The exercise equipment industry is saturated with products that promise quick results with little effort. From a six-minute, full upper body workout with a weight that you shake back and forth to a pair of shoes that’s supposed to tone and shape your legs and glutes, home fitness products can seem like a whole bunch of false promises. There are, however, some fitness products out there that can actually help improve your fitness–many of them have long been staples at gyms. Here’s a list of 6 exercise tools that you should have at home.
The ab rollout is an effective exercise that really hits the core muscles by engaging the abdominal muscles to resist the extension of the lumbar spine. The ab wheel, specifically designed for this movement has been used for decades. It’s been said to be more effective than traditional situps/crunches, and it’s definitely a more physically challenging exercise. Ab wheels are inexpensive tools, but if you have access to a barbell, you can do the same movement with a barbell and two 10-pound weights.
Those logs of foam you’ve probably seen around in your gym are actually very useful tools in preventing muscle soreness. Myofascial release is a massage method that releases muscle tightness and trigger points through gentle, sustained pressure over sore areas. It’s long been used by professional athletes and physical therapists but it’s gained popularity and now self myofascial release is used by many athletes and non-athletes to improve muscle tightness and flexibility.
You might think resistance bands are used only by middle-aged women who don’t lift weights, but they deserve a place in everyone’s strength or rehabilitation programs. There are two types of resistance bands: the tube bands with handles and the flat bands. They come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and strengths so you can use heavier resistance levels for strength exercises and to add difficulty to calisthenics. Lighter resistance bands are useful for rehabilitating injuries.