Investing in the right home exercise equipment is a great way to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. But before you go shopping for your home gym, you should know the best choices for your safety and fitness.
Here is an overview of some of the least safe choices in home fitness equipment along with their safer—and more affordable—alternatives:
Weight training will build and maintain muscle tone, but colorful vinyl-coated dumbbells are as likely to give you an injury as they are to help you bulk up. The coating on these popular weights is slippery and hard to grip, so you could easily drop the weights during a workout.
Safe Alternative: Adjustable Hand Weights
Adjustable hand weight sets are a better weight-training solution because they are equipped with secure grips that will help you hang on during the most intense workouts. Plus, these hand weights have the advantage of adjusting the amount of weight, so they are appropriate at any fitness level.
Complicated Aerobic Contraptions
New complex and expensive aerobic machines such as rowers and gliders, are always arriving on the market. These overly complicated machines are difficult to operate and may lead to injuries during your workout.
Safe Alternative: Jump Rope
Instead of making a large investment in a piece of equipment you might not even use properly, you can get a safe yet effective workout with a highly affordable and space-saving jump rope. For a more intense workout, try a weighted jump rope.
Abdominal Exercise Machines
From electro-stimulation belts to limited-motion abdominal crunch machines, abdominal exercise tools have long been a popular fad in home workout equipment. Still, it is best to avoid these machines, because they often do too much of the work for you and put your body in unsafe positions for your spine.
Safe Alternative: Exercise Ball
A large exercise ball will give you a much more complete abdominal workout while protecting your back from painful injuries. Using an exercise ball correctly will produce long-lasting results and do so more quickly than a gimmicky abdominal machine.