The fitness industry is constantly evolving since our society is constantly changing. Since our society has become more and more sedentary, people need to be taught to proper movement patterns. Because of this focus on proper movement patterns workouts have become more and more focused on functional strength.
While classes like Zumba are becoming more popular as people are seeking out “fun” ways to workout (that seem less like working out) so is functional training equipment (YAY!).
Here are some cool pieces of equipment that I hope to start seeing in more and more gyms!
- Kettlebells are probably one of the oldest forms of lifting equipment. They were developed in Russia in the 1700 and finally reached the US around the 1960s. They were once a common staple of the gym, but have since virtually disappeared. Recently though there has been a resurgence and now many kettlebell training certifications are available. One of the best ways to work your entire body and gain lean muscle mass!
- Sleds – A great way to improve your leg power! Pushing (or pulling!) a sled is a great full body workout. While I love deadlifts and squats, pushing a sled can help you get pretty much the exact same benefits as both in one exercise!
- Heavy Ropes – These are not something I’ve worked with, but I can’t wait to! You can literally get a full body workout using these ropes. There are specific exercises with the heavy ropes that can target your upper body, core and legs. They also provide you with a very cardio workout!
- Sandbags – If you think lifting a dumbbell, plate weight or barbell overhead is hard, try lifting a sandbag of the same weight! Because the weight in sandbags can shift, you really have to use your core. This is a much better way to engage some of those core stabilizer muscles than a stupid bosu! Plus you are lifting something heavy, which you know I love!
- Sandbells and Waterbells – A variation of both the medicine ball and the sandbag, I thought these were just too cool not to include. what a great way to incorporate the sandbag into more exercises. These sandbells can also help you work on grip while you are getting all the benefits of lifting a sandbag and heavy weights!
- TRX bands – A Pilates-based movement system, the TRX is a great way to get in a full-body, bodyweight workout. The thing I love about the TRX too is that it can be used to teach beginners proper movement patterns, but also be used to challenge even the fittest of athletes!
- TRX Rip Trainer – This new piece of equipment actually started this whole post. I love the fact that this is a small, easily portable piece. Like the TRX, it looks like something that everyone can use. I can’t wait to try it!
- Foam rollers – I love foam rollers. While not exactly a piece of exercise equipment (although it can be used for exercises), it is essential to any functional workout. It is key to developing proper length-tension relationships and correcting imbalances!
- Tires – I love deadlifts and squats. BUT flipping tires can be a great substitute. There is something about the idea of flipping a tire that just seems so Primal to me. I feel like this exercise came from cavemen and women who flipped rocks to prove who was strongest. Am I crazy? Probably.
- Rings – Can we say DIFFICULT!?! Working out on the rings, whether you are doing muscle ups or not, is probably one of the hardest things EVER. I always love watching the gymnasts do them because you can see every muscle in their bodies working!
Runners up: Medicine balls, Resistance bands, Ergs, Versa Climbers, Monkey bars (I LOVE MONKEY BARS!)
All of these pieces of equipment can be used to give you both a cardio and strength training workout! Plus they work your entire body!
What functional training equipment do you love?
There is something addicting about heavy lifting. I think it’s the thrill of lifting something that weighs more than you.
But it is also an addiction to the adrenaline rush that follows a successful heavy lift (I’m so addicted that it even keeps me coming back after several failures).
And Candy and Brian have the bug too. We all can’t help it.
We can’t resist lifting heavy even if we don’t like the lift! Candy hates heavy back squats and Brian just hates doing legs in general (I happen to LOVE leg day..but then again I’m not so fond of bench) BUT we all still pushed ourselves to lift our max yesterday.
Candy got so close to a new PR of 190 and Brian lifted so much the bar was bending (which makes me nervous to spot him!). While I didn’t hit a new PR, I did manage to squat 200lbs! 🙂
We just can’t resist pushing ourselves to lift more even if we aren’t feeling it that day!
On top of the heavy squat sets, Candy and I did the workout below. Brian did his own but he did suffer through balance lunges (preacher squats, Bulgarian squats…whatever you want to call them) just for me (he absolutely HATES THEM) haha 😉
Candy and my bubble butt workout from yesterday:
Heavy squats with max out
Balance lunges with 35lbs in each hand (We love our green kettlebells)
Kettlebell Swings 60lbs
Cocktail lunges with 35lbs in each hand (Lunge forward and back for one rep)
Romanian Deadlifts 70lbs
Step Ups with 24lbs in each hand
Sumo Squats 50lbs
Side Band walks (A little abductor and glute work)
Adduction on sliders (This exercise looks very very odd. You kneel on the sliders, do small splits and then pull your knees back together.)
Yea lots of stuff..my butt and hamstrings are happy today! 🙂