Have you ever wondered what fitness equipment you really need? I am here to tell you the most used fitness equipment in our gym. These six items are used most often when working with clients and working out ourselves.
After each piece of equipment I give you a little background on why it is one of the most used fitness equipment pieces and how you can start using it.
If you have questions about the equipment or if you are considering buying it send a message or comment below. I am happy to provide more information when needed.
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Most Used Fitness Equipment As A Personal Trainer
NERD ALERT – As a personal trainer the BOSU Ball is one of our most used fitness equipment pieces because it provides us the ability to open chain versus close chain. Something that should be included in programming, but often forgotten.
We also love the BOSU Ball from a position of balance and stability. We use this piece of most used fitness equipment with all ages and skill level. In very few circumstances do we find the BOSU ball obsolete.
That might mean nothing to you. So let me tell you why our clients like the BOSU Ball.
Our clients enjoy using the BOSU Ball because it is an added challenge to their workouts and/or it adds variety to what they have been doing. It is a simple way for us to change up the workout for our client and maintain a well balanced program.
If you are just starting out with a BOSU Ball we suggest that you use a stick for balance and start off with just body weight. Be prepared, your body will shake. But in time it will get better. That shaking is a result of your muscles firing rapidly learning how to stabilize on an unstable surface.
I think this one is pretty straight forward. Everyone should have a yoga mat for comfort. You can take that a step forward and say that a yoga mat can help performance.
You are probably thinking that makes no sense, but hear me out.
For activities like yoga, Pilates and mobility a mat can actually improve your performance. Good quality mats are designed to give you traction and comfort without sacrificing your balance and stability.
This yoga mat is our favorite mat because it does just that. It is also easy to clean and DOES NOT fall apart. I strongly dislike a crumbly yoga mat. Keep in mind, these awesome benefits are reflected in the price.
If you want to learn more about Pilates take a look at this article Pilates: What Is it? Should I be Doing it?
If you haven’t gotten on a foam roller yet I would stop reading now and go do it. Regardless of if you are a 5 day a week exerciser or if you are just starting. A foam roller will be one of your most used fitness equipment pieces.
One thing to consider is density. Foam rollers are sold in different density and sizes. I favor a medium to hard density because I am accustomed to foam roller and I am willing to suffer through the discomfort to get the results I want. I generally start my clients on a low density and move them up.
Remember I say that because I have a variety of foam rollers in different sizes and density. It is easy for me to offer variety. For my clients looking to buy for their home I suggest medium density. So I would point you in that direction too, but don’t come at me if it hurts!
I mentioned size. Well I like the longer foam rollers because I find them more functional for chest stretching. Which is one of my favorites. Take that for what it is – no size is perfect. But the longer length certainly gives you more versatility.
You can read more about my most used equipment for recovery in 5 Best Exercise Recovery Tools.
Dumbbells – number 1 most used gym equipment
You need resistance when working out. Yes, you can use body weight. But if you really want to get some adaptations and results you need resistance. The most used gym equipment for resistance is hands down dumbbells. A close second would be a cable machine. But for the sake of space, budget and realism dumbbells win.
Dumbbells are so versatile in terms of what you can do with them, but they also offer so much from a programming perspective. You can work uni-lateral or bi-lateral. You can work in varies planes of motion (sagittal, transverse, frontal) and muscle contractions (eccentric, concentric, isometric).
Do you need to know how to use dumbbells?
Well, not to be too frank, but you just add them in. If you are doing body weight squats, try holding a dumbbell. Lunges? Same thing.
Are you doing push-ups for your chest? With dumbbells you can do chest press and vary angles, reps and duration.
All my talk about programming is above what you need to know to get moving! If you crave that level of knowledge or intention in your workouts send me a message 🙂
Hip Circle – favorite most used gym equipment
This is our standard piece of equipment. Not a workout goes by that I don’t use it for myself. And rarely is there a reason not to use it with a client.
That being said it is used for muscle activation and increasing stability. It will not replace resistance training to gain strength, size and improve performance.
Our clients love the hip circle because they can instantly feel it working. They hate the hip circle because they can instantly feel it working. 🙂
In all seriousness, the hip circle is the perfect piece of equipment for warm-ups and for travel. It effectively targets the stabilizing muscles of your hips getting them ready for action on dynamic movements or under heavy work loads.
The hip circle is also very small and light weight making it easy to travel with. It can also serve as a substitute for heavy resistance when traveling and still give you a hard workout.
The foundation of a good training program and really feeling good in general is range of motion and stability. The TRX is incredible for working on both of those areas no matter your fitness level.
I love to use the TRX with clients orthopedic limitations as a means to de-load movement and with high level athletes to challenge their stability and more importantly stability through a large range of motion.
Here is my only thought on a drawback – space. I love the TRX in my gym because I can use it in all directions including directly below. For many home exercisers you use the TRX with a closed door. Which can limit how far under the TRX you can get for exercises like rowing, planks and fall outs.
Read about training with a trx.
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