I’m a personal trainer from London, UK specialising in kettlebell training. Although I promote a minimalist approach to fitness such as keeping your exercises simple and sticking to the basics. Also using a few pieces of fitness equipment as possible. I know the importance of some additional tools.
In this article I will highlight 5 of must have fitness accessories.
Body Fat Scales
The number of reasons why people quit their training programmes is because they are unable to notice any results. In many cases the results are not visibly noticeable because improvements are gradual and take place slowly over a long period of time.
A quick and easy way to notice week by week progress is to use body fat scales to monitor your progress. Use body fat scales roughly the same time each day and at least two hours after meals or exercise for accurate readings.
The vast majority of fitness enthusiasts have no idea about the benefits of foam rolling. Foam rolling is useful for a process called self-myofascial release and is used a lot by veteran trainees and athletes. Over time, if athletes do not stretch properly their muscles begin to tighten and thus lose flexibility. This can inhibit exercise and cause injury in the long run. Foam rolling works as a self massage to help untie “knots” in the muscle.
You would do this by rolling your body over the roll targeting the problem muscle; it’s a painful process, similar to deep tissue massage. But it works brilliantly. The alternative is to pay $90 p/h for a physical therapist to work on you.
Contrary to what you might think yoga mats aren’t just for yoga, they are vital for post workout static stretches. Note: do not perform static stretches before your workout because it makes your muscles relax and therefore not work as hard during exercise. I came to rely on my yoga mats heavily when doing foam rolling rehab work on my injured back.
Powerballs are excellent little devices; they have a gyroscope inside which you gently move by slow controlled movements. Slowly the gyroscope begins to pick up speed and you are forced to shake your wrists faster to keep up with the momentum which only encourages it to spin faster. In next to no time the gyroscope takes a life of its own, spinning around in thousands of RPM. You then have to grip hard and keep your forearm and wrists as straight as possible to keep the Powerball from flying everywhere.
A fun little toy that does wonders for your grip, wrist strength and fore arm strength.
The humble chin up is by far the most impressive exercise. USMC RECON requires new recruits to be able to do 12 dead hand pull-ups, usually in the middle of a circuit to become a fully fledged marine.
Frankly everyone who works out needs to be able to do 12 dead hand chin-ups. I have a freestanding chinning bar as I can’t risk damaging my door frame. It’s more expensive but worth it for me as it allows me to do dips as well. Though there are plenty of cheap door frame chinning bars, I just prefer not to use them.
This article was written by Abdul Karim, personal trainer from London. You can find out more about his training method on his kettlebell workout site.