Exercise Equipment

What to look for in a weight machine

By definition, weight machines or multi gyms combine various exercises designed to address each major muscle group in your body. If you are looking for good equipment that will complement your home renovation and/or interior redesign, make sure you have adequate space for a good quality weight machine.

Exercises are divided in 2 groups: aerobic and anaerobic. The first develops your heart and lungs (treadmill and bicycle), and the second addresses mainly the strength and resistance of your muscles (weights or weight machines). Both types are required to achieve good physical health. Most multi gyms or home gym systems come with actual weights, but a few offer other technologies based on spring resistance or power rod / band resistance.

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You can exercise biceps (arm curl), triceps, quadriceps (leg press), chest (chest or bench press), shoulders (shoulder press), and legs (leg curl) on a quality multi gym equipment. Most machines come with safety features to avoid accidents, but you should always exercise the utmost care when handling heavy weights, especially with children around.

Before you buy a weight machine, you should:

  1. Determine exactly what you want it for. Are you an athlete? Do you want to lose weight? Are you hoping to tone your muscles? Or are you simply an average person who wants to stay in shape and feel good about your body?
  2. Measure carefully the space available in your house for the multi gym, and make sure you include enough space around it. Failing to provide a sufficient perimeter is a very common mistake that causes numerous headaches.
  3. Determine your budget. There is weight equipment for every budget, so don't worry if you are financially limited. You can find quality weight equipment for little money.

Weight machines range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. However, considering that most people pay an average of $50 a month at the local gym and do not use their membership regularly, you'll soon repay the cost of multi gym equipment for your house.

by Jacques Sprenger

Other Exercise Equipment

Leg Exercise Equipment

Most of us picture bulging biceps and rippling abs when we think of working out. When it comes to total fitness, it's important that we don't neglect one of the most important parts of our bodies: our legs.

A good leg exercise machine is an essential component in every home gym. Not only can strong and lean legs make your body look better, they can also make you feel better overall (by alleviating back pain, for example).

Leg exercise equipment has improved tremendously over the past decade, thanks to a number of technological advances. Some of the most popular pieces of equipment include:

  • Leg Press. There are two different ways to do a leg press – seated and vertical. For both, you use your legs to push a plate attached to weights away from your body.
  • Calf Raise Machine. The calf muscles are often neglected, but they should be an important consideration when planning a lower body workout.
  • Thigh Exercise Equipment. Leg extensions and leg curls can help you tone your upper leg, including your quadriceps muscles and hamstrings.
  • Stair Climbers. Also called steppers, stair climbers not only burn calories but they can also help you tone and shape your thighs and calves.

Back Exercise Machine

While there are muscle stretches and exercises you can perform daily to strengthen the back muscles, another solution might be to purchase back exercise equipment. It is important to exercise and properly stretch the back to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the spine to support your back during activity. Lacking muscular endurance in your lower back makes you three times more likely to have lower back problems. Power rod exercise machines such as the popular Bowflex equipment may provide most athletes and casual exercisers with enough options for exercising the back.

Another option would be to consider a lat machine, which is geared specifically toward building the muscles of the back. The basic lat machine at a gym generally consists of a suspended bar that you pull down to exercise your back muscles. Many home multi gyms also include a lat machine.

Another option would be to consider a lat machine, which is geared specifically toward building the muscles of the back. The basic lat machine at a gym generally consists of a suspended bar that you pull down to exercise your back muscles. Many home multi gyms also include a lat machine.

  • Back / Ab Machines - target the lower back and abdominal muscles

  • Hyper Extension Roman Chairs – can often be used for multiple exercises

  • Inversion Tables - provide temporary back pain relief

  • Back Trainers - stretch the back and exercise the buttocks

Roman chairs and back / ab machines tend to give the most versatility and are designed specifically for the back. To add to your daily exercise routine and continue to strengthen your back muscles, try some of these exercises: back extensions, full back release, upper back stretch and backward bending.

by Little A

Abdominal Exercise Equipment

Abs are part of the core muscles of your body; strong abs mean the rest of your body will become stronger, better balanced and healthier. So, abdominal exercise equipment is an important part of any home gym.

You really only need to step into a local gym to see the equipment that can give you the abs you want. You'll have to sweat, you'll have to do it 3 times a week, and you'll be sore after, but hard work will pay off. Simply look around your local gym and you'll see trusted ab machines such as:

  • the captain's chair
  • medicine balls
  • the ab roller

Any of these three will work well in helping you develop solid abs, but so will standard sit-ups and crunches. These pieces of ab exercise equipment simply supplement the basic crunches and challenge those at every level of fitness.

The ab roller is great for beginners or those with back pain. It is designed to reduce back and neck pain while you're doing crunches and to help you maintain good form. Medicine balls come in various weights and sizes and are generally held in the hands or between the legs for variations on crunches. The captain's chair is a very simple piece of equipment in which your back is pressed against a pad, your arms rest on supports with handles, and your legs hang toward the floor. Pulling your legs up slowly towards your stomach then lowering them slowly back down intensely works your abs.

Pricewise, medicine balls and the ab roller may be cheaper than the captain's chair, but all three, if taken care of, will last years and, if used, will keep your abs looking good.

by Maxwell Payne

Multi Gym

When you mention "home gym," the first thing that comes to mind will probably be a multi gym. A multi gym not only offers a great deal of practical use, but it can also make a very attractive addition to your home. Unlike a scattered, mismatched hodge-podge of dumbbells, exercise mats, balance balls, etc., a multi gym is sleek and compact.

A multi gym not only offers a great deal of practical use, but it can also make a very attractive addition to your home. Unlike a scattered, mismatched hodge-podge of dumbbells, exercise mats, balance balls, etc., a multi gym is sleek and compact.

A basic set-up with stations for lat pull-down, sitting press, sitting fly and leg extension makes for the best all-round multi gym. Make sure the package also includes a variety of cable extensions to provide a more in-depth and integrated range of exercise options.

A basic set-up with stations for lat pull-down, sitting press, sitting fly and leg extension makes for the best all-round multi gym. Make sure the package also includes a variety of cable extensions to provide a more in-depth and integrated range of exercise options.

by Jordan Dickie