3 underused gym favourites

10 March 2015 by
First published: 18 March 2015

Overlooking essential bits of gym kit could mean you’re missing out on adding some brilliant challenges to your time at the gym. Here are our 3 underused gym favourites.

1. BOSU Balance Trainer

Short for ‘both sides utilised or up,’ a BOSU Balance Trainer is like a stability ball that’s been cut in half. One side is an inflatable dome, the other a flat, plastic platform with a handle either side. They can be used by themselves or with weights, resistance bands or medicine balls, with the domed or flat side placed against the floor.

The BOSU is great for cardio, strength, balance, and stability; you can stand on it, sit on it, lie down on it or bounce on it. The instability caused by the domed area requires you to maintain your centre of gravity and engage your core and stability muscles, making any workout you do on it more challenging. Step up your regular workout by performing free weight and bodyweight exercises like squats, lunge, press-ups and bicep curls on the BOSU.

2. Sandbags

This old-school piece of kit has been given a makeover and introduced to the gym in a variety of colours and shapes. Working out with a sandbag will give you a serious workout, since the free running sand forces you to work harder to keep a hold of it. Just 20 minutes and you’ll be sweating buckets while burning fat and building some serious strength.

Introduce it to your workout initially just by using it in place of a medicine ball. You’ll notice your core, grip and stability working extra hard straight away.

3. ViPR

The ViPR, pronounced ‘viper’ is an acronym for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning. The seemingly gimmicky piece of thick rubber tubing is actually an effective way to perform dynamic loaded movements. At a metre long, it comes in seven different weights from 4 to 20kg. With the ViPR it’s easy to combine a full body, fluid workout across different positions and angles while resistance training. To work the whole body, there’s no real need to get extra fancy – a clean and press works just as well as a lateral shuffle with tilt.