Underrated Fitness Equipment

Take your home workouts to the next level...

January 29, 2021

Take your home workouts to the next level...

January 29, 2021

We all love a good squat rack or elliptical machine, but these days we’re spending a lot more time WFH (Working out From Home). So what better moment to get creative and hack your home studio? We’ve rounded up some of the most underrated fitness equipment that will take your living room routine to the next level.

 

Resistance Bands

 

They’re inexpensive, take up very little storage space and offer a super effective full body workout. Great for rehabilitating injuries, for stretching and increasing mobility and for creating strength training sets that fire up muscle groups that aren’t usually activated.

 

We’ll say it again: you’ll discover muscles you never knew you had with resistance bands. Add them in when doing squats or pushups for that extra burn, or make your own makeshift rowing contraption if you’re really missing the rowing machine.The resistance band also imparts a lower amount of force on the joints, meaning you have less chance of injury.

 

Blocks 

 

If you used to be too shy to reach for blocks at the beginning of yoga class, now is your chance to play with these wonderful props in the privacy of your own space. It’s a shame that they’re often overlooked, because foam blocks can be real form savers. They help increase strength and flexibility by supporting proper alignment in the body. This means you can get deeper into the pose in a safer manner, without the straining that so often leads to injury.

Blocks are also great for toning –  pop it between your thighs during a down-dog or chair pose to activate your core even more – relaxing –  place it below our hips for a relaxing and restorative bridge pose–  or for going deeper into meditation –  stick it under your sit bones during meditation for a steadier seat and improved posture. Get ready to transform your practise!

 

Jump Rope

 

One of the best investments you could make, the humble jump rope definitely doesn’t need to be abandoned in the schoolyard. Jumping rope is an incredibly effective and efficient overall body workout. It is an amazing cardiorespiratory exercise, burns crazy calories, builds stamina and increases coordination and balance. Plus, it’s really fun. Just make sure to get the right length and weight of rope, and you’re off. The jump rope may be the only home cardio equipment you will ever need.

 

Core Sliders

 

Also known as gliding discs, these frisbee-looking fiends may appear innocent, but they make classic exercises much more challenging… which is exactly what you want when working out from home, right? Gliders are low-impact but high intensity and can drastically improve your muscle tone and balance if used correctly.

Try them the next time you are doing lunges, mountain climbers or planks –  you’ll quickly notice how many more muscle groups have to be active to complete the movements. Not only are sliders great for building core strength, but they recruit smaller stabilizing muscles and also engage your brain due to the challenge of extra physical coordination.

 

Kettlebell

 

An all-around legend, we highly recommend grabbing yourself a kettlebell (literally). It is one of the most versatile and affordable strength training items you can get. Swing it, press it, pull it, squat with it, get creative – you can pack a ton of workout variation into this small but powerful tool.

Compared to training with machines, the kettlebell introduces variability by forcing your body to adjust to a constantly changing center of gravity, meaning that no rep is ever quite the same.  Thousands of exercises can be trained using the kettlebell, and you can use it to help you move towards almost any fitness goal.

 

Balance Board 

 

Balance is key in life and the simple balance board is here to help you (re)discover that. Harder than it appears, this underrated item often gets stepped over at the gym. However, the seemingly simple device helps to develop your proprioception (sensing the body in space) balance and coordination, hone your motor skills/reaction time, and build core strength by recruiting deep abdominal muscles to keep you upright.

It can also improve functional movement– making those turns, bends and twists that we do on the daily become more aligned and stable. Start by finding your balance while standing and eventually begin to play: try using it to bring some extra spice to your squats.

 

Exercise Ball

 

A favourite for physical therapy and rehabilitation, the exercise ball is also ripe with benefits for the uninjured. Try ball squats (placing the ball between your back and the wall as you squat) for a supportive-but-still-challenging exercise. Or stretch out your tensions with a backbend over the ball, working on your shoulder flexion and chest opening. Practice intense stabilizing moves like planks using the ball to prop up your forearms and watch your core transform.

Plus, you can toss out your (home) office chair and use this instead! Great for increasing range of movement in the pelvis and releasing tension in the lower back.

 

Bonus: Foam Roller 

 

Last but not least: don’t forget to release your pressure points! Roll away the aches and pains after a good workout with a self-myofascial release, courtesy of your very own foam roller.

 

Stay healthy, both mentally and physically, and build motivation to continue your active lifestyle at home with these great tools.

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