5 Pieces of Fitness Equipment You Never Knew You Had
Everything you need to tone your trouble areas and get fit is right in front of your eyes. You don’t need a gym membership and you definitely don’t need costly fitness equipment. It just takes a bit of imagination to transform everyday items into body sculpting tools.
1. Hard wood floors and socks: When it comes to home décor hardwood floors are really in style, but stand on them while wearing a pair of socks and you’ve unknowingly created a brand new piece of fitness equipment that takes your workout to a whole new level. The hardwood floor under your socks creates a slippery surface that engages more muscles as you try to control your movements. The constant contact with the floor as you glide back to starting position targets your inner thighs and the core in ways a standard fitness routine will never do. Side lunges and scissor plank are two great examples:
Side gliding lunges:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your hands in front of your chest to help you stay balanced.
Put your weight into your left leg.
As you slowly bend your left knee and squat down slide your right foot out to the side.
As you straighten your left leg, slide the right foot back in. Your right foot is in constant contact with the floor. Focus on bringing your leg back in with your inner thigh.
Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.
Begin in a full plank position with your hands under shoulders and arms straight.
Slide your feet apart, opening legs as wide as possible without sinking your lower back. Squeeze your inner thighs as you glide your feet back together. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
2. Your couch: This multipurpose piece of furniture isn’t just for lying around. Not only does it serve as a great piece of fitness equipment for all exercise levels and for total body fitness routines, its various elevations (couch cushion versus arm rest) allow you to target different portions of your muscle that you may find harder to tone. Elevating your legs on the couch cushion while performing a push up makes this upper body exercise advanced. It targets the top part of your chest, while simultaneously sculpting your shoulders and your arms. Beginners practice perfect form while standing over the arm rest and leaning in to the push up. Standing allows you to control the amount of bodyweight you’re pushing and gives you the benefits of defined arms and chest.
3. Your groceries: Whether it’s once a week or once month, every bit of exercise helps. Groceries are a great arm toning activity. If you don’t want to cause attention to yourself don’t move. Hold a grocery bag in each arm at 90 degree angles and keep them there for as long as possible. This exercise is known as an isometric hold. The longer you stay in place, the more muscle fibers you recruit and the more fibres you recruit, the nicer your arms will look. It’s that simple.
4. Your body: your body is the only all in one cardio and resistance training tool you own. In fact, some would say store-bought fitness equipment is a thing of the past as newer and more creative body movements cut the boredom of exercise. The burpee is a great example of a full body toning and cardio exercise:
Place your feet shoulder width apart. Lower your body into a squatting position as you place your hands on the floor in front of you.
Step your feet back so that you are in push-up position. For added intensity jump back.
Bend your elbows and lower your chest into a push up.
Step your feet into their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air.
5. The stairs: Stairs are the best butt elevating piece of fitness equipment you will ever own. The main muscle in your bum, the Gluteus Maximus, works at straightening out your hip. Every time your hip is flexed, your Gluteus Maximus has to work at straightening your leg out. That is why stair stepping is so effective. The higher the step the greater the hip flexion and the more your butt works.
It doesn’t end there. Stand upright at the end of the movement and place all of your weight on the leg that you push up. This works another butt muscle called the Gluteus Medius. This muscle tones the side of your butt as it flexes to keep your hips in alignment.
It doesn’t stop here. Almost anything can become your brand new piece of fitness equipment, adding fun and innovation to any fitness routine.