Wondering which piece of fitness equipment is right for you? Read our guide to determine which workout is best suited to you and your goals.
What type of workout are you looking for?
When properly performed strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being, including increased bone, muscle, tendon & ligament strength, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, improved cardiac function, and elevated HDL (good) cholesterol.
Home gyms, free-weights, suspension trainers and resistance tools are the best pieces used to hone in on different types of muscle groups.
Which strength training equipment is best for you?
A home gym is a very effective machine with the capabilities to target all of your muscle groups for a full-body workout. For those who have the space a home gym can be an effective and feasible way of getting back into or staying in shape. While a home gym setup is just one of many routes to take in the path to fitness, it does have a variety of benefits worth considering such as convenience and a customized set-up.
Free weights are a great alternative if space doesn’t allow for a home gym or if you simply prefer the workout that free weights provide. Research has indicated that free weights provide a superior level of strength and balance for individuals who use them. While machine-based exercises and free weights are both effective in increasing muscular strength and balance, free weights provide the added dimension of versatility and specificity to real-life movements.
One of the biggest advantages offered by free weights is the ability to do several different movements in one exercise. Because you are not using a fixed system more effort is required to exercise and you are able to use several large muscle groups at the same time.
Both resistance training and free weights have a place in a well-rounded fitness program. Each of these exercise tools offer the kind of variety, flexibility and "real-world" functionality not found in larger pieces of weight equipment such as weight machines.
Perhaps the biggest advantage that resistance bands hold over free weights is in their transportability. Resistance bands can literally be folded-up and taken with you practically anywhere. You can use them in your office, at home or on vacation, and they can be used for just about every exercise that can be performed with free weights. Special accessories such as door attachments and handles make them even more adaptable.
You can still have an intense workout without access to traditional strength training tools. You carry with you a resistance tool you can use anywhere: your body. Suspension training uses your body, and by changing the angle at which gravity acts on it you can vary your training routine and increase your strength. Suspension training systems such as the TRX change the position of your body in relation to the earth to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout. You can use a suspension trainer to strengthen all of the muscle groups in your body, including your core and your lower body.
Cardio refers to light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism that can be performed for extended periods of time. Cardio equipment is used to condition your heart through aerobic workouts that involve increasing your heart-rate and blood-oxygen levels.
Which cardio machine is best for you?
Treadmills enable the user to set up an exercise regime that can be adhered to irrespective of the weather. Their cushioned tread provides substantially lower impact training than running on outdoor surfaces and their variety of preset programs and user settings allow you to experience a comfortable and custom workout every time you set foot on your treadmill. Treadmills offer instant feedback on your speed, distance, time and calories burned, which most users find to be very useful.
If you have a previous or current injury caused from a higher impact sport or if you prefer a lower impact workout than an elliptical can provide, bikes (recumbent, upright or spin) and rowers are a popular alternative. Both offer unique preset programs and features whether it’s a low, medium or high intensity workout you’re looking for, all with zero impact.
Elliptical training is a low-impact form of exercise. Low-impact exercise means exercise that is less stressful on your back, hips and knees compared to activities like running on a treadmill. You only need to use muscular strength to propel an elliptical machine, which offers benefits for older people, pregnant women, recovering athletes and people who are new to exercising. Since elliptical training can exercise various lower-body and upper-body muscles, you won't have to spend as much extra time working those muscle groups after you work out on an elliptical. You may be able to get in a well-rounded workout on an elliptical machine in less time.
An exercise bike gives you a low-impact workout that simulates riding a bike outside. Exercise bikes may be perfect for your fitness needs if you want something that is convenient and easy to use. An exercise bike does not take up much space and can be used indoors, rain or shine.
While an upright bike offers a more traditional ride, the recumbent bike eases back tension and increases lumbar support as you ride.
The spin bike is another popular and effective cardiovascular workout, taking the user to a whole new level of cycling. Some models are specifically designed for triathletes and cyclists who want to reach an increased performance level, while other stationary bikes are designed for the entry-level rider looking to experience indoor cycling for the first time. Many stationary bikes also come with features including the latest screen technology and software programs, giving riders the ability to watch and experience an interactive training workout.
Rowing is an excellent exercise for attaining maximum physical fitness. Much like rowing a boat on the water, a stationary rowing machine can help to build and tone muscles, strengthen cardiovascular function and increase stamina. Rowing machines are particularly effective for older fitness enthusiasts because there they place no strain on the back and joints.
Rowing invokes all the muscles of the body and trains them evenly. With little pressure on the joints, rowers work the legs, hips and buttocks with each stroke. They also use upper body muscles, strengthening the back, shoulders and arms. The trunk and core are engaged in the exercise as the rower performs each stroke. You can also adjust most rowing machines to create a tighter resistance to build muscle.
How can I get the best workout for my body?
As you might have guessed, incorporating both strength and cardiovascular training into your workouts will produce the best overall results.
Cardio workouts boost your blood-oxygen levels, which greatly aid your body’s performance in recreational activities like high intensity sports or even just walking up a few flights of stairs without being winded.
Strength training will compliment your cardio by allowing your body to utilize more muscles without using as much effort, not to mention the multitude of positive effects that strength training has on your body and physical well-being.
Browse our cardio products online or give us a shout to get expert advice on which one is right for you.