Here’s how it happens. You’re up late watching television. During the commercial break, you see an infomercial about some workout gadget that’s guaranteed to change your body in ten easy sessions. You switch channels. Yet another product is being pushed. So many workout gadgets, yet so little time! What’s a fitness enthusiast to do?
Actually, it’s easy to choose the best workout gadgets. Just use the K.I.S.S. Principle: Keep It Simple, Silly, and consider equipment that’s affordable, portable and versatile. Let’s look at some of the workout gadgets that fit this description.
The balance ball, whose origins come from physical therapy, reigns supreme in all three categories. Countless studies have shown that fitness balls are the best option for core and abdominal work. However, they can also be used to work every part of the body, while enhancing balance and agility. The balance ball can also be used for flexibility exercises. Some people even use them for a low impact aerobic workout.
Balance Ball Resistance Ball Workout Kit
If you want to add resistance training to your stability ball workout, Gaim makes a Balance Ball Resistance Workout Kit. It consists of a series of interconnected straps and resistance cords designed to fit on your exercise ball, and comes with a video that demonstrates some of the basic exercises. Most stability balls come with a small pump, so you can deflate the ball and take it with you on vacation. The Gaim bands can be folded up and placed in your suitcase. No more excuses for vacation weight gain!
Pilates Fitness Ring
In addition to the stability ball and resistance bands, you might want to consider the Pilates fitness ring. This product provides resistance for toning and sculpting of the inner and outer thighs, the arms and the chest. It’s covered in soft foam, which provides a comfortable fit. There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for a Pilates Fitness Ring. Since resistances may vary consider your own strength. If you’re accustomed to weight lifting, a flexible ring might not add enough challenge. In contrast, if the ring provides too much resistance, you might be unable to perform the movements through their full range of motion. Most Fitness Rings have a 13 inch diameter. However, some are significantly smaller, making them suitable for women with very narrow pelvises. The next thing to consider is whether you want a fitness ring made of rubber or flexible metal. Flexible metal rings are more durable than those made of rubber.
Bands and Resistance Tubes
Since it works the chest but not the back, it behooves you to purchase a set of resistance tubes or bands, so that you can perform rowing exercises for the muscles of your upper back. Otherwise, you will be creating a muscular imbalance. Bands and tubes can be used for every muscle of the body. They are inexpensive, and can easily be packed into a suitcase. Most companies make bands and tubes that are color-coded for different levels of resistance. They also come in different sizes. Some are more suitable for leg exercises, others for the abdominals and upper body.
As one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment, the foam roller can be used for flexibility, massage and balance training. Fitness pros love the balance challenge provided by the rollers, and thus use them as props for their Pilates, core training and sport conditioning classes.
Many athletic teams use foam rollers in lieu of pre-game stretching. This type of warm up uses a technique known as self myofascial release, which unties muscular knots without adding a dangerous increase to muscle length.
With these five inexpensive workout gadgets, you have the makings of an excellent home gym. Live well and stay fit!