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Home gym under $100

Suspension straps for toning and fat loss 

“Suspension straps are easily one of the most versatile and popular apparatuses on the market,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.

“They can be used to isolate particular muscle groups, or as a full-body compound or high-intensity workout.”

Plyometric box for cardio, toning and fat loss

Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals.

Kettlebell for toning and fat loss

“With proper technique, kettlebells can be used to train your entire body for both toning and fat-burning goals,” says Strickland.

Compound movements such as the kettlebell swing, in which the centre of gravity shifts, work the entire body while moves native to dumbbell workouts often isolate one or two muscle groups.

Resistance bands for activation, recovery and toning

Also known as physio bands or Thera-Bands, resistance bands are often used to improve flexibility or for rehabilitative purposes.

“Resistance bands are great for rehabilitation from injury as they don’t load the spine or put pressure on the joints to the same extent as heavy weights,” says Strickland.

“When added to your stretching routine, they can allow you to reach a deeper stretch than you might otherwise be able to achieve, aiding recovery and improving flexibility.”

Foam roller for activation, recovery and toning

“While foam rollers are often thought as being exclusively a recovery tool for massaging sore muscles, I’ve often also used them as a rehabilitation tool with my clients,” says Strickland.

“By rolling out the outer thighs or glutes with your feet elevated off the floor, your core is forced to engage and you can actually get quite a solid, yet low-impact, abdominal workout.”

Swiss ball for toning

“Gym balls can be used for an endless number of exercises that work the entire body,” says Strickland. “They are actually popular among athletes as they can target the muscle groups specific to the athletes’ performance.

For specific exercises to promote toning, fat loss and card get your hands on Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.

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Home gym under $100

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plyo

The benefits of plyometric exercises

“The plyo box has been popular among athletes and hard-core fitness enthusiasts for a while now, but has become more mainstream since the introduction of CrossFit,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.

“They are great for cardio-based and high-intensity training, but can also be used for rehabilitative purposes and for evening out physique imbalances.”

Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals. While fixed-height boxes are available and usually come in sets of three to four, try opting for a sturdy, adjustable step if you are tight on space. And if you aren’t confident in the jumps, we say go for foam rather than metal or wood versions: a lot less chance of skinned shins.

For cardio/fat loss: Plyometric training involves using explosive bodyweight movements to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time – making them the perfect fat-burning tool. Explosive movements also mean power and strength, especially in the lower body, can be achieved. Again, keep rest periods short and repetitions as high as possible – although given their taxing nature, sessions shouldn’t go much longer then 30 to 45 minutes. Tip: “When performing box jumps, start in a quarter squat and hinge from the hips to engage the hamstrings and glutes,” says Strickland. “Landings on the box should be soft to help avoid injury.”

For toning: While plyometric training is renowned for explosive bodyweight movements, Strickland says that there are a range of toning exercises that can be performed simultaneously. “Think anything from single-leg step-ups to incline push-ups using the box,” he says. “The varied range will target muscles you never even knew you had.”

“With proper technique, kettlebells can be used to train your entire body for both toning and fat-burning goals,” says Strickland. “I run a half-hour class and never repeat the same exercise, so boredom is never an issue.”

Compound movements such as the kettlebell swing, in which the centre of gravity shifts, work the entire body while moves native to dumbbell workouts often isolate one or two muscle groups.

“Kettlebells, in my experience, allow people to get deeper into the movements than say a dumbbell,” says Strickland.

For toning:  Kettlebells of varying weights can be used to load isolated muscle groups. When setting up your home gym, opt for a set of light, medium and heavy kettlebells to ensure everything from shoulders to legs can be worked. Strickland’s favourite for a killer lower-body toning session? “I often work some of my favourite kettlebell exercises into a circuit to ensure the muscles are exhausted while also providing a killer cardio and fat-burning workout,” he says. “Try a burpee to kettlebell deadlift to kettlebell upright row. Say no more, this will push your whole body to its limits, and then some.”

For fat loss/cardio: Fat loss and cardio fitness are best achieved through circuit-style training, with limited rest and higher repetitions to ensure the heart rate is elevated for long periods. Strickland suggests high-intensity interval work, with exercises performed for 45 seconds at max reps followed by a short 15-second rest. Sessions should last for about 20 to 30 minutes all up. “Work from the larger muscle to smallest, allowing you to achieve a wider variety of movements. It also means the most taxing, compound movements are completed first,” says Strickland.

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The benefits of plyometric exercises

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How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning

How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning You’ll be suprised at how resistance bands can come in handy when it comes to activation, recovery and toning.Also known as physio bands or Thera-Bands, resistance bands are often used to improve flexibility or for rehabilitative purposes.“Resistance bands are great for rehabilitation from injury as they don’t load the spine or put pressure on the joints to the same extent as heavy weights,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.“When added to your stretching routine, they can allow you to reach a deeper stretch than you might otherwise be able to achieve, aiding recovery and improving flexibility.”While resistance bands do not correspond to a specific weight and cannot load the muscle to the same extent as a dumbbell, they can also be used to add tension and tone specific muscle groups, such as the glutes, calves, shoulders, back and biceps, and are perfect if dumbbells or similar are out of reach at home or while travelling. They can also aid in activating muscle groups in preparation for heavier lifts.Resistance bands come in varying levels of stretch, from light to heavy, and are usually colour coded.“Heavier bands should be used for larger muscle groups such as the legs or glutes, while lighter bands can be used for muscles that don’t require a heavy load to work them, such as the shoulders,” says Strickland.For activation/toning: Warm-ups that are dynamic, rather than static, can help to increase movement ranges and activate the muscle groups that your workouts will target. “Dynamic warm-ups are important as they prepare the muscles, prime the nervous system and give you an opportunity to reinforce proper technique,” says trainer Alexa Towersey. To prime the glutes and hamstrings for a lower body session, try glute raises with a resistance band tied around the knees; concentrate on pushing your knees outwards, against the bands, as you raise your hips upward to really get the booty working.

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How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning

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Paige Hathaway

5 hours 48 minutes ago

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Paige Hathaway

1 day 3 hours ago

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