If you’re new to the gym, it can be daunting to see a room full of equipment that you don’t know how to use. This means many beginners end up staying stuck on the treadmill out of fear rather than out of choice. But with a little bit of knowledge, you can build up the confidence to use a huge range of apparatus, allowing you to work different parts of your body to build strength and mobility. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most popular types of gym equipment and explain what they can help you to achieve.
Some of the apparatus discussed will be suitable for beginners, while others will require some guidance from a personal trainer. We’ll help you to understand how you can work out safely, even when you’re just starting out. And don’t worry too much about brand names of gym equipment at this stage. It’s more important to figure out what exercises are right for you before comparing models.
Undoubtedly a staple for fitness fanatics of all levels, dumbbells are a great starting point for those looking to get into strength training. Available in a wide range of weights, you can begin with as little as 2kg and move up to 50kg or more if you’re an experienced lifter. They’re also incredibly versatile and can be used to perform all kinds of movements like squats, lunges, bicep curls, lateral raises and more. Unlike deadlift equipment, dumbbells are less likely to result in an injury early on, though it is important to maintain proper form at all times.
Perfect for a full body workout, the rowing machine is fairly easy to get to grips with. You’ll be working your upper body as you move your arms back and forth, but your legs and core will also be engaged. The rower has different levels of difficulty that can easily be changed, so don’t feel like you have to struggle with the highest level of resistance if you’re still getting used to this piece of kit.
If you’re an athlete who practices rowing as a sport, the rowing machine is ideal for training all the same muscles when you can’t get out onto the water. Whether this is because you’re recovering from an injury or due to changes in the weather, this is the best alternative you can find.
If you’re looking for the best gym equipment to tone thighs, the exercise bike is a strong contender. It’s so easy to use that you don’t even have to be able to ride a real bike to get started. You’ll be able to build muscle in your legs while working on your cardiovascular health without having to leave the house. Most stationary bikes come with controls that allow you to adjust the incline and intensity of your ride, while others will also have a screen allowing you to track your heart rate or follow along with a virtual trainer.
Deadlifts are a great way to build your overall strength, but shouldn’t be attempted by beginners. It’s best to get used to working with dumbbells before attempting barbell training. Deadlift equipment is readily available in most gyms, but many fitness fanatics have gone on to convert their spare rooms or garages into their own personal studio. If you’re interested in performing deadlifts at home, then you’re going to need to buy yourself a good quality barbell, a selection of weight plates and a set of barbell collars.
Deadlifts actually work both your upper and lower body while improving your grip and building muscle. Make sure you start with weights that are comfortable for you to lift and never lift a barbell before understanding the mechanics of the movement. It’s a good idea to have a spotter by your side just in case anything goes wrong.
Similarly to the spin bike, a treadmill can be ideal for anyone looking for the best gym equipment to tone thighs. This is because the cardio element helps you to lose weight across your body if this is your goal. However, if you do prefer to run outside, you’re best giving the treadmill a miss unless you’re training for a particularly steep incline. Your time in the gym is probably best spent targeting the muscle groups you can’t work at home since the treadmill makes running significantly easier. This is all thanks to the assistance of the moving belt beneath your feet.
We’d recommend the treadmill for beginners who haven’t run much before and want to build up their fitness indoors before hitting the trails. It’s also perfect for those who have never used cardio machines at the gym. Alternatively, if you’re planning to run up and down hills in the near future but live in a flat area, the treadmill can help you to adjust.
Like dumbbells, kettlebells are more beginner-friendly than barbells. Some exercises will be easier to perform with kettlebells and they can be better for improving your grip strength. They’re also ideal for developing your explosive power while performing compound exercises. Dumbbells are better suited to really honing in on particular muscle groups, so it’s just a matter of deciding on which ones will suit your training routine. If you can use both to vary your weekly workouts, then definitely do so.
If you’re sold on buying dumbbells or barbells, you could also consider a weights bench. This isn’t an essential piece of kit, but it can help you perform a wider range of exercises. Whether you choose a flat or adjustable model, the bench will support your body while you lift, allowing you to focus completely on the movement at hand.
To tone your legs and thighs without intense cardio, think about getting comfortable with the leg press. While you can perform movements like squats and lunges to build your leg muscles, the leg press machine can reduce your risk of injury. It’s well-suited to anyone who doesn’t want a high impact workout or those who might have suffered a previous injury. The leg press allows you to take movements at your own pace, so don’t worry about struggling to keep up.
It’s important to note that, if you are on the lookout for the best gym equipment to tone thighs, then the leg press won’t solve all your concerns, despite its name. It will definitely build muscle in this area, but it might not help if fat loss is your goal. Targeted spot reduction is a myth, so you’ll have to incorporate full body cardio into your routine if fat reduction is what you hope to achieve.
While you might not find one of these in the gym, a skipping rope is a versatile piece of gym equipment that can be used just about anywhere. Helping you to add more cardio to your workout, skipping is an intense, full body routine all by itself. It’s accessible to all levels and can be used as a warm-up before strength training if your goal is to build muscle mass rather than improve your overall fitness.
Last but not least, resistance bands might be a fairly unassuming piece of kit, but they can transform your workouts in a big way. Easy to tuck away in your bag and use while on the go, they’re a great alternative to weights when you don’t have access to them. Add them to your current routine to strengthen any muscle group or even stretch your body on a recovery day. They come in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs, but we’d recommend getting a range as they take up so little space.
Whether you’re now ready to hit the gym or build your own practice in the comfort of your own home, make sure you check out the range of accessories on offer at BLK BOX. You’ll be able to find a wide range of popular brand names of gym equipment as well as high-quality pieces of kit made in our Belfast HQ.