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Healthy Living Blog

Information and inspiration to help you make a habit out of living healthy.


Our Instructors' Favorite Fitness Equipment

Monday, April 01, 2019


While some of our Group Exercise classes require just your enthusiasm and willingness to participate—you’ll also find classes that make use of easy fitness equipment, like Boot Camp and POUND. We polled our instructors to learn more about their favorite pieces of wellness equipment. Next time you’re not sure what to choose—opt for one of these instructor-approved options:

“A squat rack. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s very versatile.” –Barry Septer (GRIT Series)

“BOSU balls, medicine balls, pilates ball, steps, TRX bands, free weights, kettlebells…literally anything.” –Mariann Karatsonyi (Boot Camp)

“I like to use both free and mechanical weights.” –Evelyn Wilson (Dance Blast, Zumba)

Lingo Check:

What's the difference between all those exercise balls? A BOSU has a flat, plastic base and is great for improving balance. Pilates balls come in different sizes and are used to tone specific areas of the body. The larger version of a Pilates ball is called a "stability ball," and it's the one you'd likely think of when you hear "exercise ball." It's also referred to as a "resist-a-ball." Think crunches, bouncing, or improving your posture at work (really!). Medicine balls are small to medium-size weighted balls that you would use in place of free weights.

“I’m pretty basic, but I love [to be on the] treadmill with ear buds rocking to some good, upbeat tunes. I also love working out with kettlebells and TRX bands. A body is built to move, so whatever gets me up and moving is my favorite at that time. l just love staying mentally and physically healthy and strong!” –Wynedka Palmer (SPRINT, CXWORX, BODYPUMP)

“The stair climber, dumbbells, and a yoga mat!” –Valerie Fowler (Just Weights, Circuit Blast, Cycling, Sculpt/Core Fusion)

Hand weights are my favorite equipment because they are so versatile.” –Wendy Allen (Cycling, Barre Above)

“I like resist-a-balls, bands, free weights and cycling bikes—a great tool for challenging, multi-level heart conditioning all in one inspiring class!” ­–Audrea Webb (Cycle/Barre Fusion, Cycling, Basic Step/Interval Fusion, Abs Express, Just Weights)

Lingo Check:

Free weights and dumbbells usually refer to the weights that you can pick up off the rack for your workout. Some are colorful and rubberized, while others have a metal bar and black, rubberized sides. Kettlebells, on the other hand, have a weighted round base and a central handle.

“I have never met a piece of fitness equipment that I didn’t like! My most recent personal workouts have been centered around a 45-pound sandbag and a few different-size tires. Tossing and slamming heavy objects can be very cathartic.” –Mary Evelyn Henderson (Boot Camp, Family Yoga)

Think heavy weights are just for men? We're here to debunk that myth:

Become a pro in no time

If you're not sure how to use a kettlebell, TRX band, squat rack, or any of the other awesome fitness equipment that our instructors recommend— sign up for a free equipment orientation. Our staff is ready and willing to get you on the right track with every piece of equipment on our wellness floor. You'll soon be ready to tackle our Full-Body Resistance Band Routine or Medicine Ball Boot Camp all on your own!

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Association Office
1000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37203
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