Sports fitness equipment allows you to focus on a specific fitness goal depending on the purpose of the machine. Here are some tips on using the right sports fitness equipment for your goals:
The three main pieces of equipment you can use for strength training are: the bench press, the Power Cage, and the Smith Machine.
The bench press allows you to lie on your back and push a weighted bar up from you chest. This motion builds strength primarily in your pectoral muscles (chest). The secondary muscles the bench press works are the anterior deltoids, triceps, serratus anterior, and the coracobrachialis (triceps can be focused on by moving your arms closer together on the bar.
The Power Cage’s primary use is for various squat exercises (back squat, front squat, overhead squat etc.). Squat exercises build strength in the thigh, hip, and buttocks muscles.
The Smith Machine contains a barbell that is fixed within steel rails for a guided movement. This machine allows you to do bench press, squat, and various shoulder/chest exercises. The Smith contains slots behind the steel rails that allow you to rest the barbell at any position. This is beneficial if you don’t have a spotter. A setback to the Smith is it doesn’t allow you to use your muscles to stabilize the weight because it stabilizes the weight for you.
|Stationary bikes offer various levels of|
The best equipment to use for cardiovascular training are: the elliptical machine, the treadmill, the stationary bike, the rowing machine, and the stair-climber machine.
The elliptical machine allows you to mimic the running motion while providing handles to also work your upper body. The advantage of the elliptical machine is that it is a low-impact machine that is relatively easier on your joints (knees, ankles) than other equipment.
The treadmill provides a wide conveyor belt that allows you to run or walk in place at various speeds. Recent models have added improved shock absorbers to lower the impact on joints.
The stationary bike causes you to pedal in place at various resistance levels. This machine is easy on your joints because of the fluid motion of pedaling. Many cyclists use stationary bikes to train and warm up for their race.
The rowing machine simulates the motion of boat rowing and uses air for resistance. This machine is very effective but requires proper rowing technique in order to prevent lower back injury.
The stair climber machine gives you the motion of consistently climbing stairs. You can also find a long flight of stairs if you get sick of this machine and want to exercise outdoors!
Plyometric training equipment helps build the muscles involved in explosive movements like jumping, sprinting, and lateral movement. You can get equipment that focuses on a specific area of plyometric training.
The jump box is a top piece of equipment for training jumping ability and foot speed. Jump boxes come in various heights (6’’-24”) and allow you to utilize them for several different jumping exercises (hopping, step patterns etc.).
Platform shoes (Strength Shoes, Jump Soles) are designed to force you to perform exercises on the balls of your feet. This causes your calves, a key muscle in jumping, to be more exerted during exercise.
Jump harnesses are also great tools for increasing leaping ability. The device harnesses to your waste or shoulders. The elastic bands connected to the harness provide significant resistance as you jump, which builds explosiveness.
The Power Slide and Lateral Resistor are devices that train the muscles involved with lateral movement. The Power Slide is a slick plastic board that allows you train your muscles for quick lateral recovery as you slide back and forth. The Lateral Resistor contains to ankle straps connected by latex tubes. This device gives ample resistance to your lateral exercises and builds tremendous strength in the specific muscles involving lateral movement.