Monthly Archives: July 2010

Basic Equipment for a Home Fitness Program (Part 3 of 4)

In the spirit of Keeping it Short and Simple we continue with the next two items (of only 7) to add to your home gym … a kettlebell and a bar.

Kettlebell:  This is a great piece of equipment, and has gained recent popularity in the U.S. thanks to a humorous Russian, Pavel Tsatsouline.  (We just call him Pavel, since we can’t quite get our mouth around Tsatsouline.  We don’t know any other Pavels, and are pretty sure our comrade doesn’t mind that we refer to him by just his first name.  In fact, go ahead … google “Pavel” and see what you find! )  A good size kettlebell for most women to start with would be one between 17.6 pounds and 26.5 pounds (8 – 12 kg).  (Actually, many men would be well-advised to start with something in the same range … )  Kettlebells are often used dynamically, so generally you’ll be working with one that’s a little heavier than what you’d choose if using a dumbbell for presses, rows, flyes, etc.

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Basic Equipment for a Home Fitness Program (Part 2 of 4)

Today’s post discusses medicine balls, another useful piece of gear to have available in your home gym.

Thank goodness they don’t make them the way they used to!  There’s no need to toss a sand-filled bladder or make your own medicine ball out of animal skins sewn together and filled with sand.  In the KISS spirit, don’t bother getting anything with a rope, handle, or anything that’s removable; if, down the road, you find that you’re a real med ball fan, then you can knock yourself out and collect them all!  Also, make sure you get one that doesn’t bounce!  We can’t say this clearly enough.  DO NOT GET A BOUNCY BALL!  You will fully appreciate this advice when Continue reading

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Basic Equipment for a Home Fitness Program (Part 1 of 4)

While it is absolutely true that you can get healthy and fit without owning one single piece of gear, the truth is that a few carefully chosen pieces of equipment can help you by providing you with:

  • More interest in exercising (Who doesn’t enjoy “toys?”)
  • Increased flexibility in program design (Having a medicine ball or a stability ball greatly expands the variety of exercises that can be incorporated into a program.)
  • Increased options for challenging your body (Trust us on this one.  While you can learn to do an L-stand against the wall to build upper body strength and get over your fear of being upside down, it’s not going to be the same exercise as going from a plank to a pike and back again a few times while your feet are perched on a stability ball.)

For this reason, we are sharing what we consider our favorite pieces of equipment and, when possible, options for substitutions or for making them at home.  We hope you’ll consider the cost in your time or money a small investment in your health. Continue reading

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