5 Gym Exercises You Aren’t Doing But Should

Gym equipment

Imagine if you were to pay a mechanic $50 a month to use their shop and all the tools inside. If you were looking for a space to fix or fine tune your car whenever you wanted and need a space where A) you could bring your car to work on and B) it had all the tools to accomplish what you wanted, that would be a DREAM!

But what if you didn’t know how to use those tools? That dream scenario can morph into a frustrating nightmare, causing all motivation to work on your car to fade to black…

Sound familiar?

In order to stop motivation from waning, I’ve devised a list of the top 5 machines/items you AREN’T using, why you should start, and how to do so! The list is in no particular order since the importance of each of these for your body will be different for everybody.

With each item, I’ve included an exercise to try out when you’re at the gym next! If you’re feeling REALLY daring, try implementing TABABTA style training on any of these!

For proper instruction on how to perform each exercise, simply click on the link to watch a video.

5. Back Extension Machine

Male performing back extension exercise in a gym setting

Chronic back pain is about as common as heat in Texas nowadays, yet what most people who suffer from it DON’T know is that to help get rid of it, you’ve got to work it! Among the plethora of reasons for chronic back pain, the muscles in and around your lower back not being strong enough to handle day-to-day activities is one of them. Becoming acquainted with this machine will help with that!

4. Cable Adduction Foot Strap or Machine

Male performing cable adduction exercise in a gym setting

Most gyms have either the strap to hook up to the cables or the machine itself. Your hip socket areas are one of two ball socket joint workings that your body has. So, it makes sense to keep them strong! Throwing this exercise in on a leg day will not only be the cherry on top to an excellent workout, but help aid in balance and proper body functioning.

3. BOSU (Squats)

Women performing short stance squat on a BOSU ball

The BOSU seems to be high on the favorites list for a lot of trainers (myself included), yet it is not often used by the average gym goer! It’s an excellent way to up the ante of any standing exercise you’re doing.

The BOSU squat is essentially your standard squat, only now your strengthening the infrastructure of your ankles, knees, and hips while working on your balance like it ain’t no thang!

2. Stability Ball (Jack Knife)

Woman performing an ab exercise on a stability ball

The stability ball is similar to the BOSU in that you can upgrade almost any seated or lying down exercise by using this bad boy. It forces your body to simultaneously balance and lift at the same time, as well as be ergonomically sound (aka comfortable and good for you).

To do a Jack Knife on a stability ball, it takes all of that hand information above, then forces you to do a crunch with it! This exercise is excellent for elongating your torso and strengthening your core.

1. Medicine Ball (Front Raises)

Male holding a medicine ball out directly from his shoulders

The medicine ball can be used to do just about anything… From acting as imbalanced handles while you do push-ups, to adding weight while activating your core while doing squats. They are simple, found everywhere, yet fall into the same category as the BOSU, a trainer favorite.

Doing front raises with a medicine ball works the OTHER ball socket joint area… your shoulders! It will strengthen your rotator cuffs, pull your shoulders back, and tighten any “looseness” you might feel in there!

What is your favorite strength machine in the gym?

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Josh is a massive weight loser. A journey that started when he was very young and battling depression, eating disorders, and bullies. His life’s mission is to always have an arm outstretched to those who are looking for a helping hand. He leads with the most important tools he has: heart and soul.