These are a Few of my Favorite Things
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three fitness props would you want to have with you?
My top three favorite exercise equipment would be a jump rope, resistance band and BOSU ball.
I am an old-school kind of girl; I find the simpler the prop and the movement, the more connected I am with my body, which allows me to concentrate on proper form.
Ah, the jump rope. Cue memories of double Dutch during recess and P.E. class. When it comes to cardio, jumping rope is one of the best things you can do. It's a full body workout. It will tone your arms, back, core, legs and calves and increase your heart rate, which in turn increases your metabolism.
The beauty of jumping rope is that – even if you aren't good at it – you get the same workout. You can repeatedly trip over the rope, but I guarantee you that your heart rate will elevate and you'll be having fun. One of my favorite things to witness as a teacher is when my students say, "Oh, I can't jump rope. I'm not coordinated enough." Then they try it, trip a few times, drop the rope handles accidently, but eventually they get the hang of it!
I love the diversity of the resistance band. You can do so many things with it, so you never get bored. Plus, you can take it anywhere because it's small and light weight.
I like to have my cross training class use them for biceps curls, triceps overhead press, rows, leg lifts, chest press, flies, squats and stretches. I also prefer a light resistance band so I can get a long range of motion, which lengthens the muscles more. If you're focused on building size, I suggest a heavier resistance band.
The BOSU disk is my absolute favorite toy to use in class because it puts my students through a kick-butt workout, and it incorporates balance training. BOSU stands for both sides up. It isolates every muscle in your body, while focusing on your balance and core. I love the blue squishy side for the constant balance challenge of staying on it, but the flat side is fun too because you feel like you are surfing.
You will be amazed at how quickly the BOSU can be mastered! Many of my students feel the same way about this prop as they do about the jump rope; they worry about losing balance and falling off. Sure, they might fall once or twice, but they get right back up. I believe it isn't about staying on it and doing it perfectly but rather it is about falling off with grace, releasing judgment and getting right back on.
The versatility of the BOSU means most exercises can be done with either side of the BOSU facing upward, and that's the fun of it!