It can be easy to get drawn to some of the short lived trends and fads that appear each year in the fitness industry. However style of training going on in functional gyms and CrossFit boxes all over the world has meant that some items have solidified their place in the starting IX of any new functional training facility. These are our Top 6 - Essential Functional Gym Equipment items.
1. Concept2 Rower
The Concept2 rower or (ergometer) is a favourite for circuit training, metabolic conditioning and CrossFit workouts for a number of reasons. Here are just a few;
- It’s a full body movement that works lots of muscle groups.
- It’s fast; just a few minutes of hard rowing can be really intense and can raise the heart rate quickly often, burning more calories than running or cycling.
- It’s low impact. Saves unnecessary impact on joints in a training environment where the chances are the rest of your workout is made up of heavy lifts and explosive bodyweight exercises.
- It builds both strength and endurance because resistance is relative to the force with which you pull.
- The Concept2 rowing machine is the choice of elite rowers. It replicates the real movements accurately and performs well when used over time.
- It’s great value. When you compare the industry leading Concept2 with the premium treadmills, bikes and cross trainers on the market you realise that rowing machines offer by far the best value.
2. Star Trac Turbo Trainer
The only cardio machine that is becoming as popular as the Concept2 rower in CrossFit and functional metcon environments is the isokinetic air bike or airdyne. The new Turbo Trainer from Star Trac Fitness is an exceptional choice for any commercial gym.
- Air resistance bikes are perfect for interval sessions where CV work is done in short high intensity bursts.
- Utilises more muscle groups than traditional cycling due to the dynamic hand positions.
- Resistance changes linked to your exertion, so you can slip in and out of intervals quickly without fiddling with buttons or knobs.
- High intensity training on this machine will burn calories quickly meaning it fits perfectly into WODs and short circults.
3. Specialist Premium Floor Tiles
Protection for your equipment is crucial when Olympic lifts and heavy weights exercises make up part of your the training going on in your facility. The most common type of flooring in functional training gyms and boxes is horse stall matting, the main reason for this being price. However, although horse mats are cheap, easy to install and protect the sub-floor, they are usually too dense to properly protect your equipment. That’s why we recommend specialist premium fitness floor tiles.
- Their highly durable, dual-durometer design means that the upper layer provides firmer footing, is easy to clean and holds it’s shape well while the lower layer provides more impact absorption, noise reduction etc.
- Easily installed and are a cost effective choice for when a tough, sound deadening, anti-vibration and comfortable tile surface is preferred.
- Supplied as standard with flecked colours however custom logos, functional zone markings and lines can be in-laid in the upper layer as well.
4. Dynamax Soft Med Balls
Wall ball exercises are another huge favourite in the world of CrossFit and functional training. They combine two Olympic movements under a light load while requiring use of coordination and explosive power. What isn’t to love?
- The Dynamax soft medicine ball is the perfect piece of equipment for this exercise at around 37cm diameter.
- Great durability combined with easy clean surfaces meaning this medicine ball lasts a long time and stays in great condition.
- Designed with strong seams and stitching to withstand being used rigorously and regularly.
- Pliant surface for added grip when performing throws and wall ball exercises during circuits.
5. Origin Bumper Plates
Origin Bumper Plates are an essential for all functional training and CrossFit gyms. Olympic and compound lifting movements make up a huge part of this training philosophy, so having enough quality equipment to ensure that all your members can be working with the appropriate loads is key. Bumper plates are a piece of equipment that will be used regularly and aggressively. Weights will be dropped from overhead and the best way to ensure that they don’t need replaced is to buy quality rubber bumpers along with the appropriate flooring.
- The steel inner ring allows plates to slide on and off bars effortlessly and helps to protect the plates and bars.
- Disperses force of impact through all plates minimising bounce and creating a safer gym environment.
- Reduces risk to floor, plates and bars.
6. Origin Cast Kettlebells
Kettlebell work is a well established part of many people’s functional training programmes and is incorporated into WODs all around the world every day. Kettlebells are a strong favourite because they allow you to perform a variety of dynamic strength training movements but offer an increased challenge in being more difficult to grip and handle than dumbbells and barbells.
Kettlebell exercises force you to use more stabilizer muscles and work these muscles through a larger range of motion.
- Origin cast kettlebells are solid iron and evenly balanced for smooth swinging motions.
- The handles are spacious, allowing a strong grip during exercises.