Variety is the spice of life, and you should add some of that spice to your workouts. Get acquainted with some of the “weird” equipment there is in the gym and learn how to correctly use it to target certain body parts.
Battling Ropes have had a resurgence mainly due to a pioneer of strongman training, John Brookfield. They are low-impact and can work the entire body very effectively. Core strength is very important to keep you in proper form and avoid injuries using the ropes. You can throw in battle rope exercises as part of an interval training series, or do an entire workout with just the ropes. Common exercises are waves, slams, circles, snakes, claps, hip tosses, and figure eights.
Go-to move: Alternate Wave Squats
Try it: Alternate arms lifting and lowering to make waves with the ropes as you squat down and up.
What it works: Core, shoulders, glutes, and thighs.
Sleds are one of the most effective and versatile conditioning tools ever invented. Sled work consists of pushing or pulling a weighted sled for distance, reps, or time. Using a sled for conditioning will greatly improve speed, acceleration, and anaerobic capacity, which are all important for sports performance. Working the anaerobic energy system will delay the onset of lactic acid and will also improve your body’s ability to clear it. This has a great carry over to both weight training and long-distance running. Sled work is an example of H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training), which has been shown to be very effective for burning fat. Another great thing about sled work is that anyone can do it. It’s as simple as loading the sled with weight, getting low, and pushing/pulling the sled across the room. Ten or twenty minutes pushing the sled on a cardio day or following strength training is all that it takes.
Go-to move: Pushes/Pulls
Try it: Find a sled at your fitness facility and some open room to push and pull it back and forth. Begin with a light load, grab onto the handles, get low, and push/pull the sled across the room. It’s as simple as that!
What it works: Cardiovascular system, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves.
For more Weird Gym Equipment, read the first instalment.