These high-ticket items used to be all the rage until they started collecting dust in our basements when we decided we'd rather get fit outside or go to the gym. After our Guess the Fad Exercise Quiz, I couldn't help but think of the exercise equipment I no longer use but had to have back in the day. Are there any machines that you wish you had never bought? Or maybe you are one of the few who has a shiny new elliptical or treadmill that gets used every day?
Despite Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's claim that the recession is over, most Americans aren't buying it. I'm not sure what you think of Bernanke's outlook, but the last two years of economic downturn have taught me a lesson in frugality I won't be forgetting anytime soon.
The mister bought a new bike recently — new to him anyway. After visiting nine different bike stores and confronting the truth that he could not afford to put thousands of dollars toward a bicycle, I directed him to Craigslist. Not only did he find the bike of his dreams, he ended up having a few to choose from. Within a week of looking he found a barely used 2008 Cannondale for $650, a bike he saw at a store a week earlier for $1,250.
I've used Craigslist quite a bit but never for pricier items because it seemed to risky to me. After this experience I'll be turning there when I'm on the market for something new. A quick look on the site yesterday showed hundreds of barely used elliptical machines, stationary bikes, and treadmills averaging around $200; that's at least an 80 percent discount off retail prices and has me seriously considering buying a piece of equipment for my home.
Have any of you had good experiences using Craigslist to find fitness equipment?
If working out at home is more your speed than hitting the gym, then you may want to add this piece of exercise equipment to your collection. Called the Skorcher, it was designed by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. This machine claims to deliver you "the world's best butt exercise," known as the thrust. It can also be used for dozens of other exercises that work every muscle in your body, but targets your glutes, thighs, and abs. Check out the video below to see some examples.
I know you want to find out how much one of these bad boys costs so read more
The economy is on almost everyone's minds these days, but it's important that despite the tough times, we keep ahead of our health. If you're trying to cut back on your costs, you can easily transform a few items at home into your exercise equipment. The Mayo Clinic had a few good ideas as to how. They are:
- Canned goods. Many canned goods can serve double duty as hand weights.
- Milk or water jugs. Fill empty milk or water jugs with water or sand and secure the tops with duct tape. To adjust the weights as your fitness level changes, simply add more water or sand. If you wonder how much weight you're lifting, simply weigh the jug on your household scale.
- Step stools. A low, sturdy step stool can become exercise equipment if you use it for step training — an aerobic exercise resembling stair climbing.
I've got a few ideas of my own to add to the list so read more
Buying fitness equipment is not always the easiest task. Finding the right piece for your home gym often means heading into unchartered territory. Everyday Health offers some great tips on making smart fitness buys. (In case you missed it, here's part I.)
Here are highlights:
- Look for well-built equipment. A sturdy frame, smooth running parts, sufficient horsepower (if motorized), and a comfortable feel are all key elements. Also, ask the dealer about warranties, return policies, repair records, and service costs.
- Make sure you understand the full cost of the equipment. Read the fine print to see if items such as shipping and handling, sales tax, and set-up fees are included.
- Look for features that you'll really use. Fancy add-ons such as computer-programmed displays are nice to have, but they can inflate the bottom line. However, you may feel some extras are worthwhile — for instance, if knowing how many calories you're burning will act as a motivator or if features such as a reading rack, water bottle holder, or seat and tension adjusters will make your workout more appealing.
There's more great tips so read more
When you workout, do you have a favorite prop? Both physio balls and exercise bands are great for strength training and adding variety to your workouts, but I want to
know . . .
Push-ups are an awesome exercise you can do to tone your upper body, and the best part - you can do them anywhere. Many women I know complain that push ups bother their wrists though, so here's a cool gadget that may help.
It's called the Perfect Pushup ($39.95). It's basically 2 handles on 8" bases that swivel, which allows you to rotate your arms naturally, just as you would do if you were throwing a punch or lifting a dumb bell. The base is rubberized on the bottom, which provides stability, and the handles provide a comfortable place to grip. Since the base is slightly elevated, it'll allow you to get a deeper push up than you could if you just used the floor.
I love that the handles rotate, so you can adjust the angles for your arms. This will enable you to reduce strain on certain areas, and you can also work different muscles in your chest, arms and upper back. This may be a great addition to your home gym.
Fit's Tips: You can also use the Perfect Pushup handles to do yoga, if Up Dog or Down Dog bothers your wrists.
In a recent poll, many of you told me that you'd rather use a treadmill at home rather than the gym. The problem is, many of you also said that you can't afford to get one for your home. So where's the middle ground?
How about getting a used treadmill? One place you may want to try is Play It Again Sports. Yup, the store is still around -- Remember the massive marketing push they had in the early 90's? Play It Again Sports has a range of treadmill models from light walking to light commercial units. Play It Again Sports has many name brand model treadmills and they also sell a lot of other fitness equipment that you may be interested in adding to your home gym. Being that the stores are resale, each location will have a wide range of stuff so check out the store locater to find a Play It Again Sports near you.