Remember the days when gyms were sweatshops filled with metal dumbbells and barbells, when gyms were dirty, dark, and reeked of body odor? Only the most avid weightlifters were willing to set foot in the gyms of the past. The modern gym shows little resemblance to its predecessor. Today gyms are clean, well lit and friendly. They’re filled with new equipment like TRX, resistance bands and BOSU balls, and while the tried and true weights are still effective, the new equipment also has a lot to offer.
Spend some time around a fitness enthusiast, and you’ll hear the word “core” a lot. Core includes a series of complex muscles that extend far beyond abs, including everything except for your limbs, and is incorporated in almost every movement. A strong core is an essential element of any kind of physical activity, whether it is walking, running, golf, tennis, weightlifting, yoga, et cetera, and much of the new equipment offered in gyms today was created to engage core muscles.
TRX straps are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment available. They can be set up anywhere, including homes and parks. TRX provides a full-body work out that can be easily modified for every fitness level from beginner to expert. Core muscles are constantly engaged, and modifying the difficulty level is often as easy as stepping forward or backwards to change the angle of your body. TRX is one of my personal favorites, as a trainer because of its versatility, and also in my own work outs because it offers an unconventional alternative to weightlifting.
Resistance Bands are another alternative to traditional weights. Over the years resistance bands have gotten a bad rap because they were often only used in aerobics classes with very light resistance. However, resistance bands over several advantages, one being that they will fit into your luggage when traveling. Resistance bands also offer an advantage in that they offer resistance throughout every part of the movement, concentric and eccentric, which results in better range of motion. Resistance bands can be used to train all muscle groups. Bands are offered with different resistance levels so it is important to choose a band that is appropriate for your strength.
BOSU Balls can be used for a variety of exercises. Like TRX and Resistance Bands, they can be used for a variety of skill levels. BOSU is great for building core muscles, though it is not necessary that every exercise target the core. Most exercises that are performed on the floor can also be performed on a BOSU (i.e. stand on a BOSU while doing bicep curls), but there are also many innovative exercises that are specific to BOSU, such as BOSU push ups or BOSU step up. Core stability is required to perform any exercise using a BOSU, and therefore, any exercise performed on a BOSU will build core stability.
The new equipment offered in gyms today can be easily used in the comfort of your own living room, and much of this equipment can be easily packed during travel. While this equipment can be easily used and stored in the home, it is just as important that exercises are performed safely and that work outs are developed with goals in mind as it is with any other equipment. To ensure safety and an effective work out plan, schedule an appointment with a personal trainer before trying these exercises at home. Loggerhead Fitness offers lots of new equipment options and a personal training staff to help you meet your needs.