If your physio has told you to keep active but you’re bored of the usual regime, don’t worry, there are plenty of exciting pieces of exercise equipment that you can use to try to liven things up a little, lessen the load and add a new angle to your athleticism.
The Power Plate
The Power Plate and various versions of it have been around for a few decades now. Rumour has it that Madonna built up her toned arms and six pack by using hers daily. If you are trying to build muscle strength without heavy lifting or high impact activity, the Power Plate is perfect.
Just stand on the plate and hold the handle bars, and turn up the vibration to suit your strength. Just 10 minutes on the plate is reported to be enough. During the session you can hold different positions to work different muscles as the heavy vibrations move through your body.
Old school but still around in some gyms, toning tables are the ultimate in leisurely exercise while lying down. There are a variety of tables that work different muscles, from abs and arms, to lats and glutes. Lie on the padded bed and turn up the speed gradually, and parts of the table move, taking your arms or legs with them in a direction that stretches your muscles. Repeated use will tone up and tighten.
Vacuum Bikes and Treadmills
The vacuum work out is not for the weak willed – it’s a strange feeling and hard work too! The machine consists of a bike or treadmill encased in a vacuum machine which goes from the floor to waist height. The user puts on a special wet suit type vest that is zipped on to the machine, and then it is switched on and the air sucked around your legs as you cycle or run. The effect is good for circulation and requires more strength than regular cycling or running and is said to burn more fat.
The mini trampoline is not just for kids! Called trampettes by the media, the mini trampolines are coming back in to fashion for home workouts. Bouncing is fun and is great for building muscle strength through resistance and is a good way to carry out high impact work in a way that is kinder to the joints.
Another piece of equipment that has also been more famous as a children’s toy is actually great for cardio exercise and waist trimming. Adult sized weighted hula hoops provide a really good work out and can be easily stored too as they’re not so bulky compared to traditional exercise equipment. They can also be used (carefully) for skipping too.
Whilst these pieces of equipment wouldn’t be enough alone for a healthy balanced exercise routine, they’re certainly a good start and affordable too.
Power Plate classes start from 20 euros per session and hula hoops and trampettes are around 75 euros. If you can make your exercise fun then it won’t feel like so much of a routine and you’ll be really keen to get your next session in!
Please contact your Physio for advice on the best strengthening exercises for you.