Happy Easter! I am enjoying a four-day weekend, with a lot of prayer, Biblical reflection and delicious home-cooked and traditional foods. A little vino will also be on the agenda.
I wanted to pop in to talk about the various forms of resistance when training. Most people feel the need to change things up in their workout. When I want to keep things interesting, I love looking to different equipment to add weight to my training. My gym has been adding more and more apparatus to meet these needs, aside from just dumbbells and barbells. In addition to more TRX suspension straps, there are now more weighted sticks, balls and woody sand bags. All great for mixing things up.
Woody Bags/Sand bags:
These are effective for push and pull exercises. I have used them for flat bench presses, over head presses, deadlifts and back rows. The bags in my gym are not that heavy. The heaviest one is twenty pounds, but they can be on the cumbersome side. Holding them can add additional challenge to your workout.
The gym has been adding more and more kettlebells of all sizes and for good reason. They are becoming more popular than barbells and dumbells. Back rows, over head presses, squats, lunges and clean and presses are all used with kettlebells. They provide so much variety to most any type of resistance workout.
The Weighted Sticks:
These sticks ranging in weight from six pounds to twenty are used mostly in the bootcamp classes, but I have seen them being used in a variety of interesting ways. I like the weighted sticks for beginners. As they are lighter than barbells, the weighted sticks are perfect for practicing form and technique as you increase your weight and strength. I use them a lot for my walking lunges, as well as cradling them on my chest as I do stomach crunches.
The medicine/weighted ball:
The medicine balls are always in use at my gym. Ball slams, Russian twists, holding them chest-level to do deep squats and using them for plank variations are some exercises I have observed and tried. The balls range in weight from five pounds to twenty, making increasing strength fun and varied.
Visit these articles for more variations:
What are some ways you switch things up when using resistance?
Disclaimer: If new to using any of the above equipment, please consult with a fitness professional. Consideration to safety and injury prevention must be first and foremost.