For people who understand the benefits of working out and eating healthy, fitness isn’t merely something you do – it’s a way of life. From the elliptical to good old-fashioned jogging, exercise helps keep your body younger, stronger, and healthier than it would otherwise be.
However, the treadmill has been around for quite some time, and some people have as much knee-trouble using it as they do running on concrete and asphalt. This has opened the doors for all kinds of unique and functional exercise equipment, from core-strengthening fitness balance boards, to kettlebells for strength, shaping, and power. The following details some of the more popular unconventional training equipment on the market.
Although this piece of equipment requires space, its ability to give your body a full workout is championed by anyone who’s ever used one. By lifting the tire up, you engage your quads, hamstrings, abdominals, shoulders, arms, and even back for an aerobic-power combination that’s difficult to simulate with any other single piece of equipment. It builds explosive strength, all while burning fat. In fact, the tire can serve as a virtually complete gym, since you can use it for pushups and hammer work.
Fitness Balance Boards
Many people who’ve been working out for quite some time still don’t realize just how important their core is, which is why they eschew core-strengthening exercises. Your core stabilizes everything, allowing you to draw both balance and strength for a variety of activities. The fitness balance board is a piece of equipment that focuses on this neglected area and endows you with better coordination, all while increasing your metabolic rate and burning fat. Additionally, it’s easy on the knees, and it is also quite versatile.
Undulating Heavy Ropes
These are two long, heavy ropes that are capable of giving you a shoulder workout for the ages. By grabbing both ends, one with either hand, and executing an up-and-down wave motion with them, you engage your deltoids for an aerobic, power-building workout. Lighter ropes can be used to tone muscle, which is often preferred by women and men not looking to bulk up. Most importantly, the ropes have the ability to shock your muscles past any plateaus you might have reached with conventional weight-training. Heavy ropes are also called “battle ropes,” and there are several different kinds of exercises you can accomplish with them.
Used to prepare Russian Olympic athletes for competition, kettlebells have only just recently taken the West by storm. Even so, you won’t find them in most gyms yet, despite the transformative effects they can have on your body. The best way to take advantage of what they have to offer is to get a kettlebell of medium weight, and employ any of the wide array of movements that build massive power without building slabs of muscle. If you’re a bodybuilder, kettlebell movements can help you burn the fat around your abdominals, as well as build functional muscle if you increase the weight and repetitions.
All this requires is a sturdy box that can hold several times your weight. This workout is extremely effective for plyometrics, which builds explosive strength in your legs and tightens your core. Of course, combining several of these unconventional training methods into your workout, such as the fitness balance board and the kettlebell, would make you unrecognizable (in a good way) after a few months of a committed workout routine.