What is the Best Vibration Machine? A Buyers Guide and Reviews

Do you pride yourself on staying up with the latest and greatest fitness technology? If so, you are likely familiar with vibration machines, which are gaining popularity and exposure in rehabilitation, physical therapy, and commercial gyms.

With anything new comes sharp critique, and the vibration machines are not exempt to skeptics or critics. But while it is widely believed that this is something new and revolutionary, it is pretty interesting to consider that vibrational therapy dates way back to the 1960s.

Yep, that’s right, vibration machines are actually making a comeback!

If you know about the Space Race in the 1960s, then you know about the stark competition between the USA and the USSR (now Russia) to be the leaders in space technology. One of the problems that needed to be solved was the fact that astronauts could not stay in space for long period of time; being unable to perform weight-bearing exercises led to quick muscle atrophy and weakened bones (gravity is so underrated!).

The Soviet space program introduced vibrational therapy to counteract this consequence of space travel, as they had researched the bone-strengthening and muscle-building benefits.

How cool is it that training that was once exclusive to astronauts is now widely available?!

But before you hop on a vibration machine or decide to invest in one of your own, it’s important to point out the range of benefits you can get...

Vibration Machine Benefits 

The benefits that vibration machines provide seem less obvious than those of traditional rigorous exercise, because vibration machines are categorized as passive exercise.

This simply means that an outside force (person or machine) is stimulating the various systems of the body; one such example is a physical therapist helping a patient stretch.

Passive exercise has less time in the spotlight and therefore less research behind it, but that does not negate the benefits that have been discovered. The same is true for using a vibration machine. Here is a short list of what you can gain from regular vibrating sessions...

  • Improve circulation

As soon as you step on the vibration machine, the oxygen in your blood increases; this results in increased blood circulation throughout the body.

How? The contraction of the muscles demands that more oxygen be released to sustain it. And when your circulation improves, it means your body can receive nutrients more efficiently, thus being a key component of optimal total-body health.

  • Boost lymphatic drainage

We are constantly bombarded with toxins, from the environments that we live in, the food that we eat, and the products that we use. It’s a lot for the body to filter out, and more and more research is pointing to the resulting inflammation and disease, thanks to this influx of toxins.

The lymphatic system is the primary waste removal system that the body employs, and the vibration machine stimulates this system in order to help with removal. This has a positive effect on overall health, as it flushes out harmful toxins that would otherwise stay trapped.

  • Increased muscle strength and bone density

As mentioned, this was the original reason that vibrational therapy was created. So how does it work? When a muscle contacts and expands, the result is not limited to improved circulation; it also means that the muscle itself will grow stronger.

Why? Your muscles consist of slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibers; the effects of the vibration machine recruit the fast-twitch muscle fibers into action, and therefore improve their strength.

While this is happening with the muscles, the vibrations also cause osteoblasts to occur in the bones; those are responsible for the increase in bone density. Because the muscles and bones are being stimulated in this unique way by the vibration machine, many users report improved balance and coordination as well.

  • Speeds up weight loss

As mentioned above, the use of the vibration machine asks the muscles to work differently, and therefore improves their function and strength. But what’s really cool is that if you’re looking to lose body fat, you can actually perform exercises on the vibration machine.

Yes, there are entire workouts dedicated to vibration machines (keep reading the product reviews at the end of the article to learn more). Building lean muscle mass is the key to long-term weight loss, and the extra push from the vibration machine gives a major boost in that direction.

  • Cellulite reduction

Cellulite has become one of the most elusive, misunderstood, and dreaded conditions that affect women in particular; it often manifests on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms, and it is dubbed the “cottage cheese” skin condition that is named after its dimply appearance.

In a nutshell, the subcutaneous tissues contain a web of connective tissue that store much of the body fat. Because there are many layers of tissue, the surface of the skin shows up with cellulite when the the fatty cells get enlarged. This is also due to the fact that inelastic fibers connect these layers. Add poor circulation, hormonal factors, and cellular waste in the form of toxins to the equation, and you have a true cellulite problem.

The vibration machine fights against cellulite by improving circulation as well as lymphatic drainage, which keeps the fat cells from enlarging and the toxins from stagnating. Sign me up.

  • Better flexibility and mobility

Vibration machines provide relief to overworked, tight muscles, by stimulating them and also sending more blood to them. This opens up the muscles, which directly leads to improved flexibility.

It is recommended to do some light stretching after using the machine, in order to maximize flexibility potential.

  • Postural stability 

What leads to poor posture? In most cases, it is a result of muscle tightness or weakness, sedentary lifestyle, stiff joints, lack of exercise, or poor core stability and strength.

The vibration machine assists in fighting against all of those causes and leads to users being able to stand straighter and taller. Long-term studies have shown a decrease in rambling and trembling motions in the frontal plane, which leads to more stable posture.

  • Natural relief for back pain

Similar to understanding the causes of poor posture, it is important to understand the reason behind back pain - a condition that affects approximately 80% of people. When the spine or pelvis move out of alignment, you feel back pain due to the muscular system trying to compensate.

The vibration machine helps loosen tight muscles and therefore, allows you to adjust your posture (as mentioned above). When your posture improves, your back pain does, too. We call that a win-win.

  • Boosts digestion

If you haven’t heard, a healthy gut is the new gateway to good health. Scientists are beginning to uncover the importance of a pristine microbiome, which is a fancy word used to describe the ratio of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the intestines.

While the vibrating machine does not add to the much-needed good bacteria (only things you ingest can do that!), it does help in the removal of the bad bacteria by stimulating the intestines and improving digestion. Many users find major relief from constipation after a few vibrational therapy sessions.

  • Instant mood boost

We could not possibly write this article without telling you that the vibration machine is just plain fun to use. It is interesting and feels good, and it doesn’t require work (unless you choose to exercise on it). It also provides relaxation because it gives you time to unpack mentally as you receive the benefits of the session.

You don’t have to worry about whether you’re “doing it right,” which is a major stressor when people exercise, particularly with new machines. Many users opt to put on their head phones and sit down on their machines for a relaxing session. Overall, you’re provided with a stimulating but relaxing experience that improves your body and mind.

How to Choose the Best Vibration Machine: A Buyer's Crash Course

Now that you're familiar with the range of vibration machine benefits, we have to explore what to consider when choosing one for yourself.

Learning the science and technicalities may not be the fun part of using the machine, but it definitely makes a difference when it comes to getting the results you desire. Some machines are better than others when it comes to weight loss, for example.

In order to find the perfect vibration machine for you, let's delve into the most crucial factors to consider when shopping...​

Plates

So, the first thing you will want to explore is the type of plate that you prefer. As you begin shopping and exploring, you will see that vibration machines typically offer two different types of plates: oscillating and vertical. What’s the difference?

OSCILLATING

types of vibration machines

Imagine your feet are on a see-saw, with each foot straddling either side of the plank. When one foot lifts, the other one lowers, and this lift-lower pattern repeats.

This is how the oscillating plates operates, and the lift-lower movements cause your body to jiggle along the way.

You typically see this configuration in weight-loss spas, as oscillating plates are believed to have the advantage when it comes to trimming fat. This design is also typically less expensive.

Also called Pivotal, Tilting, Rotational, See-Saw and Teeter-Totter.

VERTICAL

types of vibration machines

Simply explained, vertical plates do what they sound like: they move you up and down.

The technology seems a bit more complex to explain, but it is reflective in a higher price point. Manufacturers claim that oscillating plates cause more wear and tear on ligaments, whereas vertical plates produce a more natural vibrating motion.

Medical professionals and athletes seem to prefer vertical plates, as these machines are primarily seen in physical therapy clinics and high-performing athletic training programs.

Also called Linear, Uniform, Synchronous, and Piston.

While the plates are the main component to consider, there are several other technical specifications worth exploring in order to get the best machine for you.

Making an informed decision means getting the greatest results possible, so dig in to learn a little more about what these technical terms mean...

Amplitude

Heeeey, intensity. Just like various cardio machines provide a range of resistance levels, vibration machines do this via amplitude. So, in the same way that an elliptical machine on level 15 feels way harder than on level 1, the higher amplitude a vibration machine produces, the more intense it feels.

A key difference in researching is to determine whether or not the vibration machine allows for amplitude adjustment; most higher-end models do, but some basic models come with fixed amplitude levels.

Frequency Range

The frequency range is all about the speed; it measures how fast the plates move per second. Similar to the amplitude, a wider frequency range translates to a better machine, as you’ll be getting a more efficient workout. The frequency range is typically measured in Hertz (Hz), as you will see in the reviews.

Motor Power

This is mostly important to consider when it comes to usage; higher motor power simply means the machine is better equipped to deal with heavy usage. This is important if you’re purchasing a machine for a gym or a spa, as it will get a lot more use than a machine purchased strictly for home-use. This measurement is typically displayed in Watts (W) or Horsepower (HP).

Platform Size

Will you be exercising on your vibration machine? If so, you need a larger platform. Of course, this also means you will need a more powerful motor to compensate for the larger size.

However, if you just want to relax and reap the passive benefits of the machine, then you just need enough room to stand (or sit!).

Weight Capacity

Depending on the model, some machines have lower weight capacity limits, which would not be ideal to purchase if you're looking for an addition to your weight loss home gym. Be sure to read product descriptions to see the maximum weight allowance for each machine.

Accessories

I’m a sucker for extras, and accessories make a big difference when I’m looking to buy something. Some accessories offered with vibration machines include: resistance straps to assist in workouts (primarily for upper body), BMI measurements, calorie counters, and LED windows to display time, speed, etc.

Some machines include pre-programmed workouts, which can be extremely useful for both beginners and those who like to take the guess-work out of creating a training program. A few newer options even include built-in speakers and ports to plug in your technology of choice, so great news for those of you who want to watch the news while getting your vibration on!

Warranty

As always, be sure to check for warranties, especially if there are a lot of bells and whistles on your vibration machine.

So What is the Best Vibration Machine?

So now that you know what a vibration machine is, what it does to improve your health, and what makes one a good investment, it is time to see what options are already out there on the market.

We have compiled this list of vibration machine reviews to give you a starting place. Happy jiggling!

Confidence Fitness Vibration Machine

An excellent choice for at home use, this vibration machine features oscillating plates that the manufacturer touts as major weight loss aids. It definitely is meant to be used in conjunction with workouts, as it is fitted with yoga straps that can be used for upper body exercises and strength-training.

A major perk of this machine is the small amount of time required; many users begin seeing results after just 10 minutes on the machine, a few times each week. The weight capacity is 300 pounds, which also lends to a great choice for a weight loss machine.

This machine is also relatively easy to put together upon arrival, and it is pretty quiet, too, which makes it even more attractive for home use. Read all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Type: Oscillating
  • Speed range: 1 - 50
  • Frequency range: 50-60Hz
  • Motor power: 600W
  • Weight limit: 300lbs

Merax Full Body Vibration Machine

vibration plate reviews
best vibration machines

Another awesome option for home use, the Merax whole body vibration machines comes equipped with 10 different pre-set programs, yoga straps for upper body workouts, and four LED windows for program, time, and speed. 

This machine provides many more options than its competitor above, the Confidence Fitness machine, and is only slightly more expensive. It also has a much higher speed range, which will improve the quality of workouts. Extra perk? It's easy to put together and makes little noise during use. Read all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Type: Oscillating
  • Speed range: 1 - 160
  • Frequency range: 60Hz
  • Motor power: 2000W
  • Weight limit: 300lbs

Gadget Fit Power Vibration Plate

vibration plate reviews
best vibration machines

This oscillating plate machine offers a less expensive option for a home gym, and it still boasts some impressive technical specifications: an efficient 600W motor, a display showing time/speed/pulse, anti-jamming and anti-static mechanism, 50 incremental speed settings, and three built-in workout programs.

One important consideration to note is that the maximum user weight 265lbs, so it is not ideal for obese users. Because it is less powerful than competitors, this machine is better suited for improved circulation and stress relief, as opposed to weight loss. Read all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Type: Oscillating
  • Speed range: 1 - 50
  • Frequency range: 60Hz
  • Motor power: 600W
  • Weight limit: 265lbs

Merax Dual Motor Vibration Platform

best vibration machines
best vibration machines

On the hunt for a portable, easy-to-stow-away vibration machine? The Merax Platform machine is the most aesthetically pleasing option, as it is fitted with brand new technology and looks bright and futuristic.

It also is versatile in its movements, as the oscillating plates move in both a see-saw pattern and a lateral motion. Some other key features include current overload protection as well as disturbance and static electricity resistance.

Although this is a simple stand-alone platform, it does come fitted with yoga straps to use for upper body resistance workouts. Additionally, it comes with built-in speakers with MP3/iPod/USB input and a remote control.

This machine does not have any built-in programs, but for a separate fee, you can purchase an extensive training guide. While it appears this platform is geared toward fitness goals and weight loss, it definitely can be used for all of the other collateral benefits as well. Read all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Type: Oscillating
  • Speed range: 1 - 99
  • Motor power: 1000W
  • Weight limit: 300lbs

3G Cardio Vibration Machine

vibration plate reviews
best vibration machines

Okay, we've saved the best for last. At a higher price point, this vertical-plated machine stands out as the most professional, commercial-worthy equipment that can be used in the home or in a gym, spa, or training room.

It is equipped with a state-of-the-art electronic display that provides access to a wide variety of 24 various stretching, strengthening, and massage programs. It also utilizes a generously oversized vibration platform, so it is easy to perform both standing and lying exercises without feeling restricted or crowded.

Another cool option is that you can actually create up to three custom user programs, and this is ideal for those going through physical therapy or rehabilitation programs.  This machine also comes with anti-fatigue mats that are ergonomically created to support extended time standing.

Finally, a built in feature allows for a tablet or iPad to be attached to the top of the display for entertainment/leisure, or to access the accompanying workout app. Read all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Type: Mostly vertical
  • Frequency range: 30 - 50 Hz
  • Weight limit: 500lbs

Tips on Using a Vibration Machine

We are going to leave you with a few tips to get started using a vibration machine; since this is not a mainstream piece of equipment, it often gets misused, especially for beginners.

As with any other exercise program, you should start slow. Build up your endurance by only staying on the machine for a few minutes during your first several uses. Then, gradually increase the amount of time you spend on it and start slowly adding in one exercise at a time.

You want to ensure you have the proper range of motion to perform workouts, so using the machine to help warm-up your muscles prior to exerting them is definitely advised.

Also, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - with water! We talked about the amazing detoxification benefits that vibrational therapy provides, specifically for the lymphatic and digestive systems.

Here is a quick rule of thumb for much water you should be drinking: simply calculate half of your body weight (in pounds) and drink the same number of ounces.

The vibration machine is a great starting point for total body health since it stimulates virtually every system in your body; we love hearing about readers’ experiences with equipment, so be sure to leave us a few lines and let us know what happened when you started regularly indulging in vibration therapy!

Best Rebounder Reviews: 5 Top Rated Trampolines for Weight Loss

Kids’ jumping gyms are popping up everywhere, and I have to admit that I’m a little bit jealous. I first learned about rebounding when I was researching the most effective exercises to do during a morning routine.

I had never even seen a mini trampoline, much less thought about rolling out of bed and hopping onto it for some jumping (especially before coffee!). But after reading up on the amazing benefits of this simple activity, I was convinced to try it out for myself. Now, it’s a part of my daily routine, and I even use it to warm up my personal training clients.

Why? Rebounding comes with a bevy of awesome benefits packaged into one hilariously fun workout session. Here are some of the proven benefits you get from bouncing up and down on a fitness trampoline... 

Benefits of Rebounding

Some people call it a fitness trampoline, others prefer to call it a rebounder. We say it doesn't matter because this jumping activity comes with total body benefits, no matter what you chose to call it. 

For starters, some of the benefits of rebounding include...

  • Boosts circulation and energy levels

Jumping on the rebounder means that your body has to work harder to pump oxygen into the blood stream, which in turn leads to better blood and improved circulation. When your blood is circulating more efficiently, it delivers more nutrients that you need, and therefore increases your energy.

  • Eliminates toxins

... and helps to flush out the bad stuff. This is a byproduct of increased lymphatic drainage, since jumping on the rebounder stimulates the lymphatic system. Goodbye, toxins, hello, good feels. (Make sure to drink lots of water!)

  • Increases bone mass

You may not realize that bone is a living organ that is constantly being remodeled. Osteoblasts are responsible for forming strong bones, and when you use the rebounder, it makes the bones release osteoblasts. Trade your milk for a rebounder!

  • Stimulates the digestive system

Maybe this one should come with a warning label, but jumping on the rebounder definitely gets the digestive juices flowing. Elimination is a crucial part of a healthy body, so jump away!

  • Cardio that's easy on your joints

When you jump on the rebounder, your weight is evenly distributed and absorbed by the foot, ankle, and knee. Sadly, this is not true for runners - and it is also why you see so many corresponding injuries in the sport. Rebounding is safer for the joints and therefore a better choice for a cardio workout you can do for the long haul.

  • Improve cardiovascular endurance

Speaking of cardio, you betcha your heart will be pumping after a few minutes of jumping on the rebounder! And you know what happens when you increase your heart rate - you build cardio endurance and burn fat. Winning!

  • Get amazing balance and coordination

Not only will jumping improve your coordination because of the skill required, but it also improves your balance by stimulating the inner ear vestibule responsible for all things balance.

  • Enhances your other workouts

Instead of taking a break between strength training sets, consider hopping on the rebounder instead. Studies have shown that those who choose this “active rest” break see major gains in their overall performance.

  • It's crazy FUN

There is just something so childlike and fun about bouncing up and down; I definitely don’t dread my time on the rebounder like I do, say, pushups. This is an enjoyable exercise for me that I can do while watching television or listening to a podcast. Multi-tasking, for the win.

How to Choose the Best Rebounder

Convinced to hop on the trend? Before you run out to your nearest sporting goods store to get your own, consider that getting a good quality rebounder is really, really important.

While you know that fitness equipment can range in price, it should be stressed that for a rebounder, a lower price investment is not worth it. Not only will it wear out quickly, but it can also be much more damaging to the joints.

Now that we've got that out of the way, here are some important factors that you should look for when choosing the best rebounder...

best trampoline reviews

The mat matters...

The mat should not stretch much and should provide you with a comfortable bounce. Most fitness professionals recommend that your bounce should not be more than six inches from the surface.

The last thing you want is a mat that sinks in the middle the more you use it!

best trampoline to buy

Legs that support you over time...

The frame should be made from steel - not aluminum - and have at least six legs. If it’s made from cheap material, it will definitely warp over time. Your ankles will never forgive you.

Also check the legs for design, as an arched design lends to better shock absorption and stability.

best trampolines

Choose cords wisely...

There are two types of rebounders: Spring trampolines tie the trampoline mat to the rim with steel while springfree trampolines use bungee bands to secure the mat in place.

Bungee cords are more gentle on your joints and back, whereas steel can be more jarring. They also generate a higher G-Force and are more silent than steel springs.

Steel coils, however, have advantage of providing a firmer bounce so if you're looking for a jogging rebounder, it may be a better bet. 

rebounding health benefits

Can it handle you...

Sometimes we get so caught up in the specs of a fitness gadget, we forget the most important part...us!

When it comes to choosing the best rebounder, one of the the most important considerations its weight capacity can safely hold you.

Rebounders range from 200 to 350 pounds in weight capacity, so always check and choose accordingly!

best trampoline for adults

Do you need extras...

Not all rebounders come with extras so you may want to choose one that has the additional parts you need.

For example, a support bar can be especially helpful for those who struggle with balance or those who want to be totally secure while doing a rebounding workout and multitasking.

Other accessories include resistance bands, sand bags and even a fitness monitor to spice up and track your rebounder workouts. 

Top 5 Best Rebounder Reviews

Do a quick search for the best trampolines and you'll find a million and one of them. While many high quality ones can be used as a fitness trampoline, not all of them are suitable for rebounding. 

So which ones should you be bringing home to spice up your cardio and kick your weight loss goals into overdrive? Here are our top picks!​

Jump Sport Fitness Trampoline

best trampoline to buy
best trampolines

The JumpSport rebounder looks state-of-the-art with an elegant look with its silver frame and highly supportive (patent-pending!) arched legs. It features the brand’s premium EnduroLast3 cords - bungee, of course - that were created with proprietary technology that allows you to adjust the tension or firmness of the bounce (hello, versatility).

It’s a quiet rebounder that comes with a workout DVD, and it has a support bar available for separate purchase. One downside of this otherwise excellent rebounder is that it does not fold - however, it's small enough that you don't necessarily need to tuck it away. Apart from that one drawback, it’s a premium rebounder that's super sturdy and dependable for high-intensity workouts and endurance workouts alike.

Overall, this is our top pick for a rebounder that lasts and lasts...​See all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Cords: 30 EnduroLast3 bungee cords
  • Legs: 6 Arched legs
  • Weight limit: Up to 250lbs
  • Foldable: No
  • Extras: Comes with a workout DVD, a support bar can be purchased additionally

Maximus Mini Exercise Trampoline

best rated trampolines
best trampoline reviews

One of the best portable rebounders for easy storage and transportation, this product folds not only into halves, but further into quarters. It even comes with a storage/carrying bag for easy movement.

As for the trampoline itself, its built from a sturdy steel frame and durable canvas mat, and the legs are spring-loaded to help absorb impact.

This rebounder also boasts the best accessory package, as it comes with a stability bar, and a workout DVD that contains three workouts for respective beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as a bonus core and stretch workout.

Additionally, it includes resistance bands and sand weights for toning and adding extra resistance. Despite using steel springs, users compliment how quiet this rebounder is, making it an awesome addition to a home gym. See all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Cords: 32 jumbo steel springs
  • Legs: 4 Straight legs
  • Weight limit: Up to 300lbs
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Extras: Includes a stability bar, workout DVD, resistance bands and sand weights

Boing Rebounder Bungee Fitness Trampoline

best fitness trampoline
exercise trampoline reviews

The Boing trampoline is available in a variety of fun, bright colors and mat diameter sizes, and it also has various options for users weighing 150 pounds to upwards of 350 pounds.

It uses new technology in its bungee springs, and the steel frame, albeit durable, comes with a lifetime warranty. The mat has a two-year warranty, and the bungee cords have a one-year warranty.

Boing’s legs are foldable for easy storage, and both the sturdy frame and bungee cords provide a quiet experience on the rebounder, making it an ideal trampoline for those living with others and residing in apartments. 

Quick stats:

  • Cords: 72 soft bungee springs
  • Legs: 4 Straight legs
  • Weight limit: Over 350lbs
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Extras: None

Note: The following two options are less expensive, but that is reflected in the lower quality of the products. They make great beginner trampoline when you're first starting rebounding and want to try it out but will not last as long as the above. 

Stamina Folding Fitness Trampoline

best rated trampolines
best trampoline reviews
top rated trampolines

Despite being a lower-priced rebounder, we give credit to this product for sticking with an all-steel frame. This rebounder is the ultimate space-saver, with just a 36-inch diameter; the industry standard is 40 inches.

This products also comes with six detachable rubber-tipped legs, as well as a unique design that allows it to fold into smaller components if not in use. Downside: the legs screw on and off, and that is not very efficient.

A unique feature for this rebounder is its thirty-band tension resistance; each band is two inches wide for durability and stability and have the great benefit of being pretty much totally silent. However, with vigorous use, those bands wear and tear pretty quickly. The included manufacturers warranties are one year on frame and 90 days on the parts, so this is definitely not a long-term investment.

A few other notable critiques for this item - it is difficult to fold as well as difficult to put together the first time. Otherwise, it’s a decent starter trampoline to see if rebounding is the right exercise for you. Read all user reviews!

Quick stats:

  • Cords: 30 tension bands
  • Legs: 6 Straight legs
  • Weight limit: Up to 250lbs
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Extras: None

Stamina InTone Oval Jogger Trampoline

best trampoline for adults
trampoline reviews

Another good bargain option, this steel-framed rebounder has a unique oval mat shape that allows for more variations in jumping along with better stability. Its selling points are in the accessory package: it comes with a stability bar, a workout DVD, and a multifunctional fitness monitor that tracks jumps per minute, workout time, total jumps, and calories burned.

These accessories try to make up for the critiques from users that it is poorly made and unstable, but for a bargain option, it seems pretty decent. Additionally, it's easy to put together and provides a quiet workout experience. Read all user reviews! 

  • Cords: 30 tension bands
  • Legs: 8 Straight legs
  • Weight limit: Up to 250lbs
  • Foldable: No
  • Extras: A stability bar, resistance bands and a fitness monitor

Are you ready to start your new rebounding workouts? This post will get you going in the right direction, and we hope you have fun looking for a new piece of equipment as well as a fun way to enjoy exercise! 

Best Hand Grippers and Strengtheners to Develop a Grip of Steel

Muscle group work outs are really popular; from body builders to gym enthusiasts, you will find people who divide their workouts based on which muscle group they want to target - something like this:

  • Day One: Chest/Triceps
  • Day Two: Legs/Abs
  • Day Three: Back/Biceps

While I could lament for days on this being why it is so hard to find an open bench on Mondays, I’m actually here to talk about the most underrated and neglected workout - one that will dramatically improve the quality of all other workouts.

Any guesses for what that could be?

I’m betting you guessed grip strength workouts (since that is the title of this article and all!). But in all seriousness, spending some time working on hand grip and forearm strength is a must for those who want to see their strength and one-rep maxes improve.

Aside from obviously improving your workouts, why is it important to focus on grip strength? You will be surprised to learn how crucial it actually is...

Top 3 Hand Grip Benefits

  • Pain management and injury prevention

From athletes to office workers, people use their hands in pretty much everything they do. And for every occupation, I guarantee you have heard of an accompanying injury associated with the hands/wrists/ forearms.

This is a result of not only chronic and repetitive use, but also from a discrepancy in the strength ratio from forearms to upper arms.

When the upper arm is stronger than the forearm, it causes the elbow and wrist joints to compensate. This looks like carpal tunnel syndrome for office workers and tennis/golfers elbow for athletes. For gym enthusiasts, it means that not only can joints be affected, but so can isolated smaller muscles - like biceps and rotator cuffs.

In fact, you can do more harm than good if you’re doing repetitive bicep curls without utilizing grip strength and ensuring the forearms are engaged. Strengthening the forearms helps prevent these pesky injuries as well as assist in pain that has already set in.

  • Improve overall strength

Charles Poloquin is one of my personal mentors for all things fitness; his deep understanding of anatomy and movement make him a go-to when it comes to exercise science. He is quoted as saying...

When your grip strength improves, less neural drive is needed for the forearm and hand muscles to perform other exercises. That is why many trainees report breaking training plateaus in a host of lifts, ranging from dead lifts to curls, after doing a grip specialization routine.”

That’s right; your central nervous system performs completely differently (and more efficiently) when you have optimal grip strength.

  • Increase muscular endurance

When you improve your forearm and hand strength, inevitably you will be able to perform more repetitions for whatever it is you like to do.

Many lifters have learned that their large muscle groups are not the problem; it’s actually a fatigue in the grip that holds them back. Training the muscle groups responsible for grip allows greater conditioning overall, and hey, you will probably be able to lift heavier things.

Best Hand Grippers and Forearm Strengtheners

There are many theories, workouts, and products available to improve grip strength. Some trainers swear by using larger, wider bars for bench pressing, for example.

Other trainers like to simply have their clients hang from the pull-up bar at various intervals. I like focused, specialized training, so I’m into using products that are specifically created to improve hand and forearm strength.

Here are the best ones out there for improving grip strength in record time!​

Captains of Crush Hand Gripper

best hand grippers
best hand strengthener

Featuring billet aluminum and alloy steel construction, the Captains of Crush grip strengthener looks a lot like a clip that you add to the end of your barbell.

Alas, the look is the only commonality, as this small tool packs a load of resistance that will tire out your hand and forearm pretty quickly. It is portable and can be kept at your desk to get in quick sets while you are taking a break from work.

It is available in 11 different strengths ranging from 60lbs of resistance all the way up to 365lbs so there is a resistance level for the most basic beginner or the long-time gym rat.

Thanks to its whopping resistance loads, this is the best hand gripper for weight training goals, as it was created with weight lifters in mind.

Gripmaster Hand Strengthener

best hand grippers
best hand strengthener

The GripMaster is an extremely personalized experience, as it is available in many different levels. It was initially created to help improve performance of musicians, rock climbers, and golfers, but it is suitable for those who are in rehabilitation and physical therapy, as well as those who want to get fitness gains, too.

What is so unique about this tool is that it provides a workout for each finger, your whole hand, and wrist. The various levels are set up in a color-coded, resistance based system, as follows:

  • Yellow = 3 pounds per finger
  • Blue = 5 pounds per finger
  • Red = 7 pounds per finger
  • Black = 9 pounds per finger

This resistance is not as strenuous as Captains of Crush, so if you already have a decent foundational grip strength, you might want to go with another option. On the other hand, if you're looking for a solid hand strengthener to help you rehabilitate from hand injuries - this one is perfect!

GD Grip Adjustable Hand Gripper

best grip strengthener
best hand grippers

The most intuitively designed tool, The GD Grip Ultra 70 is a top quality, adjustable hand gripper that was initially developed for professional athletes but can be used even by beginners.

The resistance levels are super versatile, as they can be adjusted between 44 to 154 pounds. Additionally, its handle width is adjustable between 45 to 85mm, so these combinations account for 17 various levels that the user can choose from.

This tool contains a highly durable advanced die spring, which reduces the chances of the spring being stretched and deformed, and therefore increases the life of the product.

What’s most interesting and unique about this product is described in the product description; it is “constructed with a four-link structure that operates in parallel with the handles. This enables natural operation, coinciding with the movement direction of the fingers, with fixed pressure corresponding to each finger. This enables even muscle development for the entire hand and from the wrist to the elbow.”

Overall, this grip tool is amongst the most versatile options, and it is a great choice for a one-time investment because of its many resistance levels.

Finger Master Hand Strengthener

hand grip strengthener
best hand grippers

The FingerMaster is another awesome option for those recovering from injury, seeking individual finger strengthening, or working toward general improved grip strength.

It is versatile, as it is designed with five individual finger pistons, ranging from 3-8.5 pounds, that can be independently manipulated or locked into place to meet individual needs and specifications. In turn, this allows for more variety in hand and finger exercises, along with a more customizable program.

Whereas its competitors are typically designed with alloy steel or hard plastic, this hand-strengthening tool is created from soft, malleable rubber that allows for extra comfort, and its core is made from a high-quality copper to ensure durability.

The manufacturers also have a high reputation for top-notch customer service, and they offer a 100% product satisfaction guarantee. This means you don’t have to worry about wasting your money, which is always nice when getting new gear!

SideWinder Forearm and Grip Strengthener

best hand grippers
best hand strengthener

This brand offers a few different models but let's focus on the two most relevant for grip strength, shall we?

The Sidewinder Pro: The most sleekly designed and therefore compact and portable grip gadget, the Sidewinder Pro is a great tool for beginners to intermediate athletes to use.

Resistance is completely adjustable with a calibrated tension knob, and it’s crafted from solid parts that include steel tubing, machined aluminum, and neoprene handles.

The grip handle is 1.5 inches in diameter, so it is a bit smaller than its upgrade, the Sidewinder Pro Extreme. This brand also offers a convenient lifetime warranty, which makes up for it being a bit on the pricier side. Read customer reviews!

The Sidewinder Pro Extreme: Coming in at a thick two inch diameter, the Pro Extreme model is an excellent choice for those who are pursuing thick bar training. The key difference between this version and the regular Pro (reviewed above) is the diameter, as they are manufactured with the same quality materials and boast a lifetime warranty.

If you want some hard numbers, consider this: the Pro Exteme comes equipped with a tension spring spec. of 380 lbs. and roller bearings that can support 2000 pounds! That is some serious resistance, so hardcore athletes take note: this is the tool for you! Read customer reviews!

How to Use a Hand Grip Strengthener

Now that you have a few options to choose from, let’s talk about how to get started with your grip strength training. A good general rule is to start with one set of ten repetitions at a resistance that feels challenging but not impossible.

Later that same afternoon, do another set of ten repetitions. Repeat that twice during your first week, and then continue to increase your resistance and your repetitions, eventually working up to three sets of ten repetitions every single day.

Don’t forget to warm up and use varying resistance during those sets. Here’s my recommendation:

  • Warm-Up Grip Resistance x4 (These are fairly easy repetitions and are warming up the hands.)
  • Working Grip Resistance x4 (This should feel challenging but manageable)
  • Challenger (Goal) Grip Resistance x2 (You shouldn’t be able to close this one.)

This program will get you started on your path to optimal grip, and you will see the benefits within a few short weeks. Good luck and don't forget to ease up when greeting new business associates and friends!

What is the Best Suspension Trainer? Top 3 Suspension Trainer Reviews

What is Suspension Training?

So you've probably heard someone gabbing about suspension training and suspension trainers but couldn’t make a thing out of the conversation. Well, the good news is that is that you are at the right place and all you need to do is sit tight and in a few moments coming we will have fully decrypted what this piece of jargon is all about.

In short, suspension training is a form of strength training invented by a former Navy SEAL that uses a special set of ropes and webbing that allows you to use your body weight and gravity to perform a huge variety of exercises.

The best part? Suspension trainers allow you to workout anytime, anywhere - be it in the comfort of your home gym, the woods or a hotel room. 

Okay, that all sounds good. But why would you want to use one in the first place? Here's exactly what suspension training is good for...

7 Benefits of Suspension Training

You can do a huge variety of exercises

The vast majority of fitness equipment lying around can’t offer the sort of exercise diversity that comes with suspension trainers. With suspension training, you are deliberately able to change your center of gravity to engage different sets of muscles each time that you do so.

The equipment and setup may look basic, but its simplicity is exactly what makes it so brilliantly versatile. You can pretty much use the two adjustable bands to get a customized and all-inclusive total body workout that targets each muscle in your body! 

Anyone can use it

Suspension training isn’t limited to a particular group of super fit individuals. It doesn't matter if you're weak or strong, young or old. Pretty much anyone can use this form of training because  it is highly adjustable and customizable to suit every fitness level. 

The fact that this form of training is dependent upon your body weight helps you to exercise safely as well as learn the basics of exercises in a low impact way. It's also extremely adjustable, allowing you to make the exercises more challenging as you get stronger. 

You can use it anywhere you want to

One of the biggest benefits of suspension training lies in its portability factor. Suspension trainers are so easy to move around with due to their light weight - these rarely go over 3 lbs!

So unlike a gym or bulky fitness equipment, you'll be able to bring it with you wherever you go without much of a hassle. All you need is stable structure to attach the trainers to and you're good to go, whether you're in the woods, the beach or in a hotel room. 

It's low impact

The kind of exercises you can perform with suspension trainers are of a relatively low impact nature which eliminates any risks of injuries as your joints aren’t put under any excess pressure. This allows you to train without the fear of injuring yourself.

Avoid muscular imbalance

We've all laughed over the "friends don't let friends skip leg day" memes but muscular imbalances are no laughing matter - especially if they happen to you. 

The fact of the matter is that many types of training concentrate on individual muscles in isolation, causing muscular imbalances. Suspension training, on the other hand, has the advantage of engaging more than one muscle or muscle group at the same time.

The result is that there's a lot less chance of overworking one muscle and that means less pain, less injury and less chance of developing muscular imbalance. ​

Improves balance and stability

One of the first things you'll notice when you begin suspension training is that your balance improves, especially in your core. Thanks to the inherent instability of the suspension trainers, you'll be training your body to balance its weight in all occasions.

The result? A solid foundation of stability that comes with benefits in posture, joint stability, mobility and core strength you'll reap in everyday life. 

You can achieve any fitness goal

Nothing beats suspension training in MRT (metabolic resistance training). Not only does this form of training help boost your muscular strength but it also goes a long way in ensuring that you achieve greater levels of cardiovascular endurance.

But that's not all - suspension training is also great for improving balance and increasing flexibility. ​

​And that's the real beauty of suspension training - it's sheer versatility allows you to achieve any fitness goal you have in mind, be it cardio, strength, weight loss or flexibility related.

Best Suspension Trainer Reviews

Now that you know all about what suspension training can do for you, you probably want to get your hands on one. But what's the best suspension trainer? Here are our top 3 picks - you can't go wrong with any one of them!

TRX Suspension Trainer

suspension trainer reviews
best suspension trainer

This is the original suspension trainer invented by Randy Hetrick a former Navy SEAL and remains the most popular suspension trainer on the market.

There are a few TRX suspension training kits to choose from but we recommend the TRX Basic Kit as it's the most comprehensive and has everything you need to get started right away.

This suspension training system comes with the TRX extension strap that the system hooks itself into. The straps of the TRX trainer themselves come equipped with two foot cradles and two handles. A door anchor also arrives with the system for people who may lack a bar or cross beam to hang the straps from.

The TRX trainer also comes with a DVD which not only guides you through setting up the system but also takes you through each exercise you can perform with your new suspension training trainer. A comprehensive book has all the information contained in the DVD for those who prefer to read.

Oh, and the whole TRX trainer system arrives in a carry bag that's super convenient for carrying it around with you. Total carrying weight? 2 lbs, so you can easily lug it around.

The TRX trainer system boasts of a strap adjustment system that is very user friendly. As you will find out with suspension trainers, the strap positions are changed quite often and this piece of equipment lets you do it easily without cutting into your training time. All you have to do is simply grab the buckle and pull up and down on the strap.

PROS

  • Really easy set up that gets you ready and going in minutes
  • Great quality that's sturdy and built to last, even if you're bigger
  • Handles have a soft webbing that allows for a comfortable grip for both hands and feet
  • Can hold up to 1000 lbs
  • DVD guide is hugely helpful in getting you started with the setup and exercises

CONS

  • The system is made to be used as is and very little of it is modular so you cannot add extras. For example, if you wore out the padding on the handles or needed extra padding, there is no simple way to swap out or add that. 
  • It's more expensive when compared to its competitors. You are paying a little extra for the brand. 

Lifeline Jungle Gym XT Suspension Trainer

suspension trainer reviews
best suspension trainer

The Jungle Gym suspension trainer is newer to the market than the TRX but it's gained a solid reputation in the short amount of time it's been around. Why? Well, it has a lot to do with the unique advantages it offers.

As you can quickly see, a huge difference that the Jungle Gym has from other trainers is that each of its straps are independent. This is a pretty big deal since it allows you to change the strap positions from a V-shaped (with both the straps together) to a neutral (where the straps are in parallel positions to a wide angle suspension (where the straps are wide apart). 

This allows for a variety of workouts targeting a range of angles. You can even use them one at a time for circuit training. 

Another huge perk of the Jungle Gym is that the material is really easy to clean without damaging it, which is a wonderful thing when you're regularly sweating all over it. And while we're on the topic of damage - you can rest assured that the Jungle Gym is very sturdily built with high quality, long lasting materials that you can put through the ringer for years and years. 

But out favorite thing about the Jungle Gym? It's just as easy to adjust as the TRX but instead of an adjustable metal buckle, its adjustable buckles are hard plastic designed into a contoured, rounded shape that will not snag or scratch you when you work out. 

Overall, a fantastic suspension trainer at a fraction of the price!

PROS

  • Really easy set up that gets you ready and going in minutes
  • Great quality that's sturdy and built to last, even if you're bigger
  • Ergonomic non-slip handles that are comfortable with a good grip
  • Can hold up to 1500 lbs
  • Very affordable at a little over $50
  • Independent straps so you can easily adjust positions 

CONS

  • The Jungle Gym is overall a bit bulkier than the TRX or the WOSS, making it a great at home suspension trainer but not as ideal to travel with. It also doesn't come with a carry bag like the others. 
  • The straps don't have any markings so it can be more confusing to adjust

WOSS Attack Suspension Trainer

best suspension trainer
suspension trainer reviews

One thing you'll quickly notice about the WOSS range of suspension trainer is that they have a very happy, very dedicated (and very vocal) group of loyal fans. The next thing you'll notice is that this is for very good reason...

For starters, the WOSS suspension trainer is probably the most affordable, high quality trainer on the market. For around $40, you have everything you need to get started using the trainer right away.

But it's not just the affordability that's won WOSS all its fans - their trainer is top notch quality. The Attack suspension trainers are made from seriously sturdy, wide and thick straps that can handle even the biggest of guys as well as rubber handles that are amazing for grip and stability. 

Other unique perks? The WOSS trainer comes with a D Ring that allows the center strap to slide back and forth, which makes this Trainer more inherently instable than the other suspension training systems out there. That makes it perfect for fitness enthusiasts to do a wider range of more challenging exercises with it. 

PROS

  • Really easy set up that gets you ready and going in minutes
  • Made from military grade webbing that's strong enough to handle even the biggest guys
  • Rubber handles that are softer, more comfortable and very secure and slip resistant
  • The unique D Ring allows for much more versatility in terms of exercise options that can be done on the trainer system
  • Very affordable
  • Inherently less stable than other systems, allowing for more challenging workouts
  • Super portable at 2 pounds and comes in a carry bag

CONS

  • Becauses the ropes don't stay in place, it can be too challenging for newbies
  • A few people have wished that the carabiners could be a bit bigger

Suspension Training Tips

  • The suspension trainer should only be anchored on to the door if no other options are available. This is because the selection of exercises is limited when the trainer gets anchored onto a door. It means that the trainer won’t cross the midpoint of its motion range and the exercises will thus begin with the arc which is built into them.
  • Avoid going too fancy in your movements. You should lock in the techniques for simple movements and you will then start progressing (you will use your common sense) from there onwards. Some of the simplest moves you can start to acquaint yourself with include but aren’t limited to body rows, push ups, knee tucks, chin ups, etc.
  • Suspension training is all about angles and getting to figure out the angles so as to increase the difficulty of movement or to decrease it is the beauty of it all. When you are using the body row for instance, the more that the feet move beneath the anchoring point, the more difficult that the exercise will become.
  • Keep a looser grip when performing exercises that target the lower body. When you are working out your legs for example, the grip that you will have on the suspension trainer will only be for stability and you don’t want to use your arms to support your weight. To ensure this, use a finger or two from each hand to hold.
  • Buy books or refer to websites for workouts. Thousands of free resources exist on the internet sharing knowledge on the subject of suspension training. This will go a long way in helping you get maximum returns from the suspension trainer that you own.

Why a Vertical Climber is a Home Gym Must Have and the Top 3 Climbing Machines

Once upon a time, I believed that good old fashioned running was the holy grail of cardio exercise. Really, what better total body workout existed other than sprinting or taking a nice long jog?

I subscribed to this belief until my joints stopped liking the idea of running as much as I did, and after long nights of icing my knees, decided to look for a low-impact alternative. After testing the traditional stationary bike and elliptical machine, I met my true low-impact love: the vertical climber.

If you are like me, then you probably have seen this sleek, seemingly innocent piece of equipment, tucked away into a lonely corner while patrons opt for the machines with television screens.

But if you love a full body calorie blast, then you definitely need to pull a vertical climber away from the corner and give it a spin. Here's why...

What are the Benefits of Using a Vertical Climber? 

The vertical climber machine does what it says: it makes you climb, as rock climbers do. You use both your arms and legs to mimic the motion of scaling a mountain, and after five minutes, you feel like you’re on the way to Mount Everest. It’s intense! But that’s a good thing, right?

Plus, it comes loaded with a whole bunch of total body benefits, like...

  • Low impact and keeps your joints safe

The vertical climber does not require the ankles, hips, or knees to brace or absorb impact, and it actually helps keep those major joints in alignment based on the climbing motion the user performs.

It is also safe for the shoulder joints, as the required climbing motion the arms perform makes it difficult to rotate the shoulder too far backward. The push-pull motions will actually improve short-term mobility, and that will eventually lead to a greater range of motion.

  • Torches calories

When you combine aerobic exercise with muscle building, as the vertical climber allows, the result is a calorie-burning fiesta.

Because this is a total body workout that uses your own body’s resistance, you work much harder than you would on a treadmill, for example, where there is little resistance and the belt is doing much of the work for you. Your heart rate jumps to its max zone quickly on the vertical climber, and that’s how you know you are getting the best calorie burn.

  • Works major muscle groups (including your brain)

It’s obvious from looking at the vertical climber that both the upper body and lower body are hard at work, but you may be surprised to know how much the core is working, too. The climbing motion requires focused core stability, and your midsection will be hard at work to assist the extremities in pushing and pulling.

But what’s most interesting is how the upper body has to try to match the power of the lower body, which is typically dominant because, well, we have two legs and walk. So as the legs push, the arms, back, and shoulders do their best to keep up, resulting in a newly sculpted upper-body.

Interestingly, because of these required reciprocal motions, the vertical climber also activates the neurological system in a different way. This makes for a mental challenge on top of your body getting a beastly workout.

  • Home gym friendly

Alas, a piece of equipment that does not require forfeiture of your entire living room. The vertical climber is sleek, simple, and space-saving. Its (genius) minimalist design means that you can literally put it away in a closet when you are not using it, as opposed to bulky equipment that burns more calories moving it than using it (here’s looking at you, treadmill).

The vertical climber is also relatively quiet during use, so it’s even more perfect for those of you who have roommates, sleeping babies, or otherwise shared living quarters.

Finally, it does not take much time to get a good workout using the climber. If you dedicate 20 minutes at least three times each week to stepping, then you’ll see quick results.

Bonus: climbers usually come pre-assembled, so you don’t have to dedicate an afternoon to looking for lost screws.

What to Look for When Choosing a Climbing Exercise Machine

So, I’m sure you are ready to get a vertical climber to call your own, but there are a few factors you need to research before you purchase. As with any fitness equipment, the spectrum of a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars exists with vertical climbers.

Regardless of your budget, you will want to look at the following features to ensure you have a quality piece of equipment that can help you reach your greatest heights (pun intended).

  • Display

The display is important both for how the machine looks as well as what kind of tracking system comes with it. This is especially crucial to consider if you indeed want a climber for your home gym; check into its dimensions and whether or not it folds for easier storage.

Also make sure you see what kind of gadget is included to track your time and results; because of the compact design, some climbers have systems that are hard to see, which may or may not be to your preference. Some of these trackers also only track minimal information, such as time on the climber. If you’re into seeing calories burned or speed - which, no doubt, is motivating - you may want to fork over a little extra for an LED display.

  • Adjustability

A good climber should include adjustable options for different heights and range of motion, but you may also be interested in a climber that includes different automated programs/workouts.

This option fluctuates with price points, as some of the value climbers only offer basic climbing. If you are willing to pay more, you can find climbers that have up to thirty pre-programmed workouts. You can also shop around for climbers that offer resistance adjustability; most basic climbers only use your own body weight for resistance, but some higher-end models do have programmed resistance options.

  • Durability

You definitely do not want to invest in a piece of equipment that falls apart after a short amount of time; be sure to look for steel or aluminum frames, as these are the sturdiest. Some machines also have rubber non-slip pads on the bottom, which are useful if you plan toyou’re your equipment on a hard surface.

Your weight plays an important role in this as well, as budget climbers typically yield a weight limit of 200-250 pounds. If you’re heavier, then you may have to spend a bit more money to get a sturdier option that supports up to 350lbs.

  • Warranty

Warranty is to equipment as health insurance is to people; it’s not mandatory, but it’s really, really nice to have when something goes wrong. The standard warranty on climbers is one year for parts and labor, so make sure you do not settle for anything less than that. Some options have just two-month warranties, which is a bit on the short-side to get good use from the machine.

What's the Best Vertical Climber?

To give you a great starting point in finding a vertical climber to call your own, here are our vertical climber reviews of the best ones you can get your hands (and feet) on!

Maxi Climber Machine

climber exercise machine

The MaxiClimber boasts an ergonomic design for all body types, and it is adjustable for various heights. It also comes 90% pre-assembled, so you have to spend about 15 minutes putting the finishing touches on it.

It is durable with a cold-rolled steel frame, and the weight limit is 240 pounds. It definitely feels very sturdy on a hardwood surface and it's not bad even on carpet so you can feel free to get as rigorous as you want while watching TV in the living room.

A small workout tracker comes with the Maxiclimber but it simply tracks your time on the machine and starts/stops as you do. It can be folded for easy storage, and it is extremely lightweight at around 30 pounds.

Conquer Vertical Climber Exercise Machine

exercise climber
climbing exercise machine
vertical climber exercise machine

Similar to the MaxiClimber, this is a steel-framed climber that offers adjustable options as well as four rubber non-slip pads to keep it extra stable. It also is foldable and only weighs in at about 40 pounds.

The assembly is quick and easy (approximately 15 minutes), and it comes with the tool needed to put the finishing touches on it. The included electronic tracker measures both time and calories burned. This machine is cheaper than the Maxiclimber, but the price difference does not seem to compromise quality.

Ancheer 2-in-1 Vertical Climber and Exercise Bike

climber exercise equipment
vertical climber reviews

The Ancheer is definitely one of the more unique options; it is a 2-in-1 machine that features a small resistance bike along with the climber. The manufacturer recommends using the bike as a warm-up for the climbing.

This machine is made from steel and has a higher weight capacity than the others reviewed, with the listed limit at 285 to 330 pounds. Its LED display is also much more thorough than competitors, as it provides the following information: scan, time, distance, speed, and calories.

This machine can be folded away and is compact for easy storage. The climbing arms are adjustable, so it’s easy for all heights to use. This machine also comes with an impressive three-year warranty, which is longer than its competitors.

Vertical climbers will increase in popularity as they become more well-known and recognized, and now you have the scoop before the trend. They definitely deserve attention because they pack a high-intensity workout without joint damage, and they are excellent additions to home gyms everywhere.

Tell us about your experience using a vertical climber in the comments below!

Best Foam Roller Reviews and Benefits: A Buyers Guide

The foam roller: it looks so innocent propped up in the corner, waiting for unsuspecting tight muscles to come along so it can unleash its wrath.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but the foam roller is both something that fitness enthusiasts swear by and cringe at, all at once.

There is no love/hate relationship like that with a foam roller; seriously, I don’t know how something can feel so good and hurt so bad at the same time, but it really does.

I first started using a foam roller when I was training for a half-marathon and needed relief for sore muscles, and now I hop on one every single day as a regular part of my morning routine, workout warmup, and evening stretch.

It is true that it feels painful and tedious when you first begin a foam rolling routine, but like anything else in fitness, it does get easier the more frequently you do it. And, it has tremendous benefits, even if you do not suffer from sore muscles.

Benefits of Foam Rolling

Before we dive into the benefits, let’s take a moment to establish what foam rolling is actually doing: self-myofascial release. In other words, it’s giving you a deep tissue massage and improving the mobility of your fascia.

What exactly is the fascia, you ask? To explain it simply, fascia is fibrous material that holds various systems of the body together. It is very densely woven, and it exists as a continuous structure that covers every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, in addition to all of the internal organs.

That’s a pretty big job, right?

So based on movement patterns, occupational side effects, inflammation, and stress, the fascia can get very tight and become a source of tension for the body - hence, the need for myofascial-release.

If you have ever experienced “knots” in your neck, back, or shoulders, then you have experienced what happens when fascia tightens, as it is a big spider-web like system that works best when it’s unstuck.

Foam rollers allow you to iron out your fascia without breaking the bank from hiring a massage therapist every day. So, other than ensuring the daily health of fascia, what else does foam rolling do for you?

  • Speeds up recovery & prevents injury

It’s pretty cool how these benefits are simultaneous, but the truth is that they depend on each other to be true.

Consider this: the reason for tight muscles is generally because of a lactic acid build-up that the foam roller easily releases. And, the reason for many injuries is because of improper warm-up for tight muscles.

So while you foam roll and release tension, you’re actually speeding up your muscular recovery as well as preparing the body for the best workout possible. Pretty cool, huh?

  • Boosts circulation

The foam roller wakes up tissue in ways you have not experienced before, thanks to the pressure of the affected area pushing against the roller. This sends a temporary surge of blood to the region being rolled, and increases the oxygen flow to that muscle group, too.

The more oxygenated a muscle is, the less tight it feels - so improved circulation also leads to more relaxed muscles. Better circulation is additionally attributed to lower blood pressure, so roll on!

  • Improves posture and aid alignment

It’s easy to point out examples of poor posture, but the general belief for what causes it is a misconception. Most people believe that poor posture is a result of slumping over at a desk or not standing up straight, but actually, that’s just what poor posture looks like. It is actually caused from tight or weak muscles, which contribute to misalignment of the spine/pelvis.

When the body begins to compensate and choose the posture of least resistance, it often looks like someone who just won’t stand up straight. (Note: Not that we are superficial or anything, but we want to point out that people who stand up straight look taller, leaner, and better than those who have poor posture!)

Because foam rolling releases this tightness, it helps the misaligned structure move back into place and therefore corrects postural issues…

  • Relieves lower back pain

...which are directly related to low back pain! A huge majority of people (80%) suffer from low back pain, and it is frequently misdiagnosed, just like posture problems. Lower back pain is often the result of tight or weak muscles, especially in the core and legs.

The low back tries to make up for these underperforming muscles, and that extra stress leads to inflammation and pain. When you foam roll and allow for the release of this tension, it relieves the associated pain in the low back.

  • Increases range of motion and flexibility

Have you ever slept wrong and woken up to a stiff neck? If so, you know it’s nearly impossible to move the head from side to side, which is what fitness pros call a limited range of motion.

Tight, stiff muscles keep you from moving as well as you can, and they also limit your flexibility. When you break up the tightness in the fascia with your foam roller, you notice yourself moving more freely and easily.

Note: this is another reason it’s a great warm-up tool. As a yoga instructor but also an experienced weight lifter, I am always baffled that so many people don’t recognize how much stronger they can get with more flexibility and range of motion. Improving these two areas of your fitness will lead to optimal health and overall gains.

  • Can be used to workout

The foam roller is no longer just a supplemental aid; it actually is quickly gaining popularity as a tool to use during workouts. Many trainers, seeing the versatility of foam rollers, are adding them into workouts as tools to help improve upper back/shoulder strength, core strength, and overall stability.

If you’ve ever tried to lay totally vertically on the length of a long foam roller, you know it opens up the chest as well as challenges the core to stay balanced. I’ve even seen fitness enthusiasts use the roller for plank variations and hip workouts. It’s really a thing, and it works, especially if you get bored quickly with the same old routines.

Not to mention it's a totally portable workout tool that you can carry with you anywhere and stow away easily - the perfect addition to any home gym!​

  • Improves the appearance of cellulite

As we talked about in our vibration machine article (another great piece of home gym equipment that combats cellulite), cellulite has become one of the most elusive, misunderstood, and dreaded conditions that affects women in particular; it often manifests on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms, and it is dubbed the “cottage cheese” skin condition that is named after its dimply appearance.

In a nutshell, the subcutaneous tissues contain a web of connective tissue (fascia!) that store much of the body fat. Because there are many layers of tissue, the surface of the skin shows up with cellulite when the the fatty cells get enlarged. This is also due to the fact that inelastic fibers connect these layers. But when you foam roll, you break up the tissue that’s storing your body fat, and that can lead to a reduction in the appearance of dimply skin.

How to Choose the Best Foam Roller

All the above awesome benefits are best obtained by choosing a foam roller that is right for your needs. Because of their surge in popularity, foam rollers now come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, and they are made based on pretty specific needs.

In fact, I’m looking at three different foam rollers in my office right now, and I use them each for different reasons. Here are the things you should consider to help you choose the best foam roller for you and your unique needs! 

SOFT VS FIRM

soft foam roller
best foam roller reviews

If you are brand new to the world of foam rolling, then you definitely want to choose the softest option available to allow for some movement between your body and the roller.

When you have your full body weight pressing against tight muscles, it can be very painful. Starting with a softer roller is best until you get used to foam rolling as a regular activity.

The firmness is typically determined by what kind of foam the roller is made from. Polyethylene foam is the least dense and allows for less pressure. The next level of firmness is also typically made from polyethylene foam, but it is open cell, which changes the texture and density.

The roller that provides the most pressure is made from closed cell polyethylene foam and manufactured under high heat, creating a thick, smooth surface that is best for the most advanced foam rollers. Sometimes, rollers are made from Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam, which can be medium or highest firmness depending on the manufacturing, so check for that in the product description as well.

Finally, note that the softer the foam is, the more likely it is to warp over time; if you use a roller regularly, then you definitely want to make sure it’s durable.

SURFACE TEXTURE

best foam roller for runners
best muscle roller

In case a regular, smooth foam roller does not apply enough targeted pressure for you, you can buy a roller that has prongs on it to dig in and release more pressure points. While this may sound like a torture device to some, it’s a popular option for those who endure intense workouts and have been rolling regularly for an extended amount of time.

The pronged rollers are also great for users who engage in static holds on the roller, as they can dig in to specific myofascial release points and feel the most benefit from their rolling session. Other surfaces are slightly contoured but do not have prongs, for the same reason - extra release. The least invasive surface texture is plain smooth, as this surface allows for less pressure.

SHAPE

hard foam roller
foam roller reviews

While a cylindrical shape is pretty typical for most foam rollers, some exist in varied shapes that were designed to target specific regions or to use primarily for work outs.

For example, a half-cylindrical shape is better if the roller is primarily used for exercise, whereas a skinny cylinder is more useful for small muscle groups like the calves and IT band. A completely different mold is the hourglass shaped Stealth Align foam roller that has a tapered waist, allowing you to use it on your back without compressing your spine.

LENGTH

best foam roller reviews

Yes, you can even buy rollers in various lengths, which is especially great news if you want a roller that you can pack in your gym bag (or suitcase) and tote along with you. The most standard size options are 36”, 18”, and 12”, so be sure to look for that information in the product description.

TARGETED USE

best muscle roller
foam roller for back

Do you want to use a foam roller just for your calves (maybe you’re a runner!)? If so, a smaller option is going to be best suited for you. Do you need something that can double as lumbar support? Look for thick foam.

What about a roller that is going to help you in your workouts? You need to make sure you are clear on how you want to use your foam roller so you get one that is specifically suited for your needs.

Best Foam Roller Reviews

So, with all this newfound rolling knowledge, what are the best foam rollers available on the market right now? Let’s take a look.

LuxFit Extra Firm Foam Rollers

foam roller reviews
best foam rollers

This is a heavy-duty, extra-firm foam roller that is made for the most advanced rollers and not for the faint of heart. It is constructed with molded polypropylene foam technology that has a two pounds per cubic foot density, smooth surface, and won’t lose its shape after heavy use.

To add to its durability, this roller’s material repels liquids. Because of its high density foam and extra firmness, it is best suited for physical therapy, before or after exercise, yoga, and massage therapy. This particular roller is available in three sizes: 6x36, 6x18, and 6x12, with the small option being great for travel as well as for focus on core stabilization and balance. These rollers come with a one-year manufacturer warranty. Read all user reviews!

OPTP Soft Density Foam Rollers

foam roller reviews
foam roller reviews

If the extra-firm, intense workout of the above foam roller seems a little bit much for you, this OPTP soft density roller may be exactly what you are looking for. Created with closed-cell, cross link foam technology and a slightly textured surface, this gentle roller is best suited for physical therapy, stretching, balance exercise, pilates, and yoga.

Despite being softer, it is still a very durable option and can withstand extended user in rehabilitation centers, fitness studios and home gyms alike. It measures 6”x36”. Read all user reviews!

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Rollers

best muscle roller
best foam rollers

This uniquely designed, patented foam roller boasts a superior, multi-density exterior constructed over a rigid, hollow core, crafted from quality materials that make it highly durable and keep it from breaking down.

As described in the product description, “the distinctive, multi-dimensional surfaces of the GRID replicate the feeling of a massage therapist’s hands – wide and flat like the palm, long and tubular like the fingers, and small and firm like the finger tips.”

I don’t know about you, but I would pay good money for a foam roller that feels like the hands of a massage therapist!

TriggerPoint GRID foam rollers are available in three sizes and two densities. Regular density models include the original 13-inch GRID, the 26-inch GRID 2.0, and the 4-inch travel-friendly GRID Mini, which is great for targeted use on smaller muscle groups.

A bonus accessory is found in the fact that when you purchase any GRID foam roller, you receive free access to an online instructional video library that show you the best foam rolling techniques available. This brand also comes with a one-year warranty. Read all user reviews!

Stealth Align Foam Roller

hard foam roller
best foam rollers

This is one of the most uniquely designed foam rollers that I have used, and it really makes sense how the manufacturer created it for optimal performance and spine safety. Because the center channel is not the same width as the outer parts of the roller, it allows the spine to be controlled and not get compressed by one big wide cylinder, making it the best foam roller for back pain. 

This design is still versatile in that it provides the ability to isolate muscle groups by rolling on just one side of the roller, and its center channel is supremely brilliant not only for the back, but for allowing you to control and target the calf muscles as well. It’s a bit shorter than other standard options, with its measurements coming in at L24 x W8 x H8. Read all reviews!

Rumble Roller Textured Foam Rollers

best muscle roller
foam roller for back

Deep tissue massage ahead: the contoured bumps sticking out from the rumble roller allow a deeper massage experience than any of the other rollers, as you not only get myo-fascial release but you also get trigger-point therapy, all in one.

Although it can be painful when you first begin using this roller, it is hands down the best foam roller for pain relief because of its ability to erode trigger points, help restore flexibility, and break up tight “knots” of fascia.

In case you are wondering whether this pressure could damage the spine or other bony protrusions, the RumbleRoller's bumps are firmer than muscle tissue, but much softer than bone, so they deflect out of the way if they contact your spine or other bony protrusions.

In an additional step to prove safety and consumer peace of mind, the two available versions of this roller (original density and extra-firm) have been tested by an independent laboratory in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 for lead and phthalates. These products are also latex-free.

In terms of size: you can buy the regular 6x31 size, or you can purchase this roller in the smaller 6x12 size. Read all user reviews!

Peace of Muscle Honeycomb Foam Roller Set

therapy foam roller
best muscle roller

A truly economical option full of great value, this set is all about the options for impressive versatility. It is crafted from EVA foam, which is the most environmentally friendly foam available since it does not contain chlorine and therefore has less of an environmental footprint.

As for the design, it features a multi-density "Honeycomb" pattern along with a hollow center that allows for another penetrating, deep tissue massage experience. Despite the center being hollow, it is definitely made from sturdy materials and will not break down or warp after repeated use.

The most unique component of this roller is the fact that the manufacturers understand that you may not want to have that experience every day, so in order to balance the firmness and intensity of the hollow roller, they combined it with a solid EVA roller, which is better suited for sensitive regions like the neck. Sounds like a win-win, right? And, hey, accessories are included. Not only do you receive two different types of rollers, but you also receive a free carrying case to make the roller set extra easy to transport.

Overall, a great portable foam roller set for travelers and those getting started who want to experience a variety for a very affordable price! Read all user reviews!​

We hope you found this information extra helpful as you decide what kind of foam roller you are going to buy, as well as why you need to incorporate it into your daily habits.

If you have a favorite roller that we missed, drop us a comment and let us know! Or, share with us any secrets that you may have stumbled upon that make your foam rolling more effective and enjoyable. We love to hear from our readers! Enjoy!

What is the Best Weighted Vest? Top 5 Weighted Vest Reviews

Anyone who works out know that there are levels to fitness, almost in the same way there are levels to video games.

You can easily walk into the gym and spot who is a newbie, who is on the edge of hard core, and who is hard core. Or, at least, who looks hard core. Sometimes it’s totally a superficial glance at a chiseled athlete pumping out sets, and sometimes you see people using equipment that a beginner would never dream of using.

One such piece of equipment that shouts intensity and next level is the mighty weight vest. Weight vests are fairly trendy in the fitness world, especially as fitness junkies continuously try to innovate their way to stronger muscles and better performance.

So, what’s the point? Why would anyone want to add 10, 20, 30 extra pounds of weight to their workout? Especially if you’re trying to cut weight? Not only do we need to examine the why as we explore this relatively new trend, but we also need to discuss what markers set apart weight vests as good investments or as total busts...

Weighted Vest Benefits That Make It Worth the Weight

Anecdotally speaking, one thing I’ve noticed about working with clients who have lost 50+ pounds is that they always seem to have more inherent strength than those who are trying to bulk up.

After watching this unfold for several years, I realized it was because their bodies simply were accustomed to carrying more weight and therefore, got stronger. The demand that weight creates on the muscles and the musculoskeletal system is the silver lining of weight loss; now, those benefits can be mimicked without the body mass, thanks to the weight vest.

Think about what you’re doing with weight training (in general): you’re creating resistance for the body to work against in order to initiate the muscle building process.

Throwing on a weight vest for a workout does that exact same thing, seemingly organically. The weight vest creates automatic resistance that the body has to overcome, making the muscles, bones, and cardiovascular system work harder to support the load. The European Journal of Applied Physiology published a study on what adding a load approximately 10% of an athlete’s body weight accomplished for their performance.

Here’s the results: lower lactate threshold, improved running time to exhaustion, improved vertical velocity, and an increased VO2 max (the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use). 

The study went on to conclude that weight vest training also increased the anaerobic metabolism, and the major explanation behind all of these perks was due to the adaptation of the fast twitch muscle fibers.

Pretty cool stuff, right? But before you run to the store and buy your brand new weighted vest, you need to know that not all heavy things are created equally.

How to Choose the Best Weighted Vest

Getting a high quality vest is imperative for you to experience the benefits mentioned above, but before I dive into that any further, I want to make one thing very clear: a weighted vest and a bulky backpack are NOT equivalent.

Yes, you are getting resistance from adding a heavier load to the body, but that’s where the similarities stop. A weight vest allows for even weight distribution, whereas a bulky backpack puts the entire load directly on the shoulders and back.

This makes the user lean forward and throws off posture and balance, and it can be very uncomfortable during endurance work. Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about the questions you need to ask before purchasing your new weight vest.

  • What material is it made of?

There are certain key words to look for when you examine the tag on your future weight vest. You need to ensure that the outer material is tear resistant as well as sweat resistant.

If the material does not fight against your sweat, then it’s going to get funky fast.

Your skin will suffer from the bacteria that builds up from heat + sweat, so make sure your vest material is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial…or at least machine washable!

Also, check the quality of the weights inside the vest. You want to make sure they are protected from rust by a coated metal or even a neoprene material. Some vests use sand bags instead of metal plates, so be aware of the pros/cons of that as well (see our reviews).

  • How easy is it to adjust and accessorize?

When you start using a weight vest, you want to begin using only 10% of your body weight, in order to allow the body to adjust gradually to this change. However, as your strength and endurance increase, you’ll want to add more weight…without having to buy a brand new vest.

So, consider this when you’re browsing and look for a vest that you can add and remove weight at your leisure. If you’re into accessories, you may also want to look for a vest that has pockets or places for your headphones, your music, or your smartphone. Of course these features increase the versatility of your vest, but the most important factor to remember is to look for a vest that distributes weight evenly.

  • Does it fit properly?

Don’t get distracted by the cool features of a potential weight vest if it doesn’t fit you well. Without a good fit, you’re going to be uncomfortable and resentful of your new training tool.

You need to make sure that you try on the vest to see how it fits on your body, if it is too tight, or if it’s too bulky. A good rule of thumb is that it should fit so that you can slide your hand up the back of it. If you can’t fit your whole hand, then it’s definitely too tight. If you can fit more than your hand, then you need to tighten it up some (adjustability!).

Top 5 Weighted Vest Reviews

Material, adjustability, and fit- if you can remember those key factors before you buy, then you should bring home a pretty cool new gym toy.

Because I want you to have nice things, I decided to review a few fan favorite vests for you. Here’s the top five weighted vests, with details and quick stats!

ZFO Sports Adjustable Weighted Vest

best weighted vest
best weighted vest

This one-size-fits-all adjustable weighted vest contains up to 80 pounds that can be added/removed in four pound increments, which makes it great for vest newbies. The wide shoulder straps make for comfortable wear even if you're wearing it for hours, and the Velcro keeps the weight strapped in tight.

You can adjust this to your body as your shape changes, so it’s also a great vest for those who anticipate a shift in body mass. It’s best used for those who want an added challenge to their gym routine and basic exercises/drills, but it’s also good for plyometrics and cardio like speed walking and running thanks to the even weight distribution in the front and back.

This vest can also be washed as much as you need to, so that’s good news for heavy sweaters. 

Quick Stats:

  • Maximum weight: 80 pounds
  • Available weight increments: 20 pounds, 40 pounds, 60 pounds, 80 pounds
  • Type of weights: Sand bags
  • Washable: Yes
  • All terrain: Can use in water and rain
  • Best for: A good weighted vest to add extra challenge and resistance to training routine.  Also good for speed walking and running.
  • Downsides: Because of the broad shoulder straps, this isn't a great weighted vest for basketball, pull ups or any other activity that requires you to raise your arms above your head. 

Hyperwear Weighted Vest

best weighted vest for women
women weighted vest

This vest is available in sizes small to xxlarge, but that doesn’t mean what you think it means. Those sizes actually indicate the weight capacity for each vest. Because this vest only comes with 10 pounds, you’d have to purchase additional weight plates for it.

The maximum load capacity for each size is as follows: Small (23lbs), Medium (26lbs), Large (34lbs), XL (46lbs) XXL (65 lbs).

If you’re someone who wants to frequently adjust the load you’re carrying, then this may not be the best option for you. However, it’s made from sweat-wicking, breathable material, and is machine washable, so it’s very comfortable to wear.

It can fit under your shirt, so know that the material is thin. That may not be the best for you if you’re doing extra-intense workouts, as it’s not as sturdy. But it is very comfortable and form fitting, making it the best weighted vest for running, walking, playing basketball and even wearing a weighted vest all day to boost calorie burn and increase bone density.

Quick Stats:

  • Maximum weight: 65 pounds
  • Type of weights: High density steel weights
  • Washable: Yes
  • All terrain: Can use in water and rain
  • Best for: It's incredibly comfortable and form fitting which makes it the best weighted vest for running, a perfect weight vest for walking and playing volleyball or basketball as well as wearing a weighted vest all day. It's also the perfect weighted vest for women.
  • Downsides: The biggest downside of this weighted vest is that the steel weights can rust over time. Also, this vest can be worn for longer periods but it's not recommended for strenuous wear since the very fabric that makes it so comfortable is also not very strong.

Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest

perfect weight vest
heavy weighted vest

Another one-size-fits-all vest, the capacity of this one goes up to 60 pounds and you have the option of getting them with shoulder pads for extra comfort. Like the ZFO weighted vest, this vest also has sand weights but the material is more flexible so the overall vest contours more easily to the body.

However, that makes running and jumping pretty uncomfortable because the sand shifts around so much. This vest is best suited for strength training workouts because of this. Like the ZFO vest, the shoulder straps can rub against the collarbone/neck area, too, so you have to make sure you wear an appropriate shirt underneath. Also, it’s camouflage print, so that may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference.

Quick Stats:

  • Maximum weight: 60 pounds
  • Available weight increments: 20 pounds, 40 pounds, 50 pounds, 60 pounds
  • Type of weights: Sand bags
  • Washable: Yes
  • All terrain: Not recommended to use in water
  • Best for: A good weighted vest to add extra challenge and resistance to training routine.  Not great for running.
  • Downsides: Because of the broad shoulder straps, this isn't a great weighted vest for basketball, pull ups or any other activity that requires you to raise your arms above your head. 

CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

best weighted vest
best weighted vest

One-size-fits-all, but this vest is available in styles starting from 40 pounds and goes up to a whopping 150 pounds, making it a great pick for those of you looking for an extra heavy weighted vest.

It also has an adjustable waist strap, which makes for better body contour and adjustability. It is durable and one of the best features is the weight placement- the manufacturer did a great job of ensuring the weight is distributed evenly.

The weights in this vest are sand bags, so the same rule applies to running/jumping: the sand bags may be bouncy. If you want a basic vest for adding resistance and burning calories, then this one is for you.

Quick Stats:

  • Maximum weight: 150 pounds
  • Available weight increments: 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150 pounds
  • Type of weights: Sand bags
  • Washable: Yes
  • All terrain: Can use in water and rain
  • Best for: A good weighted vest to add extra challenge and resistance to training routine.  It allows full range of movement for the upper body but because the vest comes down quite low, it can interfere with lower body exercises if you are on the shorter side. 
  • Downsides: Because of the broad shoulder straps, this isn't a great weighted vest for basketball, pull ups or any other activity that requires you to raise your arms above your head. 

RunFast Adjustable Weighted Vest

best weighted vest

Last but not least, we've got the RunFast weighted vest which combines several of the factors we love about the weighted vests above. First of all, it comes in two styles: with or without shoulder pads, and you can buy it in the weight capacity you want - there are a lot of available weight increments and it goes up to 140 pounds. The weight is removable and easily adjustable.

The material feels sturdy and comfortable, but the weight placement is varied from front to back. This makes the assembly a bit tricky at first, but after your first few times maneuvering it, it becomes less bothersome.

This vest also uses sand bags but thanks to the extra wide Velcro waist strap, it feels more secure for running and jumping. It also doesn't come down low on the waist so it allows a full range of movement for lower body exercises, making it a great weighted vest for strength training and lower body workouts.

Quick Stats:

  • Maximum weight: 140 pounds
  • Available weight increments: 20, 40, 50, 60, 70, 100, 120, 140 pounds
  • Type of weights: Sand bags
  • Washable: Yes
  • All terrain: Can use in water and rain
  • Best for: It allows full range of movement so you can easily do a whole range of weighted vest exercises with it. It's also a good weighted vest for walking, running and to add extra challenge and resistance to training routine.  
  • Downsides: Runs a little big so may be too loose if you have a smaller frame. 

So, there you have it-the ins and outs of weight vests are at your fingertips. Are you ready to take your intensity up a notch and add weight vest workouts to your regimen? With the right quality vest and proper function, you can definitely improve your body and your performance. Give it a shot and let us know what you love about your weighted vest!

Best Adjustable Dumbbells Reviews for Strength Training, Conditioning and Both

Rejected home gym equipment: you’ve seen it, right? Whether it be on a local for sale website or splashed across social media, it is fairly easy to find displeased consumers trying to make some quick bucks from what they once thought was a great investment.

One such item I frequently see is a spare set of dumbbells that someone has either outgrown or does not find beneficial.

What’s ironic is that dumbbells are one of the best gym tools you can have for building muscle, adding aerobic resistance, and conditioning in general. Not to mention they're also space saving, affordable and easy to operate. So why do these gems seem to be cast away so easily by home gym owners?

It's because to really benefit from your using dumbbells in your workouts, you need to have a wide variation of weights. You don’t want to use the same dumbbell for a front raise with your small shoulder muscles as you would for a row, using your entire back, right?

In this sense, dumbbells become a limiting factor, because you can’t really do everything you’d like to do. Luckily, there’s a solution: adjustable dumbbells.

What's So Great About Adjustable Dumbbells?

The first thing you notice about adjustable dumbbells is that they can look much different from traditional dumbbells...sexier, for sure, but that's not the only thing they've got going for them.

TRADITIONAL DUMBBELLS VS ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS

adjustable dumbbells reviews

The basic premise is that you have one main bar which can load or unload weight at your desire. So, if you want 10 pounds for that front raise and 35 pounds for your one-arm row, then you can easily make that happen by adjusting the weights on the main bar.

Flexibility with your options lends to freedom in your workouts, which will boost your attitude toward making your home workouts happen.

One of the main appeals to investing in adjustable dumbbells is the fact that they are so much more cost-effective than their traditional counterparts; you can expect to spend around $1000 trying to get a good weight range of traditional dumbbells, whereas adjustables typically come in at less than half of that price.

Here's a quick example...

TRADITIONAL DUMBBELLS VS ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS

Traditional dumbbells set ranging from 5 lbs to 50 lbs for $814.00

best adjustable dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells pair ranging from 5 lbs to 52.5 lbs for $279.99

Also, let’s talk about the space factor. If you buy a full set of dumbbells that you need, then you are definitely looking at sacrificing major wall space for their safe keeping. The main advantage of adjustable dumbbells is that you get a condensed version of an entire rack of dumbbells, enabling you to save a whole lot of space. 

Just take a moment to compare these two options...

TRADITIONAL DUMBBELLS VS ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS

Traditional dumbbells rack with weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50 pounds. Measures 40-by-30-by-20 inches.

best adjustable dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells pair ranging from 5 pounds to 130 pounds. Replaces 34 pairs of traditional dumbbells.

Finally, investing in adjustable dumbbells means that you can yield greater results in your training. Your body quickly adjusts to the resistance you put against it; that means as you increase in strength and endurance, you have to increase your resistance. A single pair of traditional dumbbells does not allow for this, and you will have to keep buying new sets ($$!).

Your adjustable set will give you a better sense of your training gains, as you can constantly vary your resistance and move up in weight when you’re ready.

How to Choose the Best Adjustable Dumbbells for You

So, what makes for a great set of adjustables? There are options…lots of options!

Adjustable dumbbells have actually been around for approximately 50 years, but the market has exploded with variations, as technology has evolved in the last 10 years or so. Major at home-fitness programs like P90x and Beachbody are to thank for this; the old-school option of screw on collars is not convenient when moving through a quick circuit.

Manufacturers agreed and decided to up the choices, and now you have a lot to consider. So, this handy list is your go-to guide for determining what set would be best for you.

  • How will you be using them?

This is, perhaps, the most important factor for deciding which set will work best for you. If you are trying to light up your fat-burning furnace with fast-paced conditioning workouts (also great for building endurance), then you have a different need than someone who prefers traditional weight training with stand-alone exercises (for building muscle strength and mass).

If you are primarily doing circuits or aerobic exercise, then you know your rest breaks are limited - like, 30 seconds max kind of limited. However, if you are strength training, then you typically get three to five minutes between sets. So the ease of adjustability is the biggest factor here, given you need a set that is quick and easy to adjust if you’re circuit training.

  • What if I want to use them for both conditioning and strength training?

That’s awesome. You should definitely look for a set that can be adjusted quickly (for aerobic conditioning) but has a maximal weight that will challenge you for strength training. See our best adjustable dumbbell reviews below to find your perfect fit!

  • Okay, what about maximum weight?

On average, most of these weights top out at about 50 pounds each, or about 100 pounds total. But there are definitely some that exceed that, if you’re looking to bulk up and need some heavy iron.

You also need to consider your current fitness level here and remember that you want a weight that will grow with you. Something else to look at with the weight options is the increments that the weight can be adjusted. Determine if you want a set that can be adjusted at 2.5 pound increments or 5 pound increments. Some heavier lifters consider the 2.5 pound increment a wasted feature.

  • What are the different styles of adjustment, and how easy are they to adjust?

Adjustable dumbbells...adjust. But they don't all do it the same way and these differences that determine whether you pick a set that you love or a set that you can live without. Devils in the details, right?

So what are the styles of adjustment? The big three options are spin-lock, dial and selector pin. Let's take a closer look at each one...

SPIN LOCK

adjustable dumbbells reviews
best adjustable dumbbells

The more traditional option, this one features multiple weight plates held together with a lock that spins. It’s pretty simple in that you load up how much weight you want on either end and then twist the metal lock until it is tight.

Hey strength-trainers, this is your go-to because it takes a bit more time than the dial option. You could go with this for aerobics too, if you’re going to use the same amount of weight for your workout. The plus-side of this option is that it’s typically the most affordable.

DIAL

best adjustable dumbbells reviews
best adjustable dumbbells

This type of adjustable dumbbell is pretty simple: a dial allows you to choose how much weight you want to lift. When you turn the dial to that amount of weight, you then just have to lift the barbell, and the amount of weight that you chose will be attached to the end. Easy breezy, right?

The remaining plates stay in the holder until you’re ready to change again. The functionality makes this type ideal for those who want versatility in using dumbbells for both aerobic conditioning and strength training. These are definitely the easiest and most convenient, but because so, they can be pricey.

SELECTOR PIN

Similar to the dial option listed above, you do not have to manually change the plates to get the desired amount of weight. All you need to do is move a pin to choose which weight you need for the exercise at hand; any unwanted weight remains in the holder.

While this option typically serves as the middle ground for convenience and affordability, they are not always the sturdiest options. Some users have experienced the weights coming loose during high-intensity workouts, so these may not be best for fast movements.

What are the Best Adjustable Dumbbells?

Okay, now that we have been through Adjustable Dumbbells 101, let’s talk about the best options we have found. These reviews should give you a great starting point as you decide which adjustables you want in your home gym.

Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells

adjustable dumbbells reviews
best adjustable dumbbells

This dial-system set is a fan favorite for its well, sexy, design and ease of adjustability. Bowflex currently offers two models. For the SelectTech 552, each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds, in 2.5 pound increments. 

If you want a heavier option, the SelectTech 1090 allows you to adjust from 10 pounds all the way up to 90 pounds in 5 pound increments. And all you have to do is turn the dial to the weight you want.

Both come with a two-year warranty on weight plates and parts.

Because of the rapid switch ability, this is great for those doing high-intensity aerobic conditioning. If you’re looking to lift heavier weights and simply strength train, these may not be heavy enough for your goals. Also, for you heavy lifters - these aren’t made to be dropped, so lifting to failure may not be an option for you with this set.

Quick stats:

PowerBlock Elite Adjustable Dumbbells

best adjustable dumbbells
adjustable dumbbells reviews

The PowerBlocks use a magnetic pin system and can go all the way up to 130 pounds (when purchasing an add-on set). The basic set only goes up to 50 pounds.

The weight is changeable in 5 pound increments, and the pin system allows for a quick and easy adjustment. These are good-space savers as they come in a block and won’t roll, given their square shape, and they come with a 10-year warranty.

One frequent complaint falls on the design of the weights; there are four pillars around your hand/wrist that can feel very awkward when lifting heavy weights and performing certain exercises (chest flys, for example). They are definitely sturdy, but when getting up to heavier weight settings, can rattle around some.

Overall, this set is great for those who want to both strength train and lift heavy without buying a gigantic barbell rack for a range of weights. 

Quick stats:

  • Adjustment: Selector pin system that allows you to choose the color (corresponds to weight) that you want to lift very quickly
  • Maximum weight: The basic set goes up to 50 pounds but you can purchase extensions all the way up to 130 pounds for each hand
  • Increments: The PowerBlock Elite can be adjusted by as little as 2.5 pound increments so you can create more weight combinations. The classic PowerBlock is only adjustable in 5 pound increments.

Ironmaster Quick Lock Adjustable Dumbbells

best adjustable dumbbells
adjustable dumbbells reviews

Strength trainers, this one’s for you. The quick-lock design adjusts from 5 to 75 lbs in 2.5 increments; of course you have to manually add and remove weights, but the durability of this set makes up for it. 

If you want a heavier load, you can even get the 120 pound add on kit, which adds up to 45 pounds on each dumbbell for a total load of 120 pounds on each hand. 

Ironmaster's adjustable dumbbells boast “super heavy duty construction with welded steel, chrome plated handles.” They also have a limited lifetime warranty and are major space savers, taking up less than two square feet.

Another major perk for this set is that the bar is only as wide as the amount of weight you are using, so that helps to maintain pristine form. The weights do not shift or move around once they are tightened, and the design makes them feel balanced regardless of the amount of weight on them. These can even be dropped, given their sturdy construction.

The downside? Due to the time it takes to manually change plates, these are not the best option for those doing circuits and aerobic conditioning. But for strength training? They're the best adjustable dumbbells you can get your hands on. 

Oh, the Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells set also comes with a sleek stand to keep your dumbbells and weights on so that's an extra perk. ​

Quick stats:

  • Adjustment: Spin lock system that takes a little more time than a simple dial or selector pin adjustment system but is very secure - perfect for lifting
  • Maximum weight: The basic set goes up to 75 pounds but you can purchase an add on kit to take it all the way up to 120 pounds for each hand
  • Increments: Can be adjusted by as little as 2.5 pound increments so you can create more weight combinations

Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells

adjustable dumbbells reviews
best adjustable dumbbells

The Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dummbells (stand included) use a dial system and allows for adjustment from 4 to 45 pounds in 5 pound increments.

Despite using a dial system, the manufacturer uses a proprietary locking system for safe, sturdy workouts, and there is minimal shaking/jiggle when using the dumbbells. The stand that is included is very well-designed and makes changing the weights much easier.

Because these only go to 45 pounds, they are definitely better for those who are doing aerobic conditioning and light strength training. Another bonus is their cosmetic appeal: this is a really nice looking set that saves space.

Quick stats:

  • Adjustment: Dial system that allows quick and easy adjustment and also locks securely
  • Maximum weight: Goes up to 45 pounds
  • Increments: Can be adjusted in 5 pound increments

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells

best adjustable dumbbells
adjustable dumbbells reviews

The Bayou adjustable dumbbells go up to 50 pounds, in 5 pound increments, and it’s made with heavy-duty, chrome-plated steel.

This system uses a pin adjustment system in the form of a knob, so adjusting is quick and easy. All you do is move the adjustment knob to the desired weight. The overall design is an ultimate space saver, and is also aesthetically pleasing.

This adjustable dumbbell set also comes with its own stand, but it acts more like a weight cradle than a stand.

Similar to others, the quick adjustability makes it ideal for workouts that need a variety of weights which can be changed out fast. The downside is that the 50-pound capacity can be limiting if you’re looking to make some serious weight training gains.

Quick stats:

  • Adjustment: Selector pin system that allows you to move the knob to the desired weight quick and easy
  • Maximum weight: Goes up to 50 pounds
  • Increments: Can be adjusted in 5 pound increments

With the boom in demand and evolution of technology, you should have no issues finding the perfect adjustable dumbbell for your personalized home gym.

We always love to hear your feedback; which adjustable do you think is the best? How do you use it? Let us know if there’s a “diamond in the rough” that we missed in our product reviews, too! Happy lifting.

What’s the Best Balance Board? The Savvy Buyer’s Guide

Are you sick of doing endless repetitions of the same old exercises, day in and day out? Would you rather watch paint dry than spend hours and hours on the same jogging route? To be honest, if you use a treadmill regularly, you really can watch paint dry and workout at the same time, if you are so inclined.

However, if you want to change up your routine, try out a different workout, or improve your regular workout, I think we have the perfect thing for you - the balance board!

Of course, it’s not just for us regular Joes (and Janes) who want to stay healthy and to not look into the mirror and feel an immediate existential crisis.

If you’re a gym rat who loves having a great beach body, a star athlete who knows she can always outrun and outwork the competition or a guy who simply enjoys lifting heavy stuff and putting it down and who wants to keep doing it for years, the balance board is great for you too.

Here's why...

Benefits of Balance Boards

You get rockin' balance and coordination

Trying to get better at snowboarding, skateboaring, SUP, yoga, or surfing?

The balance board is hands down the best at home fitness equipment to help you improve your balance and coordination skills on the waves or snowy peaks. 

To use a balance board, you need to stand on the board which wobbles constantly and forces you to maintain stability. Now, this may sound both very simple in execution and in results, but this is far from the truth.

When you use a balance board, you need to use pretty much all the muscles in your body as well as your nervous system and your brain in order to steady yourself. By doing so, you're not only improving your sense of balance, but challenging your brain's proprioception to steadily improve your neuromuscular coordination and overall body awareness. 

The result? You balance like a ninja. You gain lightening speed reaction times. You get quicker, nimbler and more agile. And you grow more powerful and capable of exerting maximum effort when you need to. 

​You get a super strong core

Let’s take our friend who likes lifting heavy stuff and who scares little kids (which is a dreadful stereotype, we all know you’re a teddy bear of a man, really). Now, if you, for example, want to break your deadlift plateau, it’s not as simple as lifting more weights.

Yes, you do need strong legs and back, but you also know, very well in fact, that you need strong core and back muscles as well. When you stand on the balance board, you actually have to tighten your core...and keep it tight. This activation of all the muscles in your core helps you strengthen that area. And of course, the more you balance board, the harder your core becomes.

You can, of course, do thousands of sit-ups instead, be my guest. But that's just nowhere near as fun...

It's a source of healthy fun

You know that guilty feeling you get after watching more TV than you intended to? Well, you can wave bye bye to that feeling forever. 

When you get your first balance board, you'll quickly discover that life is a lot more fun when you're wobbling your way to improved balance and coordination...and you'll want to be on your balance board, like, all the time. ​Which means you can get a workout whenever you watch TV or an endless supply of YouTube videos. 

Your abs will thank you

Let’s take a moment to look at our bro, the gym rat. I know you look good, you know you look good, and, most important of all, the girls know you look good. But, why not look better, or research a way to help me (hmm, sorry, I meant others) look good too.

What do you think women find is the most attractive part of the male body? Nope, wrong, it’s the abs. The balance board is perfect for strengthening the abs. The obliques (or the side abs) and the v-line are hit directly by using the balance board. By maintaining balance, you hit your abdominal wall from every angle possible, making this the funnest way to sculpt the washboard stomach everyone dreams of. 

Achieve your fullest fitness potential

On to our judo girl. As long as you remember, you were always the star athlete. Your room is full of medals and trophies and, ok, let’s be honest, you kick ass. For any elite athlete, it’s all about that one percent, that one tiny little percentile that helps you achieve your fullest potential, and then achieve some more (the laws of physics and biology don’t mess with judo black belts).

The balance board helps greatly improve your reflexes, by improving your neuromuscular system, stability and hip mobility if you use it regularly. There is no exercise device that can promise you the same.

It's suitable for everyone

But wait...what about the rest of us, the people who are not so prone to fitness, or have not been so for a long time.

Balance boards will help you too.

By using a balance board for beginners (you'll soon find out which ones are perfect), even the most out of shape individual can see tremendous benefits. In just a few minutes of exercise every day, you will see the fat around your waist just disappear. It is also an excellent rehab and pre-hab tool. 

By this, I mean that you rehabilitate certain injuries (with the advice of a licensed medical practitioner), but also serves as something that keeps you out of the physical therapist's office. By using a balance board, you strengthen your core muscles, but also the muscles around your spine, helping to keep things flexible and strong.

By training these muscles regularly, you will greatly decrease the chance of developing any kind of back problems in later life. It will also vastly improve your posture and has the added benefit of strengthening your joints, as they are also needed for maintaining balance.

Balance boards are also perfect for children, as developing balance and stability at such a young age will do wonders for their motor skills now and when they get older. Plus, you won't need to convince kids to use it - it's fun enough they'll exercise on their own!

How to Choose the Best Balance Board for You

Now that you know all about the benefits of balance boards, you're probably curious which one you should get. Well, each type of balance board is different and it's important you choose the type that suits your specific needs. 

Let's find out a little more about the various types of balance boards, shall we?


The Rocker Board

The rocker board...rocks. As in, it only goes from side to side. As such, this is a balance board that's perfect for beginners. 

It’s a simple board, with a cylinder cut in half fixed onto said board. It’s perfect for people just starting to get back into shape after many years of inactivity (or just starting to get into shape after a lifetime of inactivity). It's also amazing for stretching out your calves.

It simple, it’s small and effective (but only for beginners, sorry judo girl, not for you).


The Wobble Board

This is the most popular and available type of balance board. As the name suggests, wobble boards...wobble. Not just in a back and forth motion, but it has a 360 degree rotation, making it more challenging.

The wobble board can be made more difficult (or easy) by adjusting the angles and/or changing the size of the ball underneath the disc. Thanks to the adjustments, a wobble board is suitable for all fitness levels: beginners to intermediate and beyond. 

The wobble board is also ideal for those looking for a fun alternative to physical therapy. The movements it allows are especially great for working out the feet, ankle and calves so if you have lower leg injuries - this is ideal!


The Roller Board

The roller board comes with a wooden board and a special cylinder. What makes it special? The cylinder is moves alongside the board, as it is not fixed underneath.

That makes things quite difficult since now, while you don’t move in all directions like the wobble board, you do go up and down and left and right, but also, you have to control the cylinder and the board, not just the board like the above two. 

Overall, the roller board is intermediate to advanced and best for active individuals who want to improve their board skills.


Bosu Ball

"Bosu" is actually an acronym of "both sides utilized" - which is exactly what you get from this funky looking half ball.

Yes, it's basically a ball cut in half and that's what make it unique. When you place it dome side up, it provides an unstable, dynamic surface while the device itself stays stable, allowing you to add a bit of challenge to various kinesthetic exercises. 

But that's not all - you can also flip it over and use it for balance, like you would with a wobble board. 

Overall, the Bosu ball's mix of balance and explosive kinesthetic exercises makes it perfect for both beginners and advanced athletes looking to add challenge to their regular workouts and improve balance while at it!


Best Balance Board Reviews

Let's dive into the meaty part now – these are the best balance boards on today's market, check 'em out!

BOSU Pro Balance Trainer

As you already know, this is the Bosu Pro Balance Trainer and it's pretty freakin' awesome. Its latex-free material is what makes it special, as it is very very durable and can withstand years of heavy working out and pressure (no judgment, just looking at you big guy). There's little chance of it bursting...even if you're "bigger." It can handle up to 350lbs, no problem.

It weighs a bit less than 19 pounds itself and comes with a DVD, an integrated Training Manual, and a hand pump. It also has a rubberized platform which prevents it from moving and shaking when you work out. The pump will help you increase the difficulty of your workout, by pumping or deflating the ball.

Another wonderful addition is the DVD and manual, which shows you all the different types of workouts and exercises you can do. There are a LOT, by the way, which is one of the best things about the Bosu trainer - it offers massive versatility in exercises. 

TheraBand Balance Rocker Board

Weighing at just one pound, this rocker board makes it easy to carry it with you anywhere you go. This way, you won’t have an excuse to not workout - or do your physical therapy - when you’re on vacation.

Very durable, made out of black molded plastic, the device gives you just one plane of instability at a time, helping you work your ankles, calves, knees while becoming better at navigating uneven ground.

This is very good for beginners, but also for people practicing a rehabilitation routine, especially for those with foot and ankle injuries. It’s very simple, but very effective and will bring you back in no time.

One of the most convenient things about this rocker board is that it's got a good grip on it so you can use it barefoot without slipping or sliding off. The downsides? It measures 13x14 which can accommodate most people but if you have a larger foot size, you'll want to get a larger rocker board. ​

Fitter First Pro Wobble Board

This is another balance that's great for physical therapy, but it's a wee bit different from the rocker board above. For starters, you can adjust the difficulty on this wobble board so it's great for beginners as well as more intermediate and advanced balancers.

The disc measures 16 inches in diameter and its angle can be adjusted from 15 to 17 and to 20 degrees with 15 being the easiest and 20 the most challenging. The adjustability makes it ideal for both rehabilitation needs as well as improving balance and core strength. 

Many athletes and fitness enthusiast get this specific brand to recover from lower leg injuries as well as to prevent further injury. By exercising regularly with this wobble board, you will without a doubt greatly strengthen your ankles and joints. Shouldn’t you do everything you can to save yourself from the possibility of an injury that may just take away your passion from you, in an instant?

Revolution 101 Balance Board Trainer

Revolution 101's roller board is something special, made from a highly durable laminated hardwood and covered with soft foam Soft-trak which grips and is comfortable with or without shoes. Think overall super smooth and very tough. All this keeps the rolling itself as fluid and free as you can get.

Oh, and the board has stoppers on the edges so you don't worry about it scratching your floors.

What makes this roller difficult is the fact that there are no grooves nor tracks on either the board nor the cylinder (or roller). You basically balance yourself on the board and the board on the roller. That's it - and it's a lot more difficult than it sounds but within a few hours of use,  you'll notice an improvement in your balance. Just imagine what you can do with regular use over a few months...

Anyway, this board is more intermediate and perfect for people who know they have good balance, but want to improve more, as well as get a harder workout. It's a great balance board for skateboarders, SUP-ers, snowboarders, and surfers!

Indo Board Balance Board

The Indo Board is probably one of the most popular balance boards in existence and the board of choice for SUP fanatics, skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers. 

It's no surprise why since this board, while pricey, is incredibly versatile. And that's what makes it excellent for intermediate and advanced users but also good for beginners. For example, when you're first starting out, you can begin perfecting your balance with the less challenging cushion and then move onto the roller as your balance and coordination improve.

More intermediate and advanced users can raise the balancing stakes higher by using the roller as a warm-up and then getting a real workout by balancing on the board with the cushion underneath. The cushion itself can also be set (instruction is given with the product) thus making it an even greater challenge for the most dedicated of users. Perfect for surfers and skateboarders and athletes who want to bring their game to the next level. You can improve your skateboarding and surfing at home, without strong weather and easy waves stopping you!

The Indo Board original training package includes a seriously sturdy board (it's uber durable and can take long years of use and abuse), an original roller, an IndoFlo cushion and an instructional DVD. The DVD has instructions and information on how to make the most out of your workout with the Indo Board package, while the other items give you more variety in your exercises.

The best part is the flexibility of the tools. While you can use the cylinder like you would the Revolution 101 trainer, the cushion makes it much harder. While it acts like a wobble board, it is not fixed, making it as challenging as you want it to be. 

Strong Board Balance Board

Last, but certainly not least, the StrongBoard Balance Board. Made out of two boards with four compression springs connecting them, this is a balance board in a class of its own.

What makes it so special? Every other balance board has a point of stabilization. This one doesn't. The springs make it impossible for you to find complete balance, which results in full body engagement and maximizes strengthening for your stabilizing muscles. 

Oh, and it doesn't get easier. You don't get "used to it."​ This balance board will give you as good of a workout on the 389th day you use it as it does on the 1st day. 

More perks? While other boards can slip under you and move from one part of the room to the next (looking at you, roller board) this one is always keeps you in one place...which definitely comes in handy when you're watching TV while mastering perfect balance.  

Overall, this balance board is challenging in the best ways and is best suited for athletic people who are in good shape - you'll definitely get the most out of your workouts with this one!

In case you're wondering, this balance board is sturdy as bricks and can support up to 500 lbs. It also comes with a 3-year warranty!

Tips on Using the Balance Board

  • Always check with a certified practitioner before attempting any exercise with a balance board, especially if you have a history of injuries or conditions that affect balance and coordination.
  • The balance board is a flexible and multifaceted tool. It can be incorporated into any workout or routine, as long as you have the right type. I honestly suggest just trying out all the possible exercise and routines you can do with your own kind of balance board.
  • The center of gravity in your body is in your hips, for women, and waist, for men. However, you can change that, and in turn where you feel the greatest burn, by simply bending your knees. This will also make it a better workout for your legs.
  • Remember to keep your gaze forward when using a balance board - it'll help improve your balance and posture.
  • Take into account that for each of these boards, you need to look at the angle. The higher the angle, the more difficult it is to use.
  • And the last tip for today, the balance board is just perfect for skaters. It builds every muscle and element you need to be the best skater you can be. You’ll be a totally radical and groovy cat on your skateB in no time (this is how young people talk, right?

Best Inversion Chair Reviews and Benefits

Inversion therapy is beneficial for everyone, but the best way to get upside down is definitely not one-size-fits-all. Whereas some people can pop into a handstand and hold it for minutes at a time, most of us need a little assistance to put our feet above our heart.

Lucky for the rest of us, there are several ways you can get the benefits of inversion therapy but the most popular and well known method is with an inversion table that gently tilts you into an upside down position.

But as popular as the inversion table may be, it is not the holy grail of inversion. As with most things in life, it comes with both advantages and drawbacks, particularly its tendency to put pressure on the ankles. 

For many of us with injury-prone and -recovering ankles, a safer alternative to the inversion table is the inversion chair.

As plainly stated in the name, the inversion chair includes a seat for users to easily get in and out, whereas the table is a long, flat product that only allows for lying down. Aside from that obvious difference, the chair offers some very specific and important benefits, when doing a side-by-side comparison with a table...

Inversion Table vs Inversion Chair: Which One is Better?

Honestly, both the inversion table and the seated inversion chair have their benefits and drawbacks. So it's not really a matter of which one is better, per se - it's more about which one is better for you.

By going over some of the specific benefits of inversion chairs, you can get an idea of whether this might be a better alternative for you over the traditional inversion table. Here goes!​

  • Pressure on ankles

The most discussed and immediate red flag for inversion tables is how the user is held in by the ankles being strapped to the table. This creates an anchor point at the ankles, which are small joints that are not meant to be used for stability in this way.

Table users often complain of foot, ankle, knee, and hip pain, due to the excess load put on the ankles. If your joints are already compromised from injury, it can be especially strenuous to use the ankle-strapping mechanism of the table.

Because you do not have to be fully anchored in to a chair, you get to avoid placing this stress on any of the joints in the lower body. It is especially interesting and important to consider is how the ankles, knees, and hips are all interdependent; each of these joints needs to be healthy and strong in order for the others to work properly.

So, if you are in rehabilitation for an injury or suffer from other joint issues, then a chair is definitely a better choice for you.

  • Range of motion

Additionally, an inversion table requires full range of motion in the spine to be able to bend down and use the ankle straps on the table in the first place. This means if you have acute back pain or spine conditions that prevent full mobility, then you will be better suited to use an inversion chair.

It is also less difficult to move into the inverted position from the chair, as it’s a simple swinging motion that nearly anyone can perform - even those recovering from injuries.

  • Allows torso more movement

An additional standout benefit of the inversion chair is how it allows the user to move the torso more easily. Because of this versatility, you can actually do small twists and stretches during your inversion therapy session that would not otherwise be available, due to the constricting position of completely vertical inversion (as on a table).

Some chairs also allow for abdominal workouts, so this may be an important feature for you to explore if that’s of interest to you. The bottom line is that if you’re looking to engage in additional back or core stretches, a chair is much better suited for you.

  • Adjustable inversion levels

Finally, there is much to be said about being able to invert in adjustable intervals, instead of going completely upside down (feet over head) when you want to do inversion therapy. Many chairs are adjustable in their range of inversion, and they allow the user to go just to the point of their own comfort zone and work their way beyond that.

While this definitely provides physical benefits, it may also provide mental benefits as it can feel more relaxing to know that you are totally in control of your experience. When you feel more mentally relaxed, you avoid the detriment that stress causes to the body.

What is the Best Inversion Chair?

Because of the versatility in the construction of inversion chairs, certain chairs have more appealing options or benefits, depending on how an individual needs to use the chair.

To give you a better idea of the best inversion chair for you and your unique needs, we've put together reviews on the best ones on the market!

Stamina In Line Inversion Chair

Best inversion chair for physical therapy and rehabilitation

inversion therapy without table
inversion chairs
inversion chairs
inversion chair

This chair is definitely made for comfort, ease of use, and peace of mind. Getting on and off the chair is very simple, thanks to its cushioned upholstery and padded handlebars that make sitting and maneuvering yourself in the chair relaxing and easy; this alone makes it ideal for users with limited mobility.

It also is a very customizable option, as you can actually control the degree of your inversion by adjusting the nylon inversion-angle adjustment strap underneath the seat. This means that you never have to exceed your comfort zone and can choose the position that feels best for you, but it also means that you have a machine that will grow with you.

For example, if you start using inversion therapy because of severe back pain but find that it improves after several sessions, then you can begin going deeper in your inversions to continue challenging the body to its maximum potential.

The Stamina is also unique in that it provides several safety mechanisms to give users the ultimate mental comfort, as going upside down is very scary for many people.

After you sit down, your lower calf and ankle are secured by the push-button ratcheting leg lock system, that also has foam-padded supports for comfort. This is the locking mechanism that will hold your body weight, but the chair is further equipped with a lap belt to provide another degree of safety. It is constructed from heavy-duty steel, so this chair is definitely durable and sturdy.

The skid-resistant rubber floor protectors put the finishing touches on stability, as they are guaranteed to keep the chair safely glued to the floor. It is also easy to assemble upon delivery. Read all user reviews!

Health Mark Pro Inversion Chair

Best inversion chair for weak joints (and ab workouts)

inversion chair
inversion chairs
inversion chair
inversion therapy without table

The Health Mark Core Inversion Chair was specifically created for those who suffer from weak ankles, knees, and hips, as it is uniquely designed to allow for invert at an angle of up to 70 degrees in the ergonomically correct position (knees above the hip flexors), but there is an adjustability option for users to invert at various angles.

The manufacturers truly created this chair with in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of the human body, as each inversion angle available results in a position that provides maximally effective, gravity-assisted traction at the lower lumbar region, without the need to be totally upside down (as on a table).

Additionally, showcasing the comfort of this chair, it comes equipped with a padded chair that has an adjustable back rest, and padded rolled leg support that gives extra cushion to support the joints (especially the knees). Because of its design, this is one of the better chairs for those who want to perform ab workouts, as you can easily perform such exercises as inverted crunches, inverted oblique crunches, reverse v-ups, reverse oblique v-ups, and Russian twists.

The HealthMark chair is constructed from heavy gauge, tubular steel, and finished with durable powder coating, so it feels safe and secure for users. This chair is easy to assemble and folds for the most compact storage available.

It also has the option to stay in the chair position even when inverted, which makes it a great option for those who have severe pain, injuries, or limited range of motion. It also has a seat belt for added safety, and it can hold up to 300 pounds of user weight. Read all user reviews!

Body Power Seated Deluxe Inversion Chair

Most affordable inversion chair

inversion therapy without table
inversion therapy without table
inversion chairs
inversion chair

Another highly versatile option, this BodyPower chair is customizable for degree of inversion as well as user height. It is aesthetically pleasing, with a sleek, modern design. The design also provides high amounts of comfort and security, as it is foam padded and includes both a safety bar and a lap belt.

The weight capacity is set at a comfortable 300 pounds, making it a great option for a wide variety of people. It is important to note that the chair “disappears” into a flat surface once inverted, so it may not be the best option for those who have limited mobility. This can be useful if you want to perform ab exercises, however.

One slight drawback is that this chair takes up a lot of space, but it does fold for easier storage. However, it is very heavy, so folding it can be difficult. It’s best suited for those who have plenty of space and don’t need to move it around once it is set up. Read all user reviews!

As with any other fitness equipment, you should begin using the inversion chair at a gradual pace. Especially for those who may suffer from back spasms, or those who have not inverted in several years, beginning with two minutes once a day is plenty of time to begin feeling a difference in your back.

Once that feels comfortable, then you can move up to five to ten minute time intervals. Eventually, you can certainly work your way up to 20 minute intervals of use as well as greater frequency, but be sure to monitor your body and how it reacts as you go.

Good luck, and enjoy the new perspective that the chair provides!