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Keep fit equipment for the home

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Exercise bikes

Exercise bikes provide a low impact cardio-vascular workout.

Exercise bike reference

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/BuyingGuide/bgTrail/bikes1_00046.htm

Trampettes or Rebounders

You look ridiculous and at first sight the idea seems like a trendy gimmick even if childishly fun fun fun: but apparently a trampette is an efficient way of exercising your whole body. At the very least it is skipping without the jarring impact. You can get exhausted after 5 minutes of skipping. A trampette uses the same kind of energy and motion but is much kinder to your bones and joints.

How it works

It's got something to do with gravitational forces that distribute the exercise benefits more evenly that running does. This article provides some rebounder exercise benefit background and here is the link to a recommended trampette. Apparently NASA thinks its the best form of all round exercise - so it must be hunky dory! Also I see that schools and sports centres are using trampettes with kids and nowadays (think compensation claims!) that means that they must be a safe and effective fitness tool. This CBS News article is also a good summary.

Some rebouder/trampette exercises

An whistlestop runthrough demonstrating a range of possible movements and levels but start at the beginning with this sound advice for beginners. And this feisty lady provides posture advice.

What to buy

Bungee cord trampettes and the spring based rebounders of Bellicon (the "Dynamic" and the "Athletic") don't make any noise, although the rest seem to be pretty much the same.

Health warning

You are not on a stable surface so be careful. I did read that people with ankle problems should be extra careful so as not to "roll" the joint. This link to a Youtube video seems to offer good common sense advice on avoiding pronating of the ankle.

Isometric, Isotonic and Dynamic Tension exercises

isometric exercise is when your muscles are contracted to a certain force and position and held still for some seconds.

Most forms of exercise are actually Isotonic working the muscle through a range of repetetive motions such as rowing or running.

Dynamic Tension exercises apparently combine the benefits of isotonic and isometric exercise. You use your own body to exert force and resistance. No equipment is needed.

Of course, none of the three methods are aerobic and are chiefly body building, muscle enhancing and strengthening exercises.

Bullworker

Bullworker image upload.JPG
The health gadget of the 70s, the Bullworker original is essentially a tensioned spring encased in a sliding tube which you compress by pulling on the cords that wrap around it, or which you compress as illustrated. There is a newer X5 version that is supposed to be better. It works by isometrically exercising your muscles rather like the Charles Atlas system below but the main difference is that there is no full range muscle movement using the Bullworker. See also Alexander Zass.

Charles Atlas and Dynamic Tension

Charles Atlas image upload.JPG
Charles Atlas was famous in the 60s for his American style adverts that turned beach wimps into real men! Lots of teenagers sent away for a weekly course. A website devoted to him is here. The system he used - Dynamic Tension and the advice on clean living he gave were and are valid and relevant, and they do work.

The Atlas system was ISOTONIC not isometric. Isotonic comes from the Greek "iso-", equal and "tonos", tone = maintaining equal (muscle) tone. The muscle maintains equal tone while shortening in isotonic exercise.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are available in a range of colors that relate to their stiffness or resistance. Color-coding varies between the brands but it typically as follows:

Yellow (thin)

Red (medium)

Green (heavy)

Blue (extra heavy)

Black (special heavy)

Silver (super heavy)

For the resistance band exercises below, complete 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions (or up to 25 repetitions for easier colored bands). You should warm up first with 5-10 minutes of light aerobic exercise and cool down with another 5-10 minutes of gentle exercise, plus some stretching exercises. http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/resistance-band-exercises.html



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