It’s that time again! As we do every year, we wanted to let you know what the Top 10 Fitness Gifts are for this holiday season. With an endless amount of ineffective fitness products and equipment on the market you’ll need a checklist that will point you in the right direction to ensure you’re not throwing away your hard earned cash.
The list below includes some of the most affordable, low maintenance, and user friendly fitness products and tools on the market. Only a few of our previous recommendations made the list from last year, the rest are new recommendations based on what we’ve seen in 2016. We even went as far to tell you which friends would benefit from each fitness gift 🙂
#10 Parallette Bars
The days of training “abs” by doing endless backbreaking crunches should hopefully be nearing the end. One of our favorite ways to train abs at Fuse is on the parallettes. These bars allow you to perform one of the greatest abdominal exercises on the planet, which is the L-Sit. When performing your ab work on the parallette bars you’ll also get an AMAZING upper body workout as well. While it’s rare see a Pittsburgh personal trainer using this tool don’t let that turn you away, this is an amazing tool! If you do a quick search for “parallette bars” on Amazon you’ll see options from $30 and up.
Parallette Bars are for friends who are serious about fitness. Training on the parallette bars take a lot of practice and patience to master which most beginners lack in the early stages of their fitness journey.
Walking is something we all do in our day-to-day life as we walk the dog, walk the kids to school, etc. Walking is an excellent exercise that can be progressed like any other movement. To turn your everyday walking into a full-blown workout you simply add weight as you would with anything else. Rucksacks, which are basically well made backpacks that hold weight, allow you to add weight to something you already do every day making it an excellent training tool. Rucksacks are the ultimate fitness hack since technically you don’t need to find extra time to train since you simply add it to your day-to-day activities.
Rucksacks are perfect for all fitness levels, especially those who already walk a lot. We love the rucksacks at GoRuck.com since they’re guaranteed for life. Sure, you’ll pay more initially but you’ll have a great training tool that will last a lifetime.
#8 Going Old School…Jump Rope and Medicine Ball
The jump rope and medicine ball are two classics. While the jump rope and medicine ball have not made our previous top 10 lists we’ve decided to recommend both the jump rope and medicine ball for 2017 to get people on their feet again. With the current trends leaning towards seated conditioning exercises (row, spin, etc.) we strongly encourage you get back on your feet to train in 2017. Sure, at Fuse we use both bikes and rowers but it’s normally a very small part of our conditioning program. If your friend (or YOU) want to get fit in 2017 you’ll need to learn how to move like an athlete which typically happens when you’re off a machine and on your two feet.
The medicine ball and jump rope are perfect gifts for a friend of any fitness level who is at least moderately serious about training in 2017. You can find a decent jump rope and medicine ball just about anywhere, including South Hill’s Dick’s Sporting Goods.
#7 Fitness Clothing
Fitness based clothing brands continue to grow with endless streams of styles and options. Some of the classic brands include Lululemon, Athleta, Under Armor, Reebok, Adidas and Nike. If you’re on a tight budget, check out some of the less expensive brands like Champion, Old Navy, H&M Sport and even Target brands.
New training clothes are great for any man or woman who loves to add a little style to their workout. That said, be sure to take a close look at them after their next workout. If they leave the gym with an old Steelers t-shirt and sweatpants chances are they’re not interested in the brands listed above.
#6 Minimalist Training Shoes
Minimalist shoes will give you the edge during your strength based workouts since they allow your feet to be closer to the ground giving you greater control and stability, which is key! There are tons of good options but we often buy New Balance Minimalist or Inov-8 as our preferred training shoes. Do a quick Google search for these brands and you’ll see they come in many different sizes, styles and colors.
Minimalist shoes are perfect for someone who has already started a strength and conditioning training program and would like to enhance their overall training experience by improving their footwear.
#5 Suspension Trainers
Suspension trainers are great for quick workouts on the go. Why? Well, they only weigh a few pounds and take up as much space as a folded pair of jeans in your suitcase. In addition, they can be suspended from a door or just about any other elevated and stable spot found outdoors. We’ve found that the “WOSS 3000 Equalizer Trainer” is the cheapest option for suspension trainers. They are not a popular name brand and may not be as well designed as gymnastic rings or TRXs but for under $40 you can’t beat it for a quick and affordable stocking stuffer. Go to amazon and do a quick search for them!
Suspension trainers are great if you have a friend who enjoys working out but has to travel often. This mini gym in a bag gives you dozens of exercises that range from beginner to advanced.
As mentioned above, we believe people in 2017 need to move AWAY from machines to learn higher level conditioning exercises like the vertical jump, sprinting and many others. While higher level exercises take longer to learn we can ensure you there’s a much greater return in regards to results. That said, if your friend is not willing to learn higher level exercises than we’d recommend the SkiErg. We have 7 SkiErgs at Fuse and they’re hands down our favorite machine, which says a lot since we removed nearly all machines from our training programs almost a decade ago. Of course after we removed the machines the results sky rocketed but that’s another blog…
The price tag on this gift is far less than most treadmills and ellipticals but far more than the other products listed here. This machine is perfect for the person who can no longer perform higher level activities (jumping, sprinting, etc.) due to health related issues (arthritis, injury, etc.). Visit Concept2.com for more details on this unit.
For your fit friends who want a portable tool that can challenge them, sandbags may be a great option. Sandbags are unique in the sense that the sand in the bag shifts as you use it making an 80lb sandbag feel more like 200lbs. You can find great sandbags at UltimateSandBagTraining.com.
We are only recommending sandbags for those who are already fit and motivated. We’ve found most beginners don’t like them since the shifting of weight makes learning the exercises slightly more challenging.
The kettlebell is one of our favorite tools at Fuse Fitness Studio. Most of the Fuse trainers have one or two kettlebells in the backseat of their SUV since it makes for the near perfect workout anywhere. There are not many tools that are as portable and as effective as kettlebells. The only downside is your friend will need someone to teach them how to properly use them to ensure they are safe.
A kettlebell is the perfect gift for that friend who is highly motivated and ready to learn. If you really want to invest in this special someone, hire a trainer that is certified through the StrongFirst organization to teach them how to use their new kettlebell, correctly.
#1 Professional Coaching
For most people, professional coaching is nearly mandatory to ensure they are getting the most out of their training. Sure, a $39 a month gym membership may sound great but it should be avoided for most of the population. Having access to great equipment without understanding how to design a great fitness program is rarely effective.
And because we love Christmas, we’re going to help share the love this holiday season. The Fuse team has decided to give away a $100 Fuse gift card to the first five people who contact us at info@FuseFitnessStudio.com.
This $100 gift card is the perfect gift for any friend who is interested in looking and feeling better in 2017. We’re giving these gifts out to people that have never attended Fuse before since we want to make sure we’re spreading the love this holiday season…
Don’t wait, email the Fuse team at info@FuseFitnessStudio.com now to get your free $100 gift card. Again, we can only give 5 away since space is limited at the studio.