5 Home Workout Machines That Actually Give You Breathing Space
The economy is rough these days, and sometimes paying a monthly fee for the “privilege” of sharing workout equipment and showers at a gym is just not a priority. Opting for a “home workout” setup will surely save you money, but it comes with its downsides, such as taking up precious space and moving the overall level of tackiness in your apartment up a notch.
Luckily for us, modern technology has delivered more than just bigger TVs and smaller phones -- we are now seeing an influx of increasingly space-efficient workout equipment, which can be just as effective, if not better, than “real” workout machines at a commercial gym. If you’re not interested in paying for a gym membership, and you’re not a fan of the “bench and barbells on the front lawn” look, here are 5 exercise tools that will get you in shape without turning off your guests.
1. Resistance Bands
We’ll skip the most common and obvious choice for home workouts, dumbbells (and kettlebells for those P90X practitioners out there). They may not be a long-term solution since you can only vary your training regimen so many times before experiencing a plateau effect, forcing you to buy a different set of dumbbells. In order to avoid a mountain of growing dumbbells in your closet, resistance bands are a more viable option. Sometimes called “Bungies,” resistance bands can be adjusted for different levels of resistance, and unlike dumbbells, will help with muscle elasticity, increasing your strength as well as reducing your risk of injury.
2. Stability/Balance and Medicine balls
A very effective method for getting in shape, stability/balance balls can be used in conjunction with resistance bands for exercises ranging from core muscle workouts to pushups or squats. Although not the best option for the steroid enthusiasts looking to get “big,” using stability and medicine balls will put on more elastic, lean muscle, as well as develop your muscles interdependently, which increases your psycho-physiological connections, improving speed, coordination and reducing injury.
3. The Total Gym
The Total Gym and its many knockoffs may not appeal to hardcore gym users because of their lack of “heavy weights,” but for those who don’t think steroids are part of the FDA food pyramid, it’s more than enough if you’re looking to gain a considerable amount of muscle. Because of its narrow silhouette and fold up design, the Total Gym takes up about as much space as a vacuum cleaner. However, Chuck Norris is not included.
4. Rowing machines
You may be surprised by the design and compact nature of modern rowing machines. Many new models are foldable into extremely space efficient forms, taking up even less space than the aforementioned Total Gym and transforming so quickly that even Optimus Prime would blush. Besides, rowing motions don’t only improve your anaerobic respiration, but increase interdependence between your biceps, triceps, lats, pectorals and core muscles. Working out muscles concurrently with each other doesn’t only save time, but, like mentioned earlier, increases your sense of proprioception, or the mind’s conscious and unconscious awareness of the body.
5. Ab belts
While myostimulation has its risks, ab belts are a safe form of home exercise because of slow-twitch core muscles’ resiliency to strain (relative to fast-twitch fibers in the arms that are quicker but more prone to injury). Ab belts can be used in conjunction with calisthenics or other exercises done in your home, and the workouts require very little effort.
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- BodyCraft VR100 Rowing Machine | Best Low Impact, Cardiovascular Workout