled the wave of fitness sales information down to these eight items that will help you get in the best shape possible, without the fancy gadgets and gizmos that tend to put big dents in unsuspecting wallets.
1. Resistance Bands
These are cheaper and easier to store than a set of free weights, and there are just as many exercises you can do to get a full-body strength workout. And unlike free weights, dumbbells, and barbells, these bands provide a constant amount of resistance throughout a whole movement. Check out an example of a resistance band circuit in this video.
It might sound strange, but this piece of DIY workout equipment (which you can pick up at your local hardware store) is a great substitute for a set of barbells. Because the sand shifts as you lift it, exercises call upon more stabilizing muscles than you would use if you were employing a more solid weight.
3. Stability Ball
Stability ball exercises are one of the best ways to strengthen your core muscles fast.
There are countless variations of exercises that you can do with a stability ball, so experiment and see what works for you (check out this list to get started). Because they come in a variety of sizes, see if you can test a few different balls at a gym or fitness store before you buy.
4. Heart Rate Monitor
By monitoring your heart rate, you can tailor your cardio workouts to maximize the time spent in your fat-burning zone. Over time, you can also track your cardiovascular health and see the changes in your heart strength as your fitness improves.
5. Yoga Mat
Even if you’re not a yogi yourself, a yoga mat makes an excellent cushion for any type of floor exercise. Plus, the material is designed with traction in mind, so you won’t have to worry about your hands and feet slipping mid-lift.
6. Jump Rope
This underutilized piece of equipment is a godsend for anyone who wants to get in a quick, high-intensity cardio workout in a small space. In addition to boosting your cardiovascular fitness, jumping rope will improve your sense of balance and agility. Here’s some pretty advanced moves you can do with a jump rope.
7. Weighted Vest
For many beginners, the weight of your own body is more than enough to get you started on a basic strength routine. For more experienced fitness buffs using their own bodyweight might not be enough. By adding a weighted vest even well trained athletes will find simple bodyweight exercises to be quite a challenge.
The best part: there’s no gym membership required, and you can do most of the bodyweight exercises on this list in the comfort of your own home or office.
8. Medicine Ball
Last but not least, the medicine ball is a very popular tool often used for both rehabilitation and also strength training. It’s especially useful when doing circuit training. It saves you the trouble of having to switch from one piece of equipment to another.
What items would you add to this list? Do you use any of the above items in your workouts?
- Amazing 86-Year-Old Gymnast
Back in 2012, gymnast Johanna Quaas performed a flawless routine at the 2012 Cottbus Wold Cup in Germany, where she …
- DIY Workout: 6 Household Items that Double as Gear
The added expense of a gym membership is not always feasible for the average income, but that doesn’t lessen the …
- 6 Small Changes in Your Exercise Routine That Will Make a Difference
For those of us who have to remain conscious of our diet and lifestyle in order to maintain or lose …
- 5 Reasons Why You Need To Warm Up
Eager to exercise and get fit? You might not want to spend the few minutes it takes to warm up …
- Eliminate Back Fat and Underarm Flab With 4 Quick Exercises
Fat doesn’t go where you want it to. While most fitness regimes focus on fighting extra pounds around your tummy …
- CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret
Have you heard of rhabdomyolysis? If you are a CrossFit devotee, it’s a safe bet that your coach has heard …
- Improve Your Running Form with This Video
Proper running form can help you get the most out of a workout, while also helping to reduce injuries. Looking …
- 5 Boxing Bag Training Benefits
New and “improved” workout routines are constantly bombarding our TVs, magazines, radio stations, and other forms of media. However, sometimes …
- Most Useful Fitness Infographics of All Time
#1 – Top 10 Exercise Myths Debunked! Everyone knows that exercising is great for their health. The following infographic depicts …
- Follow These 5 Yoga Poses To Quickly Reduce Stubborn Belly Fat
While it’s normal for your weight to fluctuate from day to day or throughout the seasons, having a permanent tummy …
- Book Review: Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is possibly the most successful book on weight training to be published in the past …
- 34 Pictures That Show You Exactly What Muscles You’re Stretching
Stretching before and after a workout is a great way to promote blood flow to the muscles and increase flexibility. …
- Best Home Exercises To Sculpt And Tone Your Inner Thighs
Nobody likes carrying excess fat, especially around their thighs. Fortunately, the subcutaneous fat surrounding your thighs respond extremely well to …
- Master These 5 Beginner Level Burpee Exercises To Burn Belly Fat And Tone Your Whole Body
The burpee is one of the most effective fat burning exercise you can do at home using nothing but your …
- 5 Gravity-Driven Bodyweight Exercises You Need to Master for 2015
Personal Trainers Brendan Fox and Chris Campbell have come up with a great workout that you can do just about …