The Complete Guide to Workout Equipment and Gear
Regardless of your fitness goals and type of workout plan, chances are you’re going to need some equipment or at least a few pieces of gear. Choosing the right gear is just as important as picking the best workout plan, and this means that you will want to know exactly what you are looking for. In this guide you will find information on the various uses for the common types of exercise equipment, along with a few helpful tips on how to get the best results from your gear.
Some of the advantages associated with incorporating a spin bike into your top workout equipment list include
Some of the new rowing machines features
Road and Mountain Bikes
Mountain and road bikes are both capable of providing you with an intense cardio workout and are great for improving stamina and endurance, but there are differences between the two. Road bikes are built for speed, while mountain bicycles are designed for trail riding. The right one for you will depend on where you want to do most of your riding, along with the results you are trying to achieve.
If you are a competition cyclist or improving speed, stamina and performance are your main goals you might want to consider a road bike. These lightweight bicycles are designed to provide you with a responsive ride on smooth pavement and typically come with aggressive forward leaning handlebars. This helps to make you more aerodynamic, which can shave seconds off of your speed. Road bikes are also a good choice if you are on an advanced workout plan that calls for plenty of hill climbing.
When you are ready to work on improving your endurance, while also getting in some cardio, a mountain bike might be the right choice for you. You also get the added advantage of being able to ride almost anywhere, unlike with a road bike where you’re limited to paved streets. Mountain bikes do come with a heavier frame, but this is necessary if you want it to be able to withstand rugged trail riding. You’ll also find that you are sitting in an upright position, and the added balance and control is a plus when you are biking along bumpy, uneven trails.
Both types of bikes can also come with added features that are designed to make them more comfortable to ride or more responsive, but they are usually found at a higher price.
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The four main types of bike trainers are:
Weight Lifting and Trail Running Shoes
One of the most annoying parts of any workout is when you have to stop and change your shoes, but if you want to get the best results and prevent injuries it is a necessary part of most fitness plans. This is especially true when it comes to switching from weight lifting to trail running. While one pair of athletic shoes might be able to get some people through their entire workout, this is rarely true when you go from squats and deadlifts to sprinting up rocky hills. Unless you are comfortable in a pair of minimalist lifting and running shoes, you are going to need two types of footwear.
The main reason you need two types of footwear is the sole. You want a firm stiff sole when you are weight lifting, and one that is flexible when you are running on trails. A little lift in the heel is often an advantage for lifting, especially during squats, and runners benefit from plenty of cushioning. There is also a difference in the amount of traction needed in the two types of workouts, and this is important for your safety. When you are weight lifting you want a little traction, but not enough to prevent you from doing lunges. When you are running over trails you will want a pair of shoes that come with plenty of traction so you can safely jog over slippery rocks and other slick spots.
Minimalist athletic shoes can be easily worn for running and weight lifting, but it is important to note that this footwear isn’t for everyone. The idea of the footwear is to make you feel like you are running barefoot, while still providing you with minimal protection. The shoes do typically come with a grippy sole that is more than capable of providing you with enough traction for wear indoors or outside. Since the shoes do not have any support or cushioning, they are not always comfortable for everyone to wear.
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There are a few other pieces of workout equipment that you might want to consider, depending on your exercise plan. One of the most important, and often least considered, are your workout clothes. While you don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money on high end exercise clothes, you do want your shirts, shorts or pants to be comfortable. Breathable fabrics are usually recommended, and you want your clothes to allow for plenty of movement without being too loose. You might also want to consider wearing clothes that can be easily layered, especially if your workouts often take you outside.
Another piece of exercise gear that is gaining in popularity, and can even be used in some advanced workout plans is a stability or balance ball. Designed to improve core strength and take your workouts to the next level, a stability ball can also help prevent injuries and be used as an aid if you are recovering from a preexisting condition.
If you are on a transformation workout plan or just want to increase the intensity a little, you might want to consider using resistance bands. This piece of fitness equipment is affordable, easy to use and extremely effective at toning and improving muscle strength. Resistance bands are also easily portable so you can work on toning your shoulders, arms and legs almost anywhere.
Boxes, jump ropes and weight sets are among some of the other pieces of equipment you might want to consider, but ultimately the machines and gear that you use will depend on your fitness goals and workout plan.