I’m always sceptical when it comes to power towers. The premise is great; one station where you can get an intense, upper body workout. The reality, however, in my experience, is that power towers are usually flimsy, poorly built and uncomfortable to use.
I purchased a power tower many years ago, convinced that the investment was a great way to save money in the long run. After all, as long as I went running and did my work on the power tower, I was getting a complete, full body workout.
It didn’t quite pan out like this.
I ended up giving the power tower away to a friend as it was so uncomfortable to use and, given that I weighed over 100kg at the time, the machine struggled to take my weight.
Over a decade has now passed since I ditched my power tower and, given that money is a little tight at the moment, and gym memberships are soaring at an astonishing rate, I’m beginning to entertain the idea of purchasing another power tower.
Neck strength is an important facet of any contact sport. I, personally, am a front row forward in rugby, and have also studied Jiu Jitsu, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both of these sports require a degree of neck strength and it is neck strength which improves your performance in both of these arenas.
As a front row forward, the pressure on my neck, from scrummaging, is palpable. Taking the weight of eight other opposition forwards puts huge amounts of undue stress on your neck and back, especially.
In terms of Jiu Jitsu, the world’s top Jiu Jitsu fighters spend hours each week, specifically trying to strengthen their neck. Once you’re in a choke hold, your technical skill often goes out of the window and your survival, in a fight, comes down to how strong your neck muscles are; the stronger they are, the more time you buy yourself to escape the choke.
There are a number of body weight exercises that I’ve always done to strengthen my neck, which have stood me in good stead, both in Jiu Jitsu and rugby. While these have some benefit, more resistance is required to develop real strength.
It’s taken me about ten years to put it together, but I have a pretty decent looking gym in my garage at home. I have a few hundred kilograms of weights, a bench, chin up bar, boxing bag and a rowing machine; there’s very little that I can’t do in there.
If one thing annoys me, however, it’s that I can’t do squats properly. I don’t own a squat rack that can comfortably house the sort of weights that I want to lift. If I want to do squats, I usually end up doing squat jumps or front squats, as the weight that I use is lighter than when I perform traditional squats.
As a rugby player, this inability to do heavy squats at home can be infuriating. After all, as any rugby player will tell you, strength and explosive power in your legs is imperative in rugby, especially if scrummaging is part of your job, as it is with me.
As a former professional rugby, albeit only for a year, I know how important balance and core stability can be when it comes to playing sport at a high level; it’s often one of the assets that separates elite sportsmen and women.
I still play rugby regularly, although I’m strictly an enthusiastic amateur nowadays, and as such I perform some form of core stability work during each and every gym workout. Whether I’m on a stability ball doing squats, or performing weighted lunges on a wobble cushion, I always try to throw in some core work to every workout routine.
Balance and core stability are essential in every aspect of rugby, whether you’re breaking tackles and trying to stay on your feet, whether you’re scrummaging or you’re trying to sidestep an opponent.
I’m always on the lookout for exciting new ways of improving my balance and core stability, which is why I’m so excited to have come across J/fit Balance Pods. They offer a versatile means of adding some much needed, and extremely beneficial, core and balance work into my exercise routine.
I absolutely love bodyweight training. Heading down to the gym to shift some real steel has its attractions, but it’s the convenience of bodyweight circuits that keeps me coming back for more.
While there are a whole host of bodyweight exercises that I like to perform, as part of my routine, push ups are, without doubt, the most effective means of training your upper body and core. And I can’t get enough of them.
Whether you’re a beginner, trying their best to reach 10 push ups per set, or you love to smash out sets of 100, joint pain is a very real problem. If you’re new to push ups, and so are not sure about the correct technique, or you’re a push up veteran, and tend to lose your technique when you get tired, poor form can really put undue stress and strain on your elbows, wrists and shoulders.
I always notice, at the end of an intense training week, that my joints are a little sore from performing so many repetitions. When you’re trying to get through a high number of reps, however, it comes with the territory.
It seems, though, that the Perfect V2 Pushup Bar may just be able to provide a solution to these woes. The Perfect V2 Pushup Bar allows users to perform push ups, while taking a lot of the strain off your joints and ensuring that you keep your technique.
When it comes to making the decision over whether buying a large piece of exercise equipment or paying a monthly gym membership represents better value for money, the decision is never a straightforward one.
Over the years, gym fees stack up and you can end up paying an astronomically high price, over the long term, for access to high quality exercise equipment. Buying a large piece of exercise equipment, on the other hand, is a large one off investment; so many people are put off by this.
With people’s monthly incomes being forced to stretch ever further in these recessionary times, many gym goers, myself included, are sacrificing a few months of monthly gym fees for the long term investment in a good quality piece of exercise equipment.
When making such a purchase, however, it’s important to do your homework. So, if it’s a solid, worthwhile investment in a home exercise bike that you’re looking to make, the Nautilus Recumbent R514c Exercise Bike could be just the bike for you.
I don’t frequently use resistance exercise bands as part of my workout anymore, but there are certainly times in my life when they have proved useful to me.
Around five years ago now, I dislocated my thumb and broke my scaphoid playing rugby. It was an excruciatingly painful injury and one that ultimately kept me out of the sport, and from lifting weights properly, for about three years. That’s when I first discovered the benefits of resistance exercise band training and it was an absolute life saver.
Unable to comfortably grip and lift weights, and bored of doing press ups, resistance exercise band training really gave me another outlook on muscle toning. I could run during these three years, but I’ve always been an avid lifter, so, with my options limited, discovering this new type of training was a great thing for me. It gave me a way to keep my muscles toned and was an integral part of my rehabilitation program.
I love practicing personal fitness in my own house and I usually execute a number of different fitness activities to keep myself fit and healthy. Recently, I watched on TV a fitness exercise performed with the jumping rope and I instantly loved it. Right away, I thought that for my personal fitness training, skipping would be a really beneficial activity not only as fun and recreation but also as a cardiovascular workout.
I so much wanted to start practicing the jumping rope aerobic exercise in my own home. My first thought was to find and buy a really effective and of high value jump rope. Although this particular market was completely unknown to me, I was immediately attracted to the “Valeo Deluxe Speed Rope”. But could that jump rope give me an effective cardiovascular exercise? Is it made of good material? I just needed to get into the detail of this jump rope and find out more about it.
How does the “Valeo Deluxe Speed Rope” work?
In the video below, you can watch two guys who describe in every detail the "Valeo Speed Rope". They explain the features of this jump rope which make it unique, they show how to adjust the length of the rope and they finally proceed and give a demonstration.
My aim the last few months has been to build my hand and finger strength because as a fitness and weight-lifter enthusiast I had to develop and maintain my strength, control, endurance, coordination and also my dexterity of this part of my body. I was looking for a hand exerciser which would give me spring resistance for each individual finger.
The “Gripmaster Hand Exerciser” immediately caught my attention because it has a modern design and it would allow me to build isolated finger strength and perform a variety of individual finger exercisers. It was necessary for me to obtain more information about this hand exercise and for this reason at I decided to look at every little detail of this device.
How does the “Gripmaster Hand Exerciser” work?
In the video below, you can watch a user of the "Gripmaster Hand Exerciser" demonstrating the features of this product and the wide range of different hand and fingers exercises that you can perform on this little piece of equipment.