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Save your cash, don’t buy these……
As a PT and fitness expert I come across a plethora of different types of fitness equipment. As trends flow in and out, there are always regretful purchases that end up as clothes horses or weird “art” pieces that fill up your already crammed garage. In an additional attempt to be kinder to the planet and minimise our consumption of “plasticky” things, I thought it was about time to help you rid your life of the excess crap. Let’s explore the useless pieces of fitness equipment you need to avoid
- Push Up Handles: Why? You have hands, use them. These handle things are usually touted as being able to give you the perfect push up position or give you a little more depth to your movement but they really aren’t necessary. Simply experiment with your hand position (closer, wide, further apart) to find your perfect position hand position for your body structure. Me personally- I like my hands between the standard wide and close tricep position (picture a clock for a moment) 11 o’clock and 2 o’clock with fingers slightly pointed inwards. Furthermore, if you want to improve your posture and prevent slouching, try not to do a lot of chest exercises (like a push up) instead focus on your back and core muscles. We spend so much time hunched over computers and devices we need to work on the opposing force to pull us more upright
- Tiny (usually pink) Dumbbells: Seriously your handbag weighs more than most of these 1-2 kilo weights. They also aggravate every trainer trying to quash the myth that weight training makes females bulky (which for the millionth time isn’t true). Not only will you need to progress from this tiny weight in a matter of sessions and therefore an additional purchase but you are just not applying enough load to your muscles. I understand that you may use them in a rehab situation but for day to day weight training, I’m definitely not feeling this at all. I recommend starting with a 4-5 kg set of dumbbells or a 8 kg or 12 kg kettlebell, you’ll get much more use of them and you’ll be able to add to your collection as you get stronger. Women tend to really underestimate their strength whereas men, shock horror, inflate it. Take a break in the middle of your set if you need and then try to complete your rep total that you were aiming for.
- Ab Crunchers ( All. Of. Them!) If it features on a late night infomercial, back away lady. I get it- You fall for the toned fitness model crunching her life away on the whatever-ab-a-tron and you think “Yes, that is exactly what I need. Take my money”. They all work on the premise of spot reduction and add to perfection anxiety. Sorry to disappoint you but you will have to control your food intake, avoid alcohol and have exceptional genes if you want a lean six pack. If you want to find the happy medium (hurrah!) accept your have a fat roll, eat a balanced diet, exercise your body as a whole (weighted squats, deadlifts, lunges, body rows etc and a few planks thrown in for good measure), reduce stress, sleep well and stay consistent with your routine you’ll be on a winner. Sometimes the boring old moderation card is the best to play in this fitness game.
- Bulky cardio machines: Starting anywhere from $250 to $5000, treadmills, stationary bikes and cross trainers quickly can become the elephant in the room. You have great intentions to keep committed but due to the mindless nature of cardio equipment it becomes a lose lose situation. I prefer a skipping rope, hitting the great outdoors for a hike or my patch of grass/hallway for some interval training (think jumping jacks, burpees, kettle swings and high knees). Interval training is your go to for fat loss and a sweaty puffy cardio workout. You perform work sets and rest sets and spend less time working out (BONUS!) If you have it ingrained in you that a gym isn’t complete without a piece of cardio equipment try a rower, they are relatively slim line and give you a great all over workout.
Honourable mentions include: waist trainers, space suits and the shaker weight. *massive eye roll*
If you do want to see a home workout in action with just a couple of dumbbells watch this or perhaps you’re thinking of setting up a home gym to avoid joining a gym try this post I wrote , on the perfect cost effective set up.
What’s the worst piece of equipment you got sucked in to buy?