Considering your goal is a crucial step in choosing the right equipment for you. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up between a rock and a hard place. For beginners, general fitness must always be your top priority.
General fitness includes weight management, muscle toning, and flexibility. Focusing on these components first would allow your body to be optimally prepared for the strenuous exercises. Now that we’ve chosen our holy grail, what equipment should we choose?
1. Cardio: Rowing Machine
Hop on the treadmill or go for a run. These are probably the two things you’ll first think of when you hear the word cardio. When you run or jog, you’ll run out of energy. Through instinct, your body will automatically convert carbohydrates and fat into energy. In no time, this process will lead to weight loss, which is one of the purposes of cardio.
Conversely, there are instances when you’ll suffer from joint problems that might not allow you to run a long-distance or even do a brisk walk. But don’t worry. You can find other ways, so you don’t have to stop doing cardio exercises to prevent further injuries.
Rowing machines are one of the solid alternatives for treadmills. In fact, hitting a rowing machine is better than a treadmill. The following is the low-down on why rowing machines have more advantages than treadmills:
- Rowing machines work out both your upper and lower body, while treadmills only focus on your lower body part
- Rowing machines allow you to work out even with leg injuries as they’re low-impact, while treadmills don’t
- Rowing machines don’t work against gravity nor pound joints, while treadmills are weight-bearing
- Rowing machines are cheaper than treadmills
By contrast, treadmills allow you to burn more calories than treadmills. However, it only happens if the said running machine is at a steep incline. In general, rowing machines offer you not only a cardiovascular workout but also a full-body training.
2. Strength: Medicine Balls
If you’re looking for versatile gym equipment, you can try medicine balls. Med balls, which is also called as exercise ball or fitness ball, are hefty, weighted tools typically used for strength training, but can also be used in improving your flexibility.
These spherical weights can aid you in enhancing your power and conditioning and strengthening almost all of your muscle groups. In doing so, you have to use these loads and pair them with suitable exercises, such as the following:
- Medicine ball balance
targets: shoulders, core, back, glutes, hamstrings
- Medicine ball lunge with twist
targets: shoulders, chest, obliques, glutes, quads
- Medicine ball squats
targets: shoulders, core, glutes, quads
- Medicine ball squats with full arm extension
targets: shoulders, back, glutes, quads
- Medicine ball woodchop
targets: shoulders, back, obliques, glutes, quads
As you can see above, medicine balls aren’t only utilized for strength training. It can also be employed with countless exercises intended for balance, coordination, and other fitness components. There’s a reason why these old-fashioned med balls are still existing in any fast-changing, high-tech gym.
3. Flexibility: Foam Roller
Foam roller provides you with a self-myofascial release (SMFR) or self-massage. SMFR is one of the ways to improve thew, restore the optimal muscular length, and decrease muscle pain. Specifically, it enhances spinal and hamstring extension, as well as alleviates the tension on the iliotibial tract.
Foam rolling can improve your flexibility, as well. The traditional static stretching works the same as foam rolling. One primary difference between the two is foam rolling doesn’t weaken your strength. Here’s a list of foam rolling movements you can do as beginners:
- Upper back roll
- IT band roll
- Hamstring roll
- Quadricep roll
In a nutshell, the self-myofascial release adapted from foam rollers enhance one’s range-of-motion or flexibility without comprising muscular strength. It’s recommended to perform foam rolling before a resistance-training, the same as how we execute stretching as a warm-up exercise.
4. Full-body workout: Multi Home Gym
Another multifunctional equipment you can use is the home gym. It’s single equipment with various other equipment attached to it. Hence, it’s called ‘all-in-one.’ What are these machines or parts gathered as one equipment? Let’s use the BodyCraft Galena Pro Home Gym as an example. It’s comprised of the six distinctive stations intended for different muscle groups:
- Pec fly station. This station is separated from the others. It has a non-adjustable seat, thick pads, and hand-grips. These three parts would allow you to execute different kinds of fly exercises.
- Press station. Unlike in the pec fly station, the press station has an adjustable seat, horizontal grips, and press bar. However, you can only do seated presses in this station. You can’t execute laying bench presses in this part.
- Leg developer. As the name implies, this station promotes leg exercises, such as leg presses or hack squats. It’s placed underneath the press arm station. One thing you should remember, in Galena Pro, you can’t use leg developer’s pulleys as low pulleys.
- Mid-pulley station. BodyCraft Galena Pro is one of the home gyms that offer mid-pulley station. This part has an abs harness accessory attached to it, allowing you to do trunk rotations, abs crunches, and other exercises for your glutes and abdomen.
- Low-pulley station. As BodyCraft aimed to provide space-saving equipment to the clients, the company didn’t place low pulley under the leg developer in Galena Pro, unlike other home gyms. This placement allows you to save space every time you’ll do low pulley exercises, such as seated rows.
- Lat pull-down station. This station includes a lat bar and a high pulley, which is located over the press station. You can perform different variations of lat pull-down, like reverse close-grip, behind-the-neck, wide-grip, or single arm. The main goal of this station is to promote shoulder and back workout.
If you want to learn more about this model of a home gym, apart from its attached machines, you can check Barbend’s review about it. Further, home gym equipment allows you to perform almost 50 or more exercise, including workouts for cardio, strength, power, flexibility, balance, coordination, and many more.