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The Best Exercise Equipment You're Not Using

These 12 underrated fitness machines and gadgets could give your workout a boost.
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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 Moreno.

"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.

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