Home-Gym Equipment Round-Up: Fitness at Your Fingertips
These new products will help you build endurance, strength and overall fitness without ever leaving home.
The fitness equipment industry is not slowing down anytime soon. According to the latest research from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), retail sales of sporting goods—clothing, footwear and equipment—reached $52.1 billion in 2006. (Yes, that says billion.)
So what does this mean to you? It means fitness equipment companies are responding to the demand for gear by enhancing, improving and adding technology to their products. To keep up with this fast-paced industry, we're highlighting some of the latest offerings you might want to consider for getting fit at home.
(Prices and availability may vary.)
Life Fitness X7 Electronic Adjustable Stride Cross-Trainer
This total-body workout machine offers more workouts, electronic stride adjustments and lower-impact ellipse motion than its other models. Rob Villavicencio, store manager and fitness consultant for Life Fitness products at OmniFitness, in Greenwich, Conn., says you can adjust your stride length electronically in one-inch increments to work different muscle groups and change the pace of the workout. He says that shorter stride lengths allow you to work the quads more and go at a “walking” pace, while a longer stride works glutes and allows you to reach a “running” speed. Villavicencio says, “Elliptical cross-trainers are great for people with knee injuries and back problems. Your body won’t be taking the pounding that you’d get on a treadmill. You’re getting a weight-bearing exercise because you’re standing upright, but you’re not punishing your body the same way you would with a treadmill.” The X7 is available with two different consoles: the basic version includes five classic programs and the advanced version is loaded with 10 workout programs, three goal-oriented programs and two customizable programs. It can hold users weighing up to 400 pounds. $3,899 (basic workouts console) and $4,199 (advanced workouts console); Available at us.home.lifefitness.com
Bowflex Revolution XP
This versatile strength machine provides more than 90 exercises and a new space-saving design—it can fit in a 4- by 5-foot space or corner. Its SpiralFlex® resistance technology and Freedom Arms® mimic the feel of free weights to sculpt and tone muscles. The leg attachment allows users to perform a seated leg extension or standing leg curls. The unit has up to 200 pounds of resistance for upper, lower and core body workouts and comes with an instructional video that walks you through each exercise. Optional attachments include a lat tower for more arm and shoulder workouts; an ab back pad that provides increased range of motion for additional core and back muscle training; or an extra 80 pounds of resistance.$2,299 to $2,677 (with add-ons); Available at bowflexrevolution.com/bowflex_revolution.jsp
Bell Express 15 Fitness Kits
If you could get a complete cardio and strength training workout with the help of a professional athlete, a personal trainer, fitness equipment, a pedometer and a DVD—in only 15 minutes—would you be interested? We thought so. Pro beach volleyball player Gabrielle Reece teamed up with certified personal trainer Mike Monroe and Bell Sports to address American's excuses that they don't have the time to exercise. The Bell Express 15 Kits are designed to get people started on a fitness program for less than $30 each. Available kits: Strength, Cardio, Fit and Slim (pictured), Core Training and 30-Day Challenge. Some kits include equipment like body balls, dumbbells, resistance bands and wobble boards. $29.99; Available at gotogabby.com and Target stores nationwide
Body Rev Perfect Pushup
You've probably seen the commercials by now. A ripped guy or girl doing push-ups while gripping two swiveling handles on the ground. At first, it might reek of "As Seen on TV" farce. Well, our Men's editor, Jason Carpenter, tried this workout and the next day was sore all over (in a good way).
"At first glance, it may look like an unnecessary variation on regular push-ups, but you will feel the difference immediately," says Carpenter. "Letting your arms rotate naturally engages more muscles in your chest, shoulders, abs and back. Also, since your hands are elevated, you bring your body lower with each down motion and have to work harder to bring yourself back up again." The package includes an instructional workout chart that demonstrates proper technique to accelerate muscle building, as well as a workout calendar.$39.95; Available at store.perfectpushup.com