The Best Exercise Equipment You're Not Using
These 12 underrated fitness machines and gadgets could give your workout a boost.
Strength Training Fitness Equipment continued...
Wrist and forearm machine. Particularly for women, wrists can be very
weak joints. Yet few exercisers work on this area.
With a wrist/forearm machine, you can work the wrist in all directions -- up
and down and side to side -- while holding the forearms parallel to the floor,
elbows bent at 90 degrees, says Westcott.
If you don't have the machine, Westcott says, there's another way. Simply
attach a light weight or sandbag to a dowel with a strong piece of string about
3 feet long. Then practice holding the forearms level while you roll the weight
toward the dowel and back toward the floor.
Elastic bands. "People don't realize these bands have benefits
that machines can't provide," says Stoppani. "They provide linear
variable resistance," he says, which means that as you continue through
your range of motion, the resistance increases.
"Bands cause you to recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are
the ones with the greatest potential for increasing strength and are the ones
we tend to lose as we age," says Stoppani. "They also can provide
resistance in any direction and are great for mimicking sports activities like
a golf swing."
Ankle/wrist weights. "Just doing some traditional, old-school
calisthenics with weights on your ankles or wrists can give you a great added
benefit," says Moreno. "There's something really nice about feeling the
whole body having to work to isolate that one area you're working."
Cardiovascular Fitness Equipment
Step mill (a stair-stepping machine with actual steps). Choosing this
machine over the treadmill will likely give you a better workout, says
"It's like a really nice cross between not having to do too much and
getting a lot," she says. "If you walked at the same pace, you wouldn't
get the same benefit."
Because it closely simulates climbing steps, and you have to pick up your
feet to get to the next step, it burns more calories than walking while it
works the hamstrings and glutes, she says. Just 1-5 minutes on this machine can
be beneficial, says Moreno.