Popular Types of Exercise Equipment

Exercise equipment includes any device or machine that is used inside the home or a gym for physical activity. The equipment is often used to build strength, to burn calories or as part of physical therapy after an injury. The devices range from simple free weights to complex, computer-controlled exercise machines that simulate walking or climbing outside. Some equipment is designed for a single purpose, such as strength training. Others are more flexible and can be used for a variety of exercises. There are a few popular types of exercise equipment available.

Exercise EquipmentNon-mechanical exercise equipment includes a variety of items that are primarily used to develop strength. Free weights are one example. Each weight is a simple bar or grip that has heavy metal blocks attached to the ends. The actual weighted ends are often interchangeable so that more or less weight can be lifted as desired. This builds strength and helps to tone muscles over time. Another piece of equipment is an exercise ball. This large inflatable ball is used to provide support during certain types of exercises. The ball is popular because it forces the body to balance and to use specific muscle groups while performing sit-ups or other movements.

Exercise bikes are very popular and convenient for many people. The bike is a stationary exercise machine that looks like a regular bicycle with only one wheel. The user sits on the bike and pedals. The level of resistance that is encountered while pedaling can be adjusted. Modern exercise bikes come with computer-controlled routines that vary the resistance in order to simulate pedaling up and down hills. The bikes burn calories and are useful for people who do not have the time, space, or ability to ride a bike outdoors.

Treadmills are found in many homes. These machines have flat platforms that rest against the floor with a conveyor belt on the surface. The user stands on the conveyor and starts to walk or run. The conveyor turns in response allowing natural movement on the stationary machine. The newest treadmills come with complex control panels and features such as a platform that can be inclined gradually during a workout routine. Even refurbished treadmills include many convenient features like heart rate monitors and calorie counters.

An elliptical trainer is a machine that has two large pedals for the feet and two handles for the arms. Users push the pedals down while moving the handles back and forth with the arms. The motion simulates walking or cross-country skiing. Elliptical machines are very popular because they are versatile and affect many different muscle groups at the same time. The resistance in the handles and pedals is adjustable on most models. Elliptical machines burn a large amount of calories but can be difficult to use at first because of problems with balance.