Thanks to an unending stream of innovations in technology, at-home training has become a more viable option—assuming you can't make it to the gym, or even if you can. Recently, we reviewed The Perfect Multi-Gym, which makes it easy to take on bodyweight exercises like Pull-Ups and Push-Ups in the comfort of your home. Today, we're looking at PowerBlocks, adjustable dumbbells that come in a variety of weighted increments but only take up the space of one set.
PowerBlocks come in a variety of weights, so you can select the package that best suits your strength-training needs. The Classic 45 Set comes in increments of five pounds, ranging from 5 to 45 pounds per hand. For more weight, check out the Elite 130 Set, which ranges from 5 to 130 pounds per hand. With that kind of weight, athletes can perform powerful multi-joint exercises right in their living rooms on Sunday afternoon.
PowerBlocks carry a pretty hefty price—$279 for the Classic 45 Set, $888 for the Elite 130 Set (the most expensive). If you can afford it, you're ultimately getting a good deal. For the Classic 45, you're paying 62 cents a pound—and saving on the space you'd need for nine pairs of fixed dumbbells. If it' s out of your price range, check out some of these replacements, any of which would make a great addition to your in-home workout equipment.
Portable and versatile, the med ball will improve your power, strength and stability. Prices vary depending on the brand and weight, but average costs are $17 for a 6-pound ball and $26 for a 12-pound ball. Make sure to shop around to find the best deal. You can use a med ball for the same explosive multi-joint exercises you would perform with PowerBlocks. Of course, you may not get as much weight, but at least you can change up your training and avoid plateaus.
The PowerBlock packs several increments of weight into one dumbbell. But if you're not at a point in your training where you need different weights, buy just the weight you need. Again, prices vary with the weight, approximately $30 for a 20-pound set, $100 for a 50-pound set.
Physioballs [also known as Stability Balls and Swiss Balls] are an affordable way too open up new aspects of your training [learn more here]. They are great for engaging stabilization muscles, which are usually not activated during basic large-muscle strength exercises. Use the ball to perform Incline/Decline Push-Ups and various dumbbell exercises [Bicep Curls, Shoulder Press/Flys, Overhead Tricep Extensions, etc.]. Once you're done challenging your upper body, the physioball is also great for working the core.
Financial situation and level of commitment vary from athlete to athlete. If you're dedicated to your training and have a goal of getting a D-I scholarship, PowerBlocks are worth the investment—if you can afford it. You'll get the most out of your dollar if you use them several days a week during a four-year high school career. Otherwise, choose one of the more affordable options. It's all good if you can do it at home and get results even when your gym is closed.
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