Fitness Equipment 101

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As a trainer, one question I get asked by clients is what types of equipment they should either get for use at home or what to use while at the gym. The Monon Community Center is packed with a wide variety of fitness equipment options. Here are my 4 favorite to use with clients and in my own workouts!

 

thumb_IMG_5410_1024The Bosu® Ball

Known in the fitness world as a tool for training balance, flexibility, “BOSU® Training is about expanding movement capabilities, reshaping bodies and strengthening minds. It’s about inserting thought into movement. It’s about asking [our] clients, fitness students and athletes to be physically involved, but to also be present and fully engaged in the training process…we offer a system of mindful action, intentional movement and smart science that produces results.” (http://www.bosu.com/about-us)

Try standing on one foot, while on the Bosu®. Not easy, right? The Bosu® challenges our limit of stability by creating a proprioceptively enriched, or unstable, environment. I use the Bosu® for beginner clients to aid in building balance and stability, and with my intermediate clients to offer even more of a challenge.

Basic moves like the squat, lunge and push-up can be performed on the Bosu® for more of a challenge. While you can also do other compound and cardio exercises like mountain climbers, bicep curl with shoulder press and shuffle overs! (http://www.burpeesforbreakfast.com/2015/09/25/bosu-ball-exercises-workout/)

 

thumb_IMG_4387_1024Resistance Bands

You’ve probably seen a resistance band or two floating around the Monon Community Center. You might even have one in your home gym. The resistance band (either loop band or tube band with handles) is an extremely versatile and travel friendly piece of equipment, used for many purposes. It’s great for building muscular endurance and strength. It can be used for beginners to those more advanced, and even for rehabilitative purposes. Resistance bands allow individuals to move in all planes of motion and usually result in using a greater range of motion.

Resistance bands are great for those just starting to workout or those with injuries that need more low impact before moving to free weights or machines. Moves like the bicep curl, bent row, shoulder press and speed squat can all be done using bands.

 

Medicine Ballsthumb_IMG_6318_1024

Did you know that the medicine ball was considered one of the Four Horsemen of Fitness?! It shared the spotlight with dumbbells, the Indian Club, and weighted wands. Personally, I love the medicine ball because it can deliver a solid full body workout, even if you are just looking to target one body part! Medicine balls are unique because they allow for the building of explosive power, because of the velocity of the movement and its ability to be thrown or caught. This piece of equipment is great for building strength, endurance or power, depending on the weight chosen.

Medicine balls can be great for core moves like a Russian Twist, Crazy Ivan or even a crunch. However, I like to use it for more unconventional core exercises like the Oblique Throw, Slams and Medicine Ball Burpees! (http://www.burpeesforbreakfast.com/2015/11/13/my-13-favorite-medicine-ball-exercises/)

 

The Stability Ball

thumb_IMG_9212_1024The stability ball or a Swiss Ball is quickly becoming on of my most used pieces for clients. From Ball Squats to
V-ups, the ball is one clients love to hate…or hate to love. Like the Bosu® Ball, the stability ball is great for building strength and stability of the core musculature, by delivering the proprioceptive enriched environment. A stability ball can be used in place of an exercise bench or chair for exercises like a shoulder press, flat dumbbell chest press or

bicep curl. Or for core exercises like crunches, ball tucks, ball pikes or ball v-ups. I commonly use the ball for individuals that have trouble with free standing squats, by placing the ball in between the client and the wall. This allows the client to become comfortable with the movement pattern of a squat, while strengthening weak muscles.

Not sure what size stability ball to use? Check out this guide: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/What-Size-Exercise-Ball-Buy-Your-Height-3034260.