Here are four new must try equipment offerings to shake up your fitness routine.
Plyo boxes – These boxes are used in plyometric or jump training exercise. Dynamic resistance moves used in the training build muscular power. If you ski, play tennis, basketball or football, plyometric exercise can improve your game. There are benefits for others as well. These include better endurance, coordination and health. Get in some plyometric exercise with a plyo box. This piece of equipment comes in a variety of heights and can be made from wood or steel. You can use one or several depending on your routine and fitness goals. If you buy look for a product that is the right height for your goals with a slip resistant surface. Plyo boxes are available in a variety of price ranges. Alternatively you can make your own. Just be sure it is sturdy enough to withstand your weight as you jump on and off the box.
ViPR – No, this isn’t a short way of spelling some kind of snake, it is a new way to get in shape. ViPR stands for “vitality, performance and reconditioning weight.” The site devoted to this piece of equipment (vipr.com) says the tubular rubber tool is a boon to the loaded training movement. Loaded training has been shown to exercise your core and build dynamic strength, agility and coordination. Looks like a fun way to get in shape and manage weight.
Ripstix – These weighted drumsticks are used in a new fitness idea called Pound. Created by Cristina Peerenboom and Kirsten Potenza, the classes mix Pilates and simulated drumming movements with isometric and plyometric exercise for a new kind or cardio workout. Try Pounding at the gym or at home with a DVD. You can burn as many as 900 calories in just 45 minutes, no special coordination skills required.
Sport headphones – while headphones are not exactly exercise equipment, they are certainly a great complement. Research has shown that music helps you work harder because it reduces your level of perceived exhaustion and fights fatigue. A couple of good options include the Monoprice Enhanced Bass Hi-Fit Noise Isolating Earphone, available for less than ten bucks and the LG FR74 HeartRate Monitor Earphones. Priced at nearly $200 it’s a good thing these headphones do more than deliver great sound. They also keep track of your heart rate and workout data.
Trying new equipment regularly is a good way to keep your workout feeling fresh. As always, safety first; be sure you understand fully how to use new equipment before getting started.