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Great Gym Equipment that's Rarely Used
Going to the gym can get monotonous if you stick to the same pieces of equipment when you go. You might feel stuck with the treadmill, bike, or elliptical, and any attempt at exploring other equipment might seem futile. However, to maximize your gym experience, you should explore the gym equipment that may be hiding in places that get less traffic. In addition to asking gym staff members to show you equipment you have never used, find ways to incorporate this rarely used gym equipment.
Weight Plates and Medicine Balls
Strength training gets more interesting when you do multi-directional exercises. Using weight plates or medicine balls can give you a challenge that will test your core strength and balance, while giving you a full body workout. Grab a bench and a few plates of different weights, 10 and 25 should do for most regular exercisers. Use the weight plate as you would for most arm exercises including stiff-legged dead lifts, chest presses, and bent over rows. Incorporating step-ups on the bench, lunges and squats can help complete your workout. For an extra challenge incorporate standing front raise rotations, woodchoppers with squats, and overhead pullovers while lying on a bench. Like weight plates, medicine ball exercises allow you to improve strength with weights without bulky barbells or hand weights.
The Plyometric Box
The explosive jumps that most people think about when they hear plyometrics are advanced exercises that most beginners cannot due without risking injury. However, you don’t have to jump to use the plyometric box. In fact, you can use it like a step to do advanced step-ups that will help you build strength, balance and stability. Without additional weights, do a basic step up on the plyometric box. Keep the alternating leg straight and extend it 6 inches out to your side, while keeping the leg on the box slightly bent. Do 10-16 reps per leg. Using the box will give you a deeper stretch and work your gluts harder than the shorter standard aerobic step.
The Rowing Machine
Usually tucked somewhere between the elliptical machine and weight machines, the rowing machine awaits you. The machine is easy for beginners, low-impact, and good for conditioning arms. If you have knee problems, you can improve your cardio fitness with rowing machine exercises. Using a rowing machine is simple, but don’t overdo it time-wise. Rowing machines with air resistance are not adjustable, so limit your time according to your fitness level. For those with adjustable resistance, try cycling between heavy resistance and slower speed, and lower resistance with faster speed to get both a strength and cardio workout.
What gym equipment do you use that is off the beaten path?