Top 10 Home Workouts for 2011

Everyone wants to be healthy and in shape but some of us just don’t want to leave the house to make that happen. Thankfully, that’s not a problem because there are countless home workout solutions to choose from. We’ve weeded through the clutter to compile a list of the top 10 home workout products that will actually improve your physique and get you feeling great. Never pay another gym fee again!

10)  Wii Fit Plus by Nintendo

The body-sculpting benefits of the Wii Fit are nothing to rave about but the fun factor puts it on the list.  This is the exercise for people who hate exercise.  You will spend time burning calories and trying to achieve new goals without even realizing that you’re breaking a sweat.  Wii Fit also provides helpful feedback about your performance.  However, the lasting appeal is quite weak and it will get repetitive and boring after a just a few workouts.  Moreover, the balance board used for the workouts is not perfected and often has glitches during workouts.  The Wii Fit Plus Bundle will run you $89.99.  A final note- if you are on the heavy side (250lbs+), then this system is NOT for you.  The balance board WILL break and you WILL risk injury!

9) Travel Hoop by Hoopnoitca

Workouts with this weighted hula hoop will burn up to 600 calories per hour and increase core strength.  It also packs easily for travel.  At $38.99, it is a good fitness accessory to have around the house.  This As Seen on TV product has a way of being advertised as the greatest thing to ever happen to fitness.  Don’t fall for their gimmicks.  While it is a decent product, the quality and construction leaves much to be desired.  The hoop makes a terrible creaking sound while hooping that will drive some users nuts.  It is made of cheap plastic and is known to snap and fall apart after heavy use.

8) Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym

In terms of large space-consuming workout machines, the Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym is the best.  It allows users to perform 95 exercises and pretty much eliminates the need for a gym membership.  This home gym offers 310 lbs of resistance and the thing really works.  However, the downsides here are significant.  It sports a hefty price tag of over $2000 and will take up an area of your house that is about 10 x 7 feet.  The system is difficult to assemble but worth the effort.  In the end, it is very difficult to justify the price tag when a $100/month gym membership will most likely get you better results.

7) Shake Weight by Fitness IQ

Sure, the shake weight suffers from the humiliation and ridicule of nonstop jokes and sexual innuendos but at its core, it is an ultraportable workout tool that utilizes an effective motion for toning the arms, chest and shoulders.  At $29.95, the Shake Weight is reasonably priced and gives you a decent upper body workout.  You will actually feel the burn with this product.  Nonetheless, it is very limited in the muscle groups it targets and certainly will not be replacing your gym membership.  Many users have reported that the Shake Weight is the only product that was able to successfully tone their flabby arms.  Then again, they could have gotten similar results by intensely shaking a bottle of water.

6) Dual Ab Wheel by Valeo

This product is great for targeting the abs.  As a bonus, you’re also working your shoulders, arms, and back as secondary muscles.  It has a good grip for comfortable hand support and it can certainly get you that six-pack you’ve always wanted.  We would rank this higher on the list except that the design is slightly flawed and the movement causes back ache and discomfort after heavy use.  It is a certainly not a total home gym on its own but at $9.95, the ab wheel is a nice little addition to your existing home gym.

5) Perfect Pushup by Perfect Fitness

This is one of those products that you can’t believe wasn’t thought of sooner.  It revolutionizes one of the most basic workouts known to man- the pushup.  It is better than a regular pushup because it successfully reduces strain on wrists and elbows while stabilizing the shoulder joints.  This is a “must have” fitness product for chest workouts.  However, we cannot rank it better because it is overpriced at $54.98 and only allows you to target a very limited area of the body.

4) SelectTech 552 Dumbbells by Bowflex

Although this product still does not function as well as it should, we had to rank it high simply for the impressive ingenuity displayed here.  Instead of having dozens of dumbbells lining up against your walls, costing you a fortune and taking up space, you can now have just one adjustable dumbbell set by Bowflex. The system costs $330 and easily adjusts the weight of your dumbbell between 5 and 52.5 pounds.  The concept is incredible but the actual design needs some work.  There have been injuries reported due to weights falling off the dumbbells so be careful if you go with this product.

3) Iron Gym by Pro Fit

This is another product that we cannot believe wasn’t invented sooner.  It is a pull bar that easily attaches and detaches to and from any door in your house in a second.  It also doubles as a pushup stand and triples as a tool for crunches.  Personally, I view the crunches part is a sales gimmick but it the Iron Gym is indeed excellent for targeting the chest, back, and arms.  It is a simple tool but very effective at sculpting the upper body.  At $29.90, this is another must-have home workout tool.

2) P90X by Beach Body

This is the most popular fitness product of our time and rightfully so.  It is a set of 13 DVDs, a nutrition guide, and an exercise planner and it WORKS!  Thousands of people have experienced unbelievable transformations to their bodies after completing the 90 days fitness workout.  These workouts are not for the weak and they will kick your butt.  If you follow the course, you will develop a lean and sculpted physique quickly.  This requires hard work and dedication on your part and there is certainly no shortcut here.  The downside here is the price of $139.80 and that does not even include all the tools you need to follow along, such as weights, a pull up bar, a gym mat and resistance bands.  Furthermore, many users find the host of the series, Tony Horton, to be absolutely self-absorbed and obnoxious and but I personally dig his style.

1) Resistance Bands Set by Aylio

Yes, resistance bands.  You may be surprised by how a simple set of elastics can make it to the top of our 2011 home workouts list but this product is truly a complete home gym in a little blue pouch. These resistance bands use high quality metal clips that attach to the handles, allowing users to perform full-body workouts with between one and five bands simultaneously.  You can go as light as 7 pounds of resistance or bring it up all the way to 101 pounds.  This means the system is ideal for users at all fitness levels.  The set also includes ankle straps for leg workouts and a door anchor that can be placed at the top, side, or bottom of any door to recreate over 100 gym exercises.  All exercises are shown in detail within the included Aylio instructional manual and DVD.  These unique clip-on bands boast a lifetime warranty and allow you to perform all the same resistance exercises as the $2000 Bowflex machine, except at 2% of the cost and 2% of the space consumed in your home!  Aylio resistance band sets start at $39.99 for the basic set and go up to $69.99 for the ultimate.

Michael Waltin is a resistance training specialist, focusing on home exercise techniques using exercise bands.

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Posted by on December 29, 2010. Filed under Health, Self Help, Shopping, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.