Home gym equipment - Home fitness
Shed extra pounds and be fit - who’d say no? For many people, keeping weight down permanently and stepping up fitness is increasingly important. Targeted exercise is possible at the gym, but also within your own four walls -- on home gym equipment. The range of equipment on offer is huge, with prices differing markedly. For amateurs, then, choosing home gym equipment catering to their personal needs is anything but simple. TÜV SÜD Product Service gives helpful advice to prospective customers about what to look out for in the fitness jungle:
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Solid design in demand
In general, important features for home gym equipment are solid design, good workmanship and ease of use. Non-pros are largely unable to assess the safety and workmanship of home gym equipment, since too many factors are important in these aspects. Specialist shops can supply advice and important tips on all issues. To be sure of getting the right equipment quality and safety, prospects should also look for the TÜV SÜD Octagon of TÜV SÜD Product Service, TÜV SÜD Group, or the GS mark. Home gym equipment distinguished by these certification marks has not only been tested for safety but also checked for user friendliness, functionality and comprehendible operating instructions including information on how to exercise correctly or on maintenance and care.
Whether fitness seekers go for a cheap or expensive model depends on their individual demands. The type of equipment you buy entirely depends on the fitness standards you are aiming for. Every machine exercises specific muscles and/or overall stamina. Here is a brief overview of the most popular types:
1. Pedal on the spot
Exercise bikes or ergometers are the classic type of home gym equipment, primarily aimed at working the leg muscles with minimal strain on the joints. At the same time, exercise bikes offer ideal yet gentle cardiovascular training, and are therefore also excellent for older fitness fans. More advanced ergometers generally boast various workout programmes and intensities as well as a heart-rate monitor. Recumbent exercise bikes are now also available. Originally developed for rehabilitation clinics, these bikes are also suitable for people suffering back or joint problems. However, in these cases a doctor should always be consulted before an exercise programme is started.
2. Exercise on steppers
Exercise on steppers primarily provides a workout for the legs and glutes, reproducing the movements of stair climbing with their two steps. People suffering from knee or hip problems, therefore, should not exercise on this machine or consult their physicians first. Simple steppers are generally available at bargain prices. More expensive models, though, can offer hand grips, magnetically adjustable resistance systems, heart rate monitoring or pre-set programmes.
3. Rowing on dry land
Rowing machines offer a good whole body workout. Correctly performed, rowing is easy on the joints while training almost all muscles, chiefly arms and upper body. Before taking up dry rowing at home, consult a qualified trainer to learn the correct technique because an incorrect starting position may quickly cause back pain.
4. Harmonious movements
Devices known as elliptical trainers or cross-trainers and combining the characteristics of steppers, treadmills and rowing machines are becoming increasingly popular. As all important muscles are worked, exercise on these machines offers a good body workout, focusing on cardiovascular training. To ensure that movements are effective yet easy on the joints, mastering the correct technique is also important on these machines.
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Slow but steady
Irrespective of the type of exercise or machine, the right technique makes exercising more effective and healthier. Beginners, therefore, should seek advice from a sports medicine expert. This advice can be provided by a physician you trust, but is also offered by some health insurance schemes. Asking a fitness coach to explain the right exercise technique to avoid joint and back problems is also important. Specialist shops also offer consulting services. Home exercising needs a high level of motivation, because motivation is harder without the encouragement of a group. Fitness seekers should keep this in mind before purchasing an expensive exercise machine. Basically, the following applies: overdoing physical exercise does more harm than good. Slowly building up exercise performance is better. The most important thing is to keep at it - the best way to learn to enjoy exercise and achieve success.