State–of–the–art exercise equipment is useless if it’s collecting dust. Fortunately, you don’t have to own the latest workout gadget to pump up and trim down. These 3 fitness tools will outlast any fad, whether you use them in the gym or the comfort of your own abode.
- Stability ball: A versatile piece, this plump elastic orb can be used for full–body conditioning. Place it between your back and the wall to provide support during squats. Lie on your back with your legs on the ball and lift your hips, alternately raising each leg to strengthen abs and buttocks. Then turn over on your stomach, keeping your feet on the ball, and hold a plank position like you’re about to do a push–up to engage the core and arms.
- Resistance bands: These stretchy, lightweight strips that vary in thickness are great options for the frugal fitness fanatic. Stand in the center of a band, holding an end in each hand, and perform bicep curls. To work the legs, tie bands around your ankles with your feet about 8 inches apart. Do side steps across the floor, contracting your outer leg and buttocks on each step.
- Jump rope: Rekindle childhood skipping with a multitude of jumping sequences that will leave you breathless. For aerobic benefits, jump for 1– to 3–minute intervals, inserting crunches or lunges into the rest periods. Because rope-jumping requires coordination, practice without a rope first.