The Best Fitness Equipment Reviews

The Best Fitness Equipment Reviews

fitness muscle building

The home gym is a convenient little place for everyone. This can be a substitute for going to a public gym. Most home gyms have practical equipment. You can read about some devices that make up a home gym in this article. These types of gyms are usually located in a garage or spare room in the house. They are usually small, contain useful equipments, and are easy to store and transport. Some nice things about these gyms is that you don’t have to pay a membership fee, you don’t have to use equipment that other people used, and you can use it any time in your house.

1. Home Gym

Generally speaking, a multi-gym is a functional machine made up of many fitness units. It’s popular in gyms and many people’s homes. The upside about these machines is that they allow you to do a lot of different exercises in a very small place; and the downside is that they tend to be heavy, difficult to move around, and could be a little expensive.

The first single station gyms originated in commercial clubs around the mid-20th century. In the early 1960s and 1970s, Walter Marcyan pioneered the first automatic barbell, which allows you to do dozens of exercises with a simple device. On this basis, he built the first compact multi-gym “all in one”. Since then, they have been adopted by manufacturers around the world and have gradually become cheaper and more compact. As a result, home gyms are now an affordable option for almost everyone.

multi-gym fitness muscle building

Multi-Gym Types

The most common multi-gym must be a simple single-station, single-weight stack design. But there are other types of multi-gym such as dual-station, multi-station. Multi-gyms vary in price, appearance and options, and there are plenty of similar products on the market, so picking the perfect one can be very hard. You should consider aspects where you are more interested in the equipment, such as weight stack size, durability and exercise range.

Single-station home gyms are great for beginners, they are probably the most popular because they don’t take up a lot of space in your home, and can be very cheap.

Dual-station or multi-station of multi-gyms can take up a lot of exercise area, and sometimes have more than one weight stack to allow multiple users to use at the same time. They do take up more space, but they can provide extra efficient exercise, such as leg presses or pull-ups, which can save you the hassle of buying extra equipment later. They’re not cheap, but if you’re serious about fitness, they’re worth the investment.

A lever machine can be described as a multi-gym or a weight bench. All the training stations are pre-installed on a fixed motion plane, and you can repeat exercises like bench press or pull-down, whether you are pulling or pushing. The advantage of lever machines is the safety of training. You can easily return the weight to its original position, and no matter what exercise you do, they will be perfect for lifting weights at home.

Arnold Schwarzenegger fitness budybuilding exercise musclebuilding muscular good fit figure

Merit of Multi-Gym

  • Using multi-gyms to train at home alone is completely safe. You don’t need a person around to protect you. It can reduce the risk of injury.
  • They can do a series of exercises; Adding different gym accessories can also increase your workout routine and range.
  • They are great for beginners, because most exercises have a fixed path to control your movement.
  • The convenience of training at home gives you more leisure time, so you don’t have to travel from gym to home every day.
  • It can be more hygienic because only you and your family use it. Unlike a gym machine which is used mercilessly by many people all the time.
  • Integrate all your training into a compact machine to reduce the space it takes up at home.
  • It allows you to train in complete silence and freedom. You don’t have to wait.
  • Studies have shown that regular exercise three or four times a week can help lower stress levels and reduce depression, thanks to endorphins released in exercise.

2. Smith Machine 

smith machine fitness muscle building

The Smith machine is a comprehensive device. It is not only used to exercise one muscle, by changing the movement, the legs, hips, chest muscles, and back, almost all part of our body can be exercised. It actually adds a fixed track to a barbell, making us less likely to rock when we practice. Smith machine can let us focus more on the muscle training, on the other hand, it is safer. There are no restrictions to use it, depending on which part of muscle you want to practice.

The Smith machine has three kinds of track: vertical, inclined and three-dimensional.

The vertical orbit is the most traditional type.

When using the inclined track to push the barbell, there will be a lateral resistance, and the muscles will feel better. But in practice, there are advantages to using either an inclined or a vertical track.

Three dimensional Smith added two horizontal sliding rails beside the vertical track, and barbell could move in a frame. It only limited the movement of barbell tilting from left to right, which was very close to the feeling of free barbell, and the difficulty was relatively higher.

3. Treadmills

Some people enjoy running on treadmills and do most of their training sessions on treadmills. Some people like the feeling of running freely outside.

The advantages of running on a treadmill over running outdoors are —

Steady and accurate control of the pace

This is hard for most people.

When we’re running, small changes in our breathing, arm swing, or posture can cause fluctuations in our speed. Most of the time, we don’t even realize it’s happening, thinking we’re running at the same pace as before.

There are no such problems on the treadmill. Treadmill keeps the pace you set and keeps going. Some people use the word “hypnosis” to describe running on a treadmill, but many people experience the same hypnotic feeling when running for long periods of time.

Therefore, treadmills are especially suited to training programs that require a steady pace.

Precise control of exercise intensity

When running outside, our exercise intensity can only be adjusted according to the pace of running.

The treadmill, on the other hand, regulates speed and slope. You can do it at a fairly slow pace, but with a steep slope, to meet the demands of your daily intense training. It’s a completely different experience from outdoor training.

More suitable for special training

For some advanced runners, they will add slope runs, interval runs and other special training to their training programs. Road running is not always possible due to field limitations or other reasons, and this training is best done on a treadmill.

While running, it may be difficult to find long uphill/downhill runs, but treadmills can simulate different levels of slope to increase your running strength.

For example, when the slope of the treadmill is set at 10-15°, the gluteus maximus, posterior femoris and calf muscles will get obvious exercise. When the slope increases above 15 degrees, running engages more muscle groups, increasing the load by 55 percent compared to normal running. The cardiorespiratory stimulation is also more effective.

Many people also want to run in the range that maintains their aerobic heart rate. At this point, you can maintain the training effect by adjusting the slope to a lower pace and still reach the maximum aerobic heart rate.

We mentioned above that the treadmill can control the pace steadily and accurately, which is very good for the steady run and interval running training.

Steady run is to run at a constant pace without interruption. Interval running is running at different paces of varying intensity (some workouts are interspersed with breaks).

For steady run, no matter what pace you are running at, the treadmill is better able to achieve the ideal speed, and it will not be affected by external interference. Generally, jogging of about 10 kilometers is very suitable for running on the treadmill.

Interval runs, such as the “Fartlek workouts”, are perfect for running on a treadmill. Such as 15 minutes of easy running, 10 sets of running exercises, 1-2 minutes of rest between sets, followed by 15 minutes of easy running.

No need to consider the weather, air and other external factors

This is why many people start using treadmills. Whether it’s rain, snow or smog, the treadmill can be used indoors.

Cushioning effect

Usually running has a cushioning system, so running on a treadmill puts less pressure on the joints of the knees and legs than on the road.

That means running shoes are less demanding and more suitable for barefoot runners. (it’s hard to avoid paying attention to scratch debris on the main road.)

More suitable for improving running posture, breathing, arm swing and other movement details

Unlike free running, a treadmill can specify the speed, slope, and time of running. This means that we can run at a fixed pace, and when the speed and time we set are within our ability, we don’t have to worry about it.

This allows us to focus on the details of running posture, breathing, etc., and makes it easier to spot mistakes and correct them.

Of course, the treadmill, in its “in circles” form, can be boring. It’s best to mix treadmill training with other exercises.

4. Exercise Bike

Exercise bike, we can also call it stationary bike. 

Just like treadmill, exercise bike is indoor fitness equipment. So the advantages treadmills have, exercise bikes also have.

There are two main types of stationary bikes: upright and recumbent. An upright stationary bike looks like an ordinary road bike with a vertical orientation and a handlebar on the front, such as spin bike. As to the recumbent bike, rider should sit on the backrest with his legs in front.

Spin bike (spinning bike, or spinning) has almost become one of the synonyms of gym. If you put all the courses in the gym into a popular list, the first one is definitely not hip-hop dance or Latin dance, but spin bike.

So what exactly does spin bike mean? A sports device? Or a form of exercise?

Spinning bike is generally believed to have been originated by a personal trainer in the United States in the 1980s. It uses a vertical exercise bike, and combines music, language motivation and other elements. It is also one of the most popular fitness programs of our time.

I. Spin bike, what about the effect of losing fat

Cycling burned less fat than running at the same intensity. A lot of people are probably discouraged by this… and there are time and space restrictions in gym. So why would I bother to take a gym class if my fat loss isn’t that good?

Don’t worry, there are some differences between the figures on the chart and the actual effect of fat loss.

According to a study of men who regularly go to the gym, spinning may be just as effective at reducing fat as running. In fact, spinning actually lost more fat than treadmills and elliptical machines in an eight-week study of similar intensity. Not only are spin bike as good at losing weight as running, but it’s also much better at losing body fat.

In addition, spinning is a great way to improve your athletic ability and physical fitness. One study compared the physical state of male and female college students before and after a 16-week spinning class.

The results showed that after 16 weeks of cycling training, the weight, waist circumference and body fat of both men and women were significantly reduced. Among them, the decrease of body fat percentage is the most obvious, indicating that spinning has a very significant losing weight effect. (by the way, after 16 weeks of training, the thigh circumference of female college students also decreased by more than 1 cm, so girls can ride their bikes without worrying about thickening their thighs…)

In addition, indicators such as cardio function and exercise endurance also significantly increased. To some extent, this also shows that spinning can effectively improve the physical fitness of the exercisers.

Why? Running is better than spinning numerically, but the actual weight loss and fat loss effect of spinning may be higher? Don’t worry, let’s analyse it in details.

II. Why is spinning better for fat loss?

In fact, the fact that spinning has a lower fat consumption rate for the same amount of exercise is not a bad thing, it may actually be a good thing.

Strength training can reduce fat and waistline more effectively than aerobic training. Because strength training can consume a large amount of fat through EPOC, and since you gain more lean muscle, strength training can also improve your basal metabolism for a long time, leaving you in a long-term high-efficiency fat-burning state. 

EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) means that the body is still in a super fat burning state after high-intensity exercise.

When you’re doing strength training, your body can’t use fat for energy, only blood sugar for energy. After the exercise, the body will use up a lot of fat in the way of Cellular Respiration to replenish the blood sugar consumed during the exercise. That is, your body burns a lot of fat after strength training!

As you can see from the chart, at the same 75% intensity, spinning provides less fat consumption than running and is closer to strength training than aerobic training. In other words, the sustained fat loss of spinning will be more obvious.

Spinning classes are more scientific than running. These classes generally use HIIT arrangements, which combine high and low intensity intervals and use different riding styles. This effectively trains joints and major muscles throughout the body, improving basal metabolism and promoting fat burning.

In addition, spinning also adds music full of passion, which can make you more engaged in the process of exercise, and stimulate your vitality effectively.

Music can help you concentrate better, reduce fatigue, increase endurance and make your workouts more effective. This advantage of spinning is difficult to achieve with treadmill training. (you can listen to music, however, it’s hard to recreate the coach’s motivation and team atmosphere.)

III. What should we do if spinning bike hurt our knees?

Finally, there’s the issue of knee pain from cycling. Indeed, spinning, while highly efficient at burning fat, has one major drawback — it can wear down knee cartilage. We did see from the experiment that in addition to running, bicycle is also a sport with wear and tear on knee cartilage.

Many people whose knee joint is not good or worry about knee injury will ask, how to do not only retain the advantages of spinning, but also avoid its shortcomings?

For the people who love the exercise bike, I suggest using the recumbent bike.

Studies have found that spinning bike puts 7.5 percent of your body weight on your knees. Not only does this make you burn less fat, but it also worsens the wear and tear on joints and cartilage.

But recumbent bike are not such a concern. You don’t have to worry about putting your weight on your knees because you’re not exerting force perpendicular to the ground. Not only does it burn more fat, it also protects joints and reduces wear and tear.

5. Rowing Machine

Indoor rowing machine (or rowing machine, rower), is a training machine used to simulate the Water Rowing. Indoor rowing has become an independent and professional sport.

Rowing machine are not just for back muscles! Rowing machine is not equivalent to “rowing” resistance training movement in strength training. A rowing machine works the muscles of the whole body, especially the muscles of the lower limbs. The main function of rowing machines should be to enhance aerobic endurance, followed by the development of muscular endurance of multi muscle groups.

Maybe because of the popularity of House of Cards a few years ago, (I guess the brand of water rowing machine must give the cast a lot of money for promotion ( ̄▽ ̄)”), and the increasing number of people who love fitness, rowing machine began to enter the fitness market and people’s vision.

In short, rowing machines are divided into 4 types:

  • water rowing machine
  • magnetic rowing machine
  • air rowing machines
  • hydraulic rowing machine

Water Rowing Machine

Magnetic Rowing Machine

Air Rowing Machine

Concept 2 rowing machine is recognized as the most mature design, the most reliable quality, and the best training results of the rowing machine in the industry.

Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Benefits of Rowing Machine

1. Exercise your muscles throughout the body.

In the process of paddling, the body’s major joints such as elbow, shoulder, hip and knee can move in a wide range, and then the corresponding muscles could be exercised — forearm, big arm, shoulder, back and core. This is probably one of the most versatile exercises in fitness.

2. Extremely low injury probability, suitable for almost everyone

Rowing machines are very friendly to people who are heavy (such as those who want to lose weight quickly, but have poor exercise ability), the elderly (joint degeneration), and people who are recovering (such as those who are recovering after a fracture), unlike treadmills, which may impact the lower limbs. And rowing machine belongs to the “automatic infinitely variable speed”, the speed and force are determined by their own, so it’s not easy to strain your muscle.

Generally speaking, the only possible sports injury caused by rowing machines is lumbar muscle strain. But for this to happen, in addition to the incorrect movement (bending or pulling the lumbar spine), it still takes a lot of training (for example, four hours a day for several months). For most people, even that would be too difficult.

3. Improve various physical qualities efficiently

Rowing machines are great for improving anaerobic endurance, aerobic endurance, and muscular endurance.

From world-class mixed martial arts fighter Connor to a 70-year-olds elder struggling to get up and down the stairs, rowing machines can benefit anyone with the right technique.

4. High cost performance, strong and durable without electricity

A Concept 2 rowing machine costs around a few hundred dollars, which is a real bargain compared with the thousands of dollars that big brands charge for slap-up or commercial treadmills and elliptical machines. And water rower in addition to a little lower noise, its resistance feel and controller system is all under Concept2. The rowing machine does not use electricity, occupies a small area, weighs about 40 kg, hardly needs maintenance, and has a very long life. Even if professional rowing teams use them for high frequency training, they can use them for more than 5 years.

5. Professionalism and extensibility

In addition to helping professional rowers, other athletes can use it to raise lactic acid thresholds, increase cardiorespiratory performance with low-impact training, and gently reduce weight. Its control system is very comprehensive, manufacturers preset or self-compiled a variety of training modes. The system can let multiple machines synchronous connection for competition, but also can store training records, install heart rate monitor, etc.

6. Elliptical Machine

The elliptical machine is a common aerobic machine, and we can call it Elliptical Trainer, or Cross trainer. Its trajectory is elliptical. Elliptical machine drives the flywheel by feet and arms, and relies on magnetism, friction and inertia to control the resistance. It not only suitable for gyms, many fitness enthusiasts also have elliptical machines at home. Therefore, elliptical machine is a very popular fitness equipment.

Elliptical machine exercise are full-body exercises that can be used for partial weight training. It can increase your heart rate quickly by adjusting resistance and slope. You can also change the handles or not use them to exercise different muscles, burn calories in a more efficient way.

The machine can also be used to simulate running and mountain climbing. Most elliptical machines can control the intensity of exercise through resistance and slope adjustment. Take the exerciser with weight of 60 kilograms as an example, exercise with slightly labored intensity in the elliptical machine for 1 hour, and consumed about 480 calories. In addition, when using elliptical machine, your feet should not leave the pedals, so there is less pressure on the ankles, knees, hips and waist.

Compared with other equipment, the advantages of the elliptical machine are as follows:

  • It can enhance the coordination ability of upper and lower limbs very well
  • Improve the ability of the central nervous system to control the muscles
  • Enhance the strength of the waist and abdominal muscles
  • It is not easy to produce sports injuries, and it’s very quiet

I. Elliptical Machine Basic Knowledge

  1. Elliptical machine is the one with the least damage to joints and knees among the fitness equipment, but it is also the one with the weak effect of losing weight among the fitness equipment.
  2. It has a fixed track, so elliptical machine is passive sport equipment.
  3. The most overlooked important steps in use: enter personal information, select exercise program, adjust resistance, adjust slope, change the handle or not use the handle.

II. Characteristics of Elliptical Machine

  1. Advantages: full-body exercise, partial weight-bearing training, can train the core muscle group, suitable for people with lower limb injuries, less damage to the human body.
  2. Disadvantages: non-functional exercise, unnatural physical exercise, slightly lower exercise intensity, and no obvious effect of reducing fat and energy consumption.

III. The use of the Elliptical Machine

  1. Stand upright, do not hunched.
  2. Keep your head up, and don’t shrug your shoulders.
  3. Ankles and hips should in the same plane. Your feet shouldn’t leave the pedal.
  4. Place your center of gravity between your heels and toes. Don’t lift your heels.
  5. Tighten your hips when you’re exercising.

7. Workout Bench

Workout bench, or we can also call fitness benchadjustable bench, and dumbbell bench, is a common weight training equipment used for bench press. 

The workout bench is very stable and can support the weight of the user, dumbbells or barbells safely. In order to use different angles for training, some bench benches are designed to change the angle, from supine to vertical 90 degrees, with 3 to 4 levels of adjustment.

More and more people have joined in the fitness course, and many of them have started to buy fitness benches to practice at home. Fitness must be carried out scientific, trying to exercise and lose weight. Non-standard movements can cause damage to the waist muscles.

Dumbbells and barbells are great, but don’t forget to pair them with workout bench. Workout bench looks like regular abs bench, but are absolutely compatible with abs bench and dumbbell bench. It is essential fitness equipment for both gyms and home workouts.

Characteristics of Workout Bench

  • Width: the width of the workout bench is generally 30cm. 30cm looks narrow, but but it is the most suitable width. Width less than 30cm will become inappropriate; more than 30cm will affect the movement of arm, in the training of shoulder, arm and chest strength it is not appropriate.
  • Height: the height of workout bench is about 50cm or more, approach the length of adult crus. You’ll feel more comfortable on your training.
  • Length: the length of workout bench is about 1.2-1.3 meters, and plus 50cm leg length is roughly equal to the normal height of a person, it is suitable for most people.
  • Angle: the angle of the workout bench can be adjusted. In dumbbell and barbell training, there are many oblique push, oblique lift, and oblique pull movements. The ordinary bench, or chair with a back, they are all inappropriate. Only the adjustable workout bench to be competent.

How to use the Dumbbell Bench

  • Dumbbell curl. The support plate at the front of dumbbell bench allows  dumbbell curl more effectively. It is a great exercise for biceps.
  • Chest fly. Chest fly need dumbbell bench of the right width and length, which cannot be replaced with other equipment.
  • Dumbbell row. Used for training the deltoid posterior band and arm muscles. Although dumbbell row can also be done with an ordinary bench, it is not as comfortable or effective as a dumbbell bench.
  • Bench press. This can be done with a multi-function dumbbell bench. The back of the dumbbell bench is angled to support the back. Not only is it more efficient, but it also prevents injuries.
  • Sit-up. Dumbbell bench can be used for standard sit-ups.
  • Hamstring stretch. You can use dumbbell bench to stretch your hamstrings.It’s more manageable, and will put less pressure on your knees and lumbar spine.

8. Barbell and Dumbbell

dumbbell fitness muscle building

Beginner Phase

For starters, I recommend that you primarily use barbell for training. Practice exercises such as the barbell squat, bench press, and barbell rowing. (of course you can use other equipments, but mainly on barbell.)

Barbell is easier to use and can be mastered in a short time, which is more friendly to beginners. Most importantly, barbell is better for raising the volume and strength of training.

Novice only need to select some barbell exercises, familiar with the movement, and continue to increase the weight of training, progress will be very obvious.

For example, when you are training your thighs, you can do the barbell squat. Start with an empty rod of 20kg, 4×8 reps, and try to add a little more weight each week than you did last week. Try to do it twice more in each set, and continue to do it more than 12 times. You’ve started to put a lot of pressure on your muscles, and your muscles will adapt to it. At this stage, you will get:

  • Strength of hips and legs will be greatly improved;
  • The dimensions of the hips and thighs will increase significantly;
  • Adapt and learn to control larger weight;
  • Core strength is increasing.

After 3 to 6 months, you can easily carry barbell of your own weight, and your pants are tight because your hips and legs have thickened!

After all, strength boost will set you up for the rest of your training. The core strength you gain at this stage, allows you to really learn how to control the equipments. You’ll go from a newbie who can shake a small dumbbell to a really confident fitness beginner.

This is the real “induction training.”

Bulking Phase

barbell multi-gym fitness muscle building

By the time you get past the entry level, you are strong enough to enter the next level. For most of us, strength is not the goal of us. We all want to have a nice figure and look better. We will find that although barbell training effectively increases muscle masses, but these muscle masses are not good-looking. Your muscles are flawed: your upper chest is flat, your shoulders aren’t full, your back isn’t wide enough, and your biceps are almost non-existent, etc.

If your goal is to get in better shape, you should focus on using dumbbells after you get past the beginner phase. In dumbbell training, volume and strength are important, but not the first. We should focus on the exercise of the target muscles.

For example, if you’ve thickened your arms with bench press, but your chest doesn’t feel much, now you can try to control elbow lowering and pinching during the dumbbell exercise, focus on your pectoralis major, and minimize the involvement of your shoulders and triceps. This is also difficult to achieve with barbell.

The overall training rhythm should be “slow,” a wide range of exercises to maintain continuous muscle tension and to stimulate the muscles for longer. The exercise that chose is aimed at weak part of our body.

This phase can be very long. Until you hit the wall, you can focus on dumbbell training, and your body shape will improve dramatically!

9. Kettlebell

Kettlebell have a very long history. It was named kettlebell because it was shaped like a kettle with a handle. Kettlebell is a fitness equipment that engage all parts of the body, working out from fingers to toes. When exercising with kettlebell, you can do various exercises such as pushing, lifting, lifting, throwing and squatting. By doing exercise, we can enhance our physical strength and coordination effectively. Studies have shown that kettlebell training works well when it comes to burning fat.

Why Do We Choose Kettlebell?

It makes you more focused. You can watch your iPad on the treadmill or listen to music while lifting weights, but if you get distracted while doing kettlebells, you’ll either end up in the hospital emergency room or the surrounding people go in… Better focus, in addition to improved safety, also leads to better training results.

Kettlebell has a bigger range of motion than dumbbells and requires more body stability.

Using kettlebell will improve your grip, which is essential for athletes in all kinds of sports. Kettlebells have a peculiar shape. The center of gravity of the kettlebell is not in the geometric center, which allows the kettlebell user to increase his grip and the strength of his front arm. It is unmatched by other training equipment and machines.

Training with kettlebells requires you to constantly challenge your spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and timing to change your moves. These skills can be used in various sports and daily life. By forcing your body to support a heavy kettlebell, you will awaken deep muscles — muscles that machines can’t exercise — and those responsible for stabilizing our body. These are real and reliable forces.

Kettlebell training gives both your hands equal skill and strength training. Unlike many machine and barbell exercises, your stronger hand usually dominates the process; The weaker hand, on the other hand, often doesn’t get enough exercise. Using kettlebell for exercise can help build strength, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory function at the same time.

The Features of Kettlebells

Practice kettlebell, can actually improve the strength, endurance, and explosiveness of muscle. When you do the kettlebell exercise, your core muscles could be stimulated effectively, and your overall coordination and flexibility will be improved.

People Who can use Kettlebell

Sports enthusiasts of all ages can use it as long as they choose the right weight.

Specifications of Kettlebell

Kettlebells are generally made of cast iron. In the design of kettlebells, the current popular is the outer cover of rubber, handle has anti-slip treatment, handle can be single or two, and the bottom also has anti-slip treatment.

Matters needing attention

  1. When beginners use kettlebell for training, be sure to read the instructions carefully. You can also check out training video on YouTube.
  2. Train with high concentration and choose the appropriate weight.
  3. When you’re training, make sure there is enough space around; Make sure your posture is up to standard.
  4. During your first training, it is recommended to ask a coach for guidance. After you familiar with the exercises, you can practice on your own.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.