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  • Ryan Manning

5 Secret Weapons at the Gym

When you close your eyes and think of a gym, what do you think of? Treadmills? Dumbbells? Weight Benches? There's a lot more to a gym that even the staff aren't aware of. Here are 5 secret weapons to maximize your success at the gym.

1. Russian Kettlebells

These are a favorite for Personal Trainer's everywhere. You've probably seen these funky-looking weights laying around your gym. The most distinctive feature of any Kettlebell is the handle. This allows you to do some crazy workouts that other weights aren't flexible enough to perform. Originally popularized in Russia, these useful tools for fitness success are something of national pride for Russia. After the end of the Cold War, Kettlebells made their way over to America and quickly made waves across the fitness world. Get in on this weight and you'll be stronger and having more fun with every workout. Popular exercises include: Kettlebell Swings, Windmill Squats, and Triceps Extensions.

2. "Slam" Balls/ Med Balls

Many of you have probably encountered Medicine Balls in your gym. These weighted spheres usually have a bounce to them, even at heavier weights. The normal Med Ball tends to not exceed 25lbs. making it a great tool for children and those new to using free weights. Slam Balls are padded and can exceed the 25lb. limit of normal Med Balls. Being padded, Slam Balls are best used for their namesake, slamming them. Without the bounce, these won't recoil back at you as fast. Slam Balls are the perfect equipment for someone having a bad day, as you can utterly unleash your wrath. Popular exercises include: Wall Slams, Overhead Tosses, and Scoop Tosses.

3. Step Mill

The Step Mill is the grown-up version of the Stepper or Treadmill. This collapsing stair case will replace the treadmill for you. Being able to climb stairs on a track pushes you into that V02 Max and will burn more calories while working those glutes, hamstrings, calves. If there's one piece of cardio equipment you need to use, it has to be the step mill. Eclipse the results on the treadmill and get into shape quick. Popular exercises include: Step Sprint, Glute Extensions, and Lateral Climb.

4. Suspension Trainers

Tired of the free weights or looking to push beyond just body weight? You should check to see if your gym has Suspension Trainers. These simple yet extremely effective belts make any body weight exercise transform into an exhilarating resistance workout. Suspension Trainers help you learn proper form and is great for beginners. The best part? Once you feel like you've graduated from simple exercises, this handy piece of fitness equipment can be versatile enough to create new and challenging exercises. Popular exercises include: Squats, Rows, and Pike Push-ups.

5. Foam Rollers

Do you love a massage but don't have the time or money? A foam roller is a great alternative that you should try. Foam rolling uses essentially the same principle as using a tennis ball to massage yourself. The benefits of a foam roller is its soft enough that is fairly comfortable to use but firm enough that it provides myofascial release and soothes achy muscles. Its great for recovery and helps increase flexibility. There are several different types of foam rollers with different textures, shapes, and densities so research which you think will be the best fit to staying fit. Some popular areas for foam rolling include: Calves, Quads, and Piriformis.


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