Sportsmith Blog

Strength Products for Trainers: Dumbbells, Kettlebells, & Resistance Bands

As fitness professionals, you know the importance of incorporating strength training into a workout regimen. With that being said, you also know not everyone is willing to hop under a bench press or settle under a squat rack. And while these tried-and-true exercises are often associated with strength training, they’re not the only options.

A number of health professionals are introducing clients to alternative forms of strength training.  Instead of bench presses and dead lifts, they’re using free weights—dumbbells and kettlebells.  And some are even taking it one step further.  They’re forgoing the use of physical weights and opting for resistance bands.

As it turns out, a number of people trying to whip themselves back into shape prefer these methods of strength training.  They’re not as daunting, especially for those who are out of shape or elderly.  Dumbbells and kettlebells offer more varied usage than, say, a bench press.  With dumbbells an individual can perform exercises that hit pectorals, biceps, triceps, forearms, and a number of muscles in your shoulders and back.

When individuals use dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands, they have more control over their workout.  They get the strength training they need without enduring some of the hardships, like injuries, associated with the more common methods.

For more information, be sure to view our strength training products page.


Steps In Finding The Right Gym For You

There are many things people should consider when trying to find the perfect gym to sign up for. First, you want to figure out what your goals are in going to the gym – whether you want to lose weight or just tone your muscles. Next, you should choose a gym that you feel comfortable working out at. People tend to slack off if they are in a surrounding that they feel uneasy in. Visiting several gyms, at several different times of the day is the only way to determine what gym you would like to attend, what time you want to go, the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness, and the stability of the equipment.

Another important element is finding the gym that has the right personal trainer for you and your exercise needs. If you have a certain training routine that you are used to, find someone that has a long history of experience and who will test your current condition before enrolling you in a routine. You want a trainer who is going to motivate you and be interested in your overall outcome. Having conversations with numerous trainers is the only way you will find the perfect one.

Next in line is the fitness accessories and equipment. You want to make sure that whatever gym you decide to go to, that it has the right equipment available for you to reach your ultimate goals. Most exercise machines that are used to target major muscle groups, work all the same, so it can be confusing as well as overwhelming in picking out the right equipment. The key is to look for specific equipment such as treadmills and steppers.

Make sure when searching for a gym to remember that the most expensive gym isn’t always the best gym. Just because it is popularized on TV or is a well-known chain, doesn’t mean that the gym you pick will make you will feel comfortable and at ease when you are working out.

Whether you are looking for aquatic fitness facilities and equipment, or your run of the mill aerobic fitness centers, make sure to look into everything that each place has to offer. Doing a little bit of research never hurt anyone and in this case, it will only benefit your total outcome in the end.


The Step360™

Most gym goers would find themselves familiar with the original Step. For decades this piece of fitness equipment has been firming abs and toning bodies. The original Step has been a core component for group exercise Now a brand new product, and one that has fitness experts and trainers very excited. It’s called the The Step360, and it combines the best features of several popular balance and exercise products while adding new features never before seen in similar products.

Designed by martial artist John Cole to help him with single leg kicks, the The Step360 consists of two inflatable round tubes topped by a flat, hard board. This story explains a little of how the Step360 came to be.  This setup allows for all the balance and strength training of a balance board or Bosu, but the flat surface emulates the natural position of the feet, unlike similar “squishy” products that have you attempting to balance on a soft, pliable surface. The Step360 is completely adjustable to any experience level as well. Simply inflate the tubes fully (using a simple hand pump) for an easier workout, or inflate them less and less for a much more challenging experience. If you’re a beginner at balance exercise, then you can simply only inflate a single tube to make things easier.

The Step360 also includes a feature that no other product can boast of. Along the sides of the flat board are notches where you can attach resistance bands, which will give you a true multi-purpose workout. Just try using a resistance band while balancing on the half-inflated tubes and you’ll understand the true meaning of challenge! The Step360 also functions as a step trainer, which has been proven to be an extremely efficient cardiovascular workout. You can also simply combine any of the aspects of the Step360 to form your own personalized workout.

One of the most respected trainers in the fitness world, Jessie Pavelka, has worked extensively with the product and has designed several quick, high-intensity workouts that will help with virtually all aspects of your workout and fitness routines. Fitness expert Robert Sherman has also been instrumental in designing workouts and classes based around the Step360. The Step360 comes with a wall chart showing you various exercises, and an instructional DVD.

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