4 workout tools to add variety to your routine
Never get bored during a workout by using new tools that keep exercise exciting
Switch up your standard workout
Dumbbells have a tight grip on the fitness scene, but other equipment can also strengthen your arms. Here are four widely available tools that have muscled their way into health clubs and home gyms, plus some DVDs to get you started.
Popular with Russian Olympians in the early 20th century, kettlebells resemble a cannonball with a handle. Unlike dumbbells, they require you to control their swinging motion, which works your legs and core while giving your arm muscles an intense workout.
Rubber bands come in a variety of intensities that differ in how hard they are to pull. They are portable, easy to stow away in a drawer and lightweight. (If you have kids, you don't need to worry about a weight dropping on small toes.)
Build your arm, chest and torso strength as you lift, lower, toss and catch this easy-to-grip weighted rubber ball. Weight increments vary from about two to 20 pounds (one to 10 kilograms).
This time-tested tool encourages "cross-training" your muscles. While weights generally rely on gravity to be effective, tubing goes beyond this. "It offers resistance in countless directions and angles, versus weights that you only lift up and down," says Mark Vendramini, a certified personal trainer and co-owner of Bootcamp University in Toronto.