Walking into a gym can be intimidating, especially if you’re a newcomer. There’s a bunch of different weights, machines, and benches to choose from and deciding where to start your workout can be challenging. However, look past all the fluff and concentrate on the only 5 pieces of gym equipment that you’ll need to maximize your workout.
Although a flat bench is a very popular piece of gym equipment, the adjustable bench is preferred simply because of its versatility. You can adjust the height of the backrest, allowing you to work a variety of muscles. Some popular exercises on the adjustable bench include shoulder press, dumbbell curls, and incline dumbbell press. The beauty of the adjustable bench is that it allows the bench to tailor itself to your workout, not the other way around.
Sticking to the theme of versatility is the adjustable cable crossover. The height of the cable is adjustable, so you can work a number of different muscles. Cable curls, triceps pull downs, and hamstring curls are perfect for this machine. This particular gym equipment is so versatile that it allows two people to use it at once. However, the real value of this gym equipment is only realized if you’re a little selfish and use both cables at once. This opens up more exercises for your larger muscles like chest and back. Once again, this is one gym equipment that is able to customize to your workout, making it a necessity.
The king of all gym equipment is the squat rack. It’s primary use is in its name: squats. Just make sure you have the safety bars in place if you’re squatting without a spotter. But the squat rack does more than just squats, you can adjust the holders to do deadlifts or standing shoulder press. You can even do bicep curls in the squat rack, but be prepared to have dirty looks thrown at you. There’s an upgraded version of a squat rack that is called a power rack and both are essential pieces of gym equipment.
The adjustable bench and the squat rack would be useless without free weights. Free weights are any type of weight that is not connected to a machine. Barbells are used in the squat rack and bench press, but may be too heavy for beginners because the typical barbell weighs 45 pounds without any weights. Dumbbells are another option and come in a variety of sizes, making them perfect for beginners. Kettle bells are often forgotten when people think of free weights, but there are many fantastic full body workouts designed solely for the kettle bell. Free weights come in many forms and all of them are essential pieces of gym equipment.
Moving onto cardio, the elliptical is a gym equipment staple and is even found in the most simple gyms. The main benefit of the elliptical is that it gives you a great cardio workout without all the pounding and stress that comes with running. Some people may scoff at the elliptical’s effectiveness, but they’re just not using it right. Combined with a high intensity workout regimen, such as HIIT, the elliptical can shed those calories without the sore knees and feet.
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