There are only so many hours in the day, so make sure you aren't wasting them! When you hit the gym, you want to hit it hard and make it count, and these 12 gym-time upgrades will help you do just that.
1. Bosu Ball: A Bosu Ball will completely change your workout. You can use it for squats, burpees, pushups or get after it for an entire routine. Regardless of what you choose, a Bosu Ball will force you to activate your core as you focus on your balance throughout the entire movement.
2. Plank Tuck Twist: Planks are great for working your entire body, but this variation will help to increase your heart rate as well, meaning more calories burned while you tone and strengthen. Learn the move here, and keep the stability ball handy as you perform this awesome stability ball routine for muscle sculpting.
3. Stair Climber: Ever get a little winded when you carry the laundry basket upstairs? Don't worry - we've all been there. Try hitting the stair climber next time you're at the gym. This beast of a machine activates every major muscle group in your lower body: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Plus, high reps (which you'll definitely get on the stair climber) are great for building lean muscle and burning fat.
4. Kettlebells: While this little weight may look intimidating, it's an excellent tool to have in your repertoire. The kettlebell combines strength, cardio and some flexibility training. Try this Kettlebell HIIT Workout to ramp up a stagnant routine.
5. Russian Twist: Grab some free weights to amplify your core work. A Russian Twist is an excellent way to trim your midsection and get your blood flowing. Challenge yourself by adding weight to increase the focus on stabilizing and activating your core from side to side. Click here for step by step instructions on this exercise.
6. Jump Rope: Feeling guilty about that late afternoon candy bar? Grab a jump rope and burn off the calories in only 15-20 minutes! (WebMD) You can work the jump rope into a circuit or make it your whole cardio exercise. Get creative with jump variations, like this routine from Shape, and feel the muscles in your arms, legs, butt, and shoulders tone and tighten.
7. Burpees: This move is universally hated because it's so difficult. You'll learn to love it, however, once you start seeing yourself improve with time and practice. If you're not sure how gym equipment can take your burpees to the next level, then you've never met gliders. Gliders will awaken muscles in your body you didn't even know were there. Learn the proper form here.
9. Suspension Straps: Have you ever taken a TRX class? If not, ask a trainer to show you how to adjust the ropes. Then use this workout to burn calories, tone up and learn a fun, new workout that uses your bodyweight to transform your muscle tone!
10. Indoor Rowing: Did you know you can burn more calories on a rowing machine than running? This killer workout will enhance your gym experience like no other, helping to make every minute there count! Learn more about rowing here.
11. Resistance Band: Resistance bands are great for stretching and strengthening, but many don't realize they're effective for cardio as well. Grab a resistance band, turn up the tunes and get ready to sweat because we have an amazing cardio resistance band routine for you.
12. Fan Bike: Unfortunately, fan bikes are an overlooked machine at the gym. The fan naturally creates resistance and makes the workout seriously challenging. Bodybuilding.com shares 4 awesome HIIT workouts on the fan bike (get them here), and states "The coordinated pushing and pulling action of the arms and the pushing action of the legs, combined with the air resistance from the fan, challenges your heart to pump blood to both upper and lower body regions." Hop on the bike and get ready to burn off last night's dessert.
We hope you'll accept the challenge and allow this gym equipment to take your workouts to the next level. Is there a piece of equipment you love that we don't have on the list? Share in the comments below!