HW’s top 6 unstable training tools to add to your workout
Unstable workout equipment is popping up all over the place. Funny looking, yes, but the following unstable pieces of exercise gear engage all your muscles in ways stable equipment cannot. HellaWella brings you the top six pieces of equipment we think you’ll enjoy most. Just remember to warm up on a stable surface and progress to an unstable one to avoid injury!
Sandbags offer a different workout experience because they constantly shift and change shape, forcing you to use every muscle to lift them. Usually, these sandbags resemble duffle bags that you can add or take away as much sand as you want. MuscleBags.com created a five sandbag system that can be used individually like dumbbells or attached for heavier weight.
Click here for a sample video of The Spartacus Ultimate Sandbag Workout to get you acquainted.
The first time we saw it, we thought it resembled some sort of police forced entry gear. Despite its wacky look, the rubbery, flexible tube known as ViPR, which is an acronym for vitality, performance, and re-conditioning, can be carried, tilted, dragged, thrown, flipped, stepped on and rolled. It’s made of rubber and available in seven different weights from 8 pounds up to 44 pounds.
“ViPR was created from a need to evolve training tools, foster purposeful motion and blend strength training with functional training and movement. Movement is fundamental. And what makes up effective movement is a blend of lifting, shifting and twisting,” said Michol Dalcourt, creator of ViPR, on viprfit.com.
3. Indo Balance Board
It’s not just for cross-training surfers anymore. The Indo Balance Board is not like other boards because it has a full range of motion, meaning limited versatility for you! Just hop on the board and try to keep the board from touching the ground and you will be engaging your core, and improving balance.
Trainers kick it up a notch by incorporating a variety of exercises while you’re on the Indo Board. Click here to check out Bill Sonnemaker, personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach at Catalyst Fitness in Atlanta and his team as they use the Indo Board as well as ViPR in their training.
4. Aqua Bag
Even more unstable than sandbags, the Aqua Bag uses water to engage your core and stabilizer muscles. Fill the bags with water to change the instability – the fuller it is, the heavier and more stable it will be. Less water makes it lighter but more unstable.
Click here for an Aqua Bag sample workout to psych you up.
According to Hyper Wear, creator of the SteelBell, it is a cross between a sandbag, a dumbbell, a barbell, a grip bag, a medicine ball, a slam ball, a stability pod, a gliding disk and a kettlebell.
Steelbells are made with a tough, stretchy, extra thick neoprene stuffed with grains made of molten steel (steel shot). They function using dynamic shifting, the steel shot moves more like a liquid than sand, shifting more quickly than sand. This shift challenges balance, coordination, core response, and stabilizing muscles. Click here for some ways in which to use your Steelbell.
6. Exercise Ball
Quite possibly the most recognizable pieces of unstable workout equipment, the exercise ball forces your body to remain balanced, engaging more muscles than if you were on a hard surface.
Try pairing the stability of a dumbbell with the instability of the exercise ball for a complete cross-functional workout. WebMD offers 10 exercise ball workout ideas, click here to check them out.