5 PIECES OF HOME EQUIPMENT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY OWN!
A healthy home is a happy home, and what better way to promote healthy behaviours than by having some exercise equipment kicking around!
A foam roller is a poor man's massage therapist. Rolling is a slightly ugly but effective way of performing myofascial release on any aching or tight muscles you may have.
If a muscle is over-activated and over-used it will become tender, sore, and in dire need of release. Trigger points/soreness along the muscle indicate areas of over-use.
Foam rolling works like a Massage Therapist's hands and presses into the fascia of the muscle helping it retain it's natural level of pliability, increasing circulation, and assisting movement.
Obviously not all muscles can be targeted using this method, and you may have to be creative and use other equipment to release the required areas (try a tennis ball or spiky massage ball, or better yet an actual Massage Therapist).
Secondly a long Roller can be used for advanced core work while doubling up as a handy tool for massage, cheap and multi-functional!
SECONDARY USAGE: Draught Excluder, Mild Weapon, instantly hide half-drunken Rum bottles
To be precise a '65cm Anti-Burst Swiss Ball' (properly inflated).
An exercise ball opens the door to a whole range of destabilised exercises, advanced stretching techniques, and awesome core work.
Away from exercising a Swiss ball can be great for getting your back moving; try sitting on one at your desk instead of a chair and rolling your pelvis around gently to engage and mobilise the muscles of the lower abs, hips, and lumbar spine.
SECONDARY USAGE: Seat; Footrest; Oversized novelty football
Resistance Bands are a fix-all tool for achieving effective, physically complex exercises at home. Most of us know the light and stretch type given out by physiotherapists for various rehabilitation exercises, but the thicker stronger resistance bands are becoming more commonplace in home gyms everywhere!
With a creative mindset and some physical awareness virtually any exercise can be recreated or assisted through the use of Resistance Bands.
There's literally no limit to the number of exercises you can undertake with a resistance band. Some exercises with a steep learning curve (the Pull Up for example) can be assisted by using a resistance band, and for several other full body movements Resistance Bands can be a vital asset to get your technique nailed! Try squatting with a light resistance band around the knees to assist in promoting femoral rotation through your squat pattern.
SECONDARY USAGE: Try tying a Power Band between 2 trees and seeing how far you can catapult a Watermelon/Coconut/Stuff.
Kettlebells are quite possibly one of the most versatile and effective pieces of equipment available today.
The list of exercise benefits is pretty long, non-exhaustive list below...
-Open up a unique set of exercises not typically adopted by dumbbell's
-Teach good lifting principles
-Unique weight:handle position
-Make a great doorstop
But to me the real beauty of Kettlebell's is that they are HUGELY versatile! Due to their unique shape; weight placed ousite the axis of rotation (the handle), they open up a whole new set of exercises not previously achievable with dumbbell's or barbell's. Secondly most exercises usually undertaken with Barbell's can be executed on Kettlebell's, sometimes with an arguably more effective and efficient technique.
My own personal collection now totals just over 100kg, ranging from 4-24kg, and since owning them it's encouraged me to work out more frequently, and creatively.
Rumour has it that the Russian's had a surplus of Cannonballs after military technology superceded their necessity; so they slapped a handle on it and started launching them around for good health.
SECONDARY USAGE: Doorstop; Excessive Paperweight; Awkward Shotput
Push Up Bars
Small, light, and available from Argos stores nationwide, the humble Push Up Bar has been overlooked in recent years.
That is of course until Calisthenics hit the exercise scene, and they were propelled back into usage with a whole host of cool new moves!
Anatomically Push Up Bars adjust how you load your wrist (palms inwards) which for many will facilitate a stronger shoulder alignment and less stress on the wrist (in moves such as Push Ups, Dips, Full Planks, Handstands etc).
They're small, light, and provide some seriously tough exercises!
And since Calisthenics took flight Push Up Bars have evolved into 'Paralettes', longer sturdier bars which allow for some truly unique and inspiring exercises!
SECONDARY USAGE: Answers on a postcard please...
And there we have it! 5 pieces of Gym Equipment you really should consider owning! You can get the lot for under £100 and start getting results at home, at a time that suits YOU, in YOUR environment, surrounded by YOUR music!
Happy exercising guys...