How do I Choose the Best Exercise Equipment?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Choosing the best exercise equipment means choosing equipment that will help achieve one's fitness goals. Someone looking to build muscle might look into purchasing a set of weights or resistance equipment that can be used to tone and build muscle. A person who is interested in slimming down might do well to purchase step aerobic exercise equipment or an exercise bike. It is also important to choose exercise equipment that allows one to perform exercises that one finds enjoyable. Another important consideration is space, so be sure to measure the area where the exercise equipment is meant to fit and compare that with the dimensions of the equipment before making a purchase.

Exercise pants.
Exercise pants.

It is also important to consider whether the equipment should target one part of the body or offer a workout that works multiple muscle groups. A Pilates machine can be used to exercise and train many different parts of the body. A stair climber, on the other hand, targets areas in the lower body such as the legs and glutes.

Gyms will have a variety of machines that people can use to exercise.
Gyms will have a variety of machines that people can use to exercise.

A great way to choose exercise equipment is to test out a number of models. Try out different kinds of equipment whenever possible. Those who already belong to a gym are in luck as they will have a number of types of equipment to test out. For those who don't belong to a gym, consider asking a friend who belongs to a gym if it is possible to visit as a guest. Also, when traveling, be sure to find out whether the hotel where one is staying has a gym.

Try asking a friend at the gym about the best exercise equipment.
Try asking a friend at the gym about the best exercise equipment.

Armed with information, it will be much easier to make a choice between different kinds of exercise equipment. Those who are taking exercise classes such as kick boxing or spinning should also ask their instructors for recommendations about equipment. Instructors and trainers work with exercise equipment on a daily basis and are generally very knowledgeable about different manufacturers and models. Another option is to lease equipment for a short period of time to test it out before making a purchase.

Cycling is an effective way to tone leg muscles and burn calories.
Cycling is an effective way to tone leg muscles and burn calories.

For those who are looking to purchase exercise equipment on a budget, consider purchasing second-hand equipment or refurbished equipment. As long as it is still in relatively good condition, this can be a great way to purchase exercise equipment at a deep discount. Just be sure that the equipment is still in good working condition and that it can be used safely.

Step benches, which are used to do step aerobics, often come with risers that allow the user to adjust the intensity level of a step routine by raising the height of the step bench.
Step benches, which are used to do step aerobics, often come with risers that allow the user to adjust the intensity level of a step routine by raising the height of the step bench.
Leg extension machines allow users to exercise their quadriceps, or thigh muscles.
Leg extension machines allow users to exercise their quadriceps, or thigh muscles.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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