That guy grunting on the benches, those perfectly toned gym bunnies barely breaking a sweat on the treadmill, all these machines you’ve no idea how to use! There’s no denying that the gym can be a little, well, intimidating. And, it’s very easy to stick to what you know.
Both newbies and gym addicts are guilty of getting stuck in a rut. It’s tempting to make a beeline for your favourite corner of the gym where you know what’s what, but you won't get anywhere staying in your comfort zone! Try out these six underrated gym machines and we’re sure you’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner!
New to deadlifts? The hex bar is a great place to start. Often cast aside due to it’s weird shape, the hex bar can help newbies adjust to the deadlift form and movement. The change in angle compared to your regular bar means you use more of your quads rather than your glutes and lower back, making it easier for beginners. And, it doesn’t stop at deadlifts. Shrugs, power pulls and squats are just a few of the exercises you can do using the hex bar. It’s also a go-to if the rack is taken!
Squat rack busy? We’ve all been there. Heading into the gym with every intention of smashing out a squat session worth bragging to your mates about, only to find the rack taken. If this sounds familiar, give the hack squat a go! It may often sit in the shadows of its older sibling but squatting on the hack squat offers similar benefits as the rack does and is a great way for beginners to get used to the motion of squatting.
If the medicine ball is guilty of giving you terrifying flashbacks from gruelling circuit classes gone by, then we can understand your reluctance to give this piece of equipment another go. But the benefits definitely out-weigh the next-day DOMS. From floor slams to a way to add some weight into your core exercises, the humble medicine ball is an easy way to increase the difficulty on certain exercises.
“What on earth is a landmine?” I hear you ask. Often shoved into a deserted corner of the gym, the landmine, in basic terms, is a short tube attached to a swivel joint. Stick a barbell into it and you’ve got one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the gym. The exercises you can perform with this underrated machine are endless: from rows and raises to squats and ab twists, the landmine has so much to offer. Perfect for when the gym’s super busy or when you’re in the mood for a full body workout without journeying across the gym, throw this machine into your routine and we promise you won’t regret it. Check out Nathan Williams’ landmine workout over on our Instagram if you’re in need of some inspo!
Just like the landmine, the TRX often stumps people. There’s so much you can do with this piece of equipment. Yes, it may look intimidating but give it a go! From targeting the triceps to caning your core, you’re guaranteed a killer workout just using one piece of equipment.
Keen to increase your balance? Well, the Bosu ball is where it’s at. When positioned with the domed side facing the floor, the Bosu ball can be stood or leaned on. This creates an unstable surface that will test your balance and increase the difficulty and effectiveness of exercises such as squats and press ups. Work the Bosu ball into your existing routine for a challenge and to avoid your workouts from being repetitive. It’s also a great addition to circuit training and can be used as a platform or even as a weight.
So, which of this underrated gym equipment will you be incorporating into your routine? If you’re after more workout tips and tricks, head over to our blog, where we discuss whether it’s best to workout in the morning or the evening.