With such a huge variety of workout equipment available, and the often over-stated benefits of rather gimmicky products, it can be difficult to get a sense of what equipment is the most effective for you. Below are the five top pieces of workout equipment for overall fitness.
Relatively cheap to pick up, adjustable dumbells are perfect for weight training, since you can add weight as you progress. Besides, they also provide a good cardio workout when used as part of circuit training. The huge amount of exercises which can be performed with various weights make these essential equipment, and a good start for a home gym.
Also known as a Swiss/Swedish ball, exercise ball or balance ball, this is primarily used as an alternative to doing exercises on the floor, for example push ups or sit ups. The instability of the ball requires the core muscles in the body (abdominal and back) to work a lot harder to maintain balance while doing an exercise, giving a much more thorough workout.
Kettlebells are primarily used in explosive exercises, where strength and flexibility are the main targets. The shape of the kettlebell means that it is best swung upwards for exercises, targeting the muscles across almost the whole body, and especially the core. Kettlebells can also be very effective as part of a cardio routine due to the demanding nature of its exercises. However, the use of kettlebells is not recommended for those with a weak back.
The rowing machine is among the best gym equipment for cardiovascular workouts, as the resistance in the rowing movement requires most of the body to work against, and especially targets the back. Moderate sessions, around 15-20 minutes, provide an excellent cardio workout.
The treadmill is the archetypal gym machine, and most gyms will have more of these than any other type of machine due to its popularity. While it does not offer the additional strength or flexibility benefits associated with certain other cardio routines, running is one of the most effective methods of improving cardiovascular fitness. For the many people who do not like running outdoors, or cannot due to joint problems, the treadmill provides this ideal cardio workout.