With highly specialized boutique gyms seemingly taking over the market for high-end fitness almost overnight, we’re now seeing many of the tools of said niche gyms make appearances in the big box gyms all over the country. Few of the below items are truly “new” – in fact, some date back thousands of years, and are just now finding their place within the world of modern fitness. You can get all of these are products for your home gym – in fact, we think the five of these can come together to provide just about everything you’ll need in a workout.
1. Kettlebells – Reaching out to the Eastern bloc.
Not exactly new, but as with a few other entries this would fall under the “What’s old is new again” category. Kettlebells fell out of favor for a number of years, but have made a roaring comeback with the Crossfit movement to thank. Our favorite are the cleverly designed ones in faces of zombies, monkeys and werewolves made by Onnit (from $12.95 for a ten pound kettlebell to $153.95 for a hundred pound kettlebell, available at onnit.com).
2. Battle Ropes – More tiring than you ever thought twine could be.
While these look like they may be better suited on the set of the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie, they are in fact some of the most effective means to get your heart rate up while working your arms, shoulders and core. There are a number of exercises you can do with battle ropes, though the most common exercises are some variation of the wave, in which you stand shoulder with feet width apart, grasping an end of the rope in each hand while moving your arms up and down to create “waves” throughout the rope. Try doing this for forty-five seconds while maintaining intensity – it isn’t easy. We’re fans of Muscle Ropes (from $100 to $500, available at muscleropes.com) – they stock a huge amount of variety to make sure you find something perfectly suited to your needs.
3. Maces – Bringing Indo Persian warrior training to the 21st
These amount to essentially a very heavy weight (historically it was a stone, now it’s usually steel) affixed to the end of a long wooden or steel rod. The exercises are appropriately themed (the spear-jab is much, much more difficult than you would think at first blush) and incorporate a whole slew of stabilizer muscles that otherwise oftentimes go neglected. We’re particularly fond of Onnit’s ($27.95 for a 7 pound mace up to $92.95 for a 25 pound mace, available at www.onnit.com). A word of warning, the mace weight is deceptively heavy, we’ve seen men and women who are seasoned crossfitters have their hands full with a 10 or 15 pound mace.
4. TRX Suspension System – Body weight never felt so good.
Not exactly new within the high-end gyms, but it has proliferated itself into just about every gym in America now. Provided you have a doorframe or something to affix the TRX to, the list of exercises it enables you to do is nearly endless. Fortunately, TRX also produces helpful videos that walk through specific exercises suited to whatever specific goals you have in mind. Further, having your own TRX ($199.95, available at trxtraining.com) is a great way to take the lessons learned in the gym classes to use at home or on the road, as it’s the one product we’ve mentioned that travels incredibly well.
5. Peloton Indoor Cycle – Bringing the spinning craze to your living room.
The most high end item on our list, the Peloton bike ($1,995, available at pelotoncycle.com) brings the spinning class quality bike and instruction to your living room. With a monthly service charge of $39 you have access to unlimited streaming rides, live and on demand. While this might seem steep at first, for those die hard SoulCycle aficionado’s who spend $35 a class several times a week this can actually be a major money saver.
Training comes easy with the proper equipment. While working out is a key part of staying healthy, it is still important to stay on top of your nutrient intake. Find out which supplements can benefit you.