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Gym Wars – Battle Of The Exercise Machines

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Had a very healthy set of reviews to do this month on exercise equipment. After many years of attending gyms in a smaller city, I found my motivation dropped once I had to tackle 20 minutes of city traffic just to get to my workout. By then my body was more tense than before I left the office, and took longer to warm up to get any real benefit from my one hour dedicated time.

So I became a home workout fan. Equiped now with a cabinet full of exercise VHS and DVD’s I can keep my programs varied depending upon the weather, my energy state and my mood. I don’t need to wear make up or trendy gear and can languish in my own shower afterwards – bliss!

My key workout equipment includes:

  • Elliptical Trainer
  • Hand weights – in three sizes
  • Large Barbell
  • Resistance Band
  • Inner Thigh Thingy
  • Hand Spring Grip
  • Yoga Mat

Not an exhaustive equipment collection but extremely adequate to give me a full body workout through flexibility, cardio and strength.

My elliptical cycle is a very compact, inexpensive model without all the programs but doesn’t need to be plugged into the wall, and is light enough to roll outside into the sun when I get the urge. It fits discretely into a main living room so I can watch television whilst working out [along with my chipping net and putting practice gear].

But it was time to upgrade my elliptical trainer so I set out to compare the options between elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, rowers and treadmills. My personal conclusions as to the best home exercices machine, in order or preference are:

  1. Elliptical Trainer – gives a full body workout, is easy on the back and knees.
  2. Rower – again a good body workout whilst protecting the body – but I wasn’t so keen with the sitting down
  3. Treadmill – rather boring and no upper body. Can still hammer the knees but does add more to helping with osteoporosis with that pounding!
  4. Stationary Bike – great for a 5 minute warm up for the lower body, but can be tough on the knees and if your feet slip during spinning – ouch! And recumbent bikes are great for those over 75 or rehabilitation purposes but you are kidding yourself if you think you are getting a good workout.

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Masher