The bags come with an exercise guide, which is accessed with NFC technology. Vibration plates trigger the reflex muscles in your abdomen and legs. These subtly contract up to 50 times per second. The vibrations strengthen and tone muscles. However, if used in conjunction with the supplied resistance bands you can turn it into a good cardio workout. If you think this is a lazy, stand-and-do-nothing piece of kit, think again.
There are resistance bands and handles that connect to each side so you can perform a range of exercises such as squatting, torso twist, arm curls and raises. A quick Google search will bring up lots of questions as to whether vibration plates actually work but all I can go on is the evidence and my body feels a lot tighter than it usually does. I can remember trying my first weighted vest on seven years ago and I went running. Particularly if you suffer with joint issues. A weighted vest has its place though, especially if you like doing bodyweight circuits like me.
1 Work out why, don’t just work out
The vest can add resistance to your workouts as it makes your body work harder. Use this circuit as an example: 20 squats, 20 jumping jacks, 20 press-ups, 20 sit-ups, 20 lunges and 20 burpees. You can obviously do some of these holding a weight but you can also do them all while wearing a weighted vest. The weights within the vest are removable so you can start light and build up.
The Bosu looks like your classic gym ball, just cut in half. It provides an all-in-one fast and fun workout. It offers cardiovascular, aerobic, endurance, strength and flexibility. It also really helps with balance, body awareness and coordination. The Bosu we tested was incredibly easy to set up — the hand pump was included as well as a handy exercise guide with QR codes to take you to video demonstrations. Even just standing on the Bosu for the first time to find your centre position took some getting used to.
You could really feel your core muscles engaging.
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Now imagine doing a variation of exercises one after another and your core really goes into overdrive. The Bosu is a really good piece of equipment for beginners and advanced users too — just try balancing on it with one leg. This one from Marcy is great and comes with: 5ft straight barbell, 2 x dumbell bars, 6 x locking collars and a variety of weight plates for multiple combinations. I have it in my gym right now along with a mix and match of other brands. Weight is obviously different per person, so just go with what feels right and to how many repetitions you can complete.
Compound basically means it uses multiple muscles groups at the same time. This will help you to perfect your technique and then you can gradually add weight to what feels comfortable and challenging. You get more out of the exercise versus simply doing seated arm curls — which will only target the biceps. Go for ones like in this set, which are called spring lock.
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Simply press the two prongs together and slide it over the bar. Storage wise, you can stack unwanted weights and the bars can rest against a wall. There are lots of kettlebells on the market but I like this one from Opti that comes in a variety of weights. There are more than 50 exercises you can do with them and the results are impressive. A kettlebell uses muscles in your body from head to toe, it focuses a lot around your core and increases flexibility. Bear in mind though, treat these workouts with respect — poor form and lifting too heavy can put stress on your joints and result in injury.
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Pay particular attention to foot space and adopting a neutral spine position. Weight wise, you can go as low as 2kg which is perfect for beginners. A clear state of mind can often lead to making better choices — especially when it comes to making food ones. Yoga is a great form of exercise to clear your mind.
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You get the benefits of yoga-inspired stretches and you also get to relax at the same time! Designed by a yoga pro, the mat has four sequences to help you stretch, release and relax. Ideal if you sit at a computer for long hours of the day! The mat is powered by mains and can be folded away when not in use. Yoga is great for increased flexibility and it can lessen chronic pain such as lower back pain, arthritis and headaches. We all get bored of doing the same thing and your body gets used to it.
Free weights are my foundation though so for that reason I recommend the Marcy set. I also highly recommend the Everflex punch bag , which guarantees to get the heart racing as well as relieving stress. If you struggle with aching joints, consider the JumpGa rebounder. For budget and a space saver, skipping ropes offer a great warm up.
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Look no further than hip bridges! The move: Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to push your hips up.
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Do not use your lower back to pull yourself up. Spike your heart rate, burn extra calories and fire up your metabolism with this great cardio exercise. The move: Get into a pushup position.
Keep your core tight and run as fast as you can while driving your knees to your chest. Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice. Share it:. About the Author. Anthony J.