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How to Use Fitness Props

From Bells to Balls: 4 Fitness Props You Need to Try

Even if you've watched someone at the gym using a piece of equipment you haven't tried, it can be intimidating to pick it up and attempt it yourself. If you're curious how some of these fitness props work, it's time to learn what these tools can bring to your next gym session.

Foam Roller

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Showing your muscles a little TLC is essential after a tough workout, and the foam roller is the gym tool that can help. Beyond treating your body to a mini-massage, correctly using a foam roller loosens stiff muscles and prevents future injury. While these foam rolling moves are essential for endurance runners, anyone who spends time at the gym will benefit from taking the time to roll out before or after your workout.

Kettlebell

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If you're short on time but want to blast through cardio and strength training in one workout, kettlebells are the answer. While they're not a new fitness trend, many women who lift dumbbells or like using weight machines can be timid when it comes to using kettlebells. Start with this 10-minute kettlebell workout where Jessica Alba's trainer, Yumi Lee, moves through four effective exercises. Her in-depth explanations for each move are a perfect introduction to kettlebells.

Keep reading to learn how to use two more essential fitness props.

BOSU Ball

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The big BOSU ball gives every exercise an extra edge; anyone who hasn't used this giant blue dot at the gym is missing out. Instead of just going through the basic motion of common exercises, you're constantly forced to stabilize your core and balance. These 10 BOSU exercises break down how to incorporate the BOSU ball into exercises you might have grown bored with, like a plank or squat.

Medicine Ball

Similar to the BOSU, the medicine ball is a tool that can transform classic gym exercises. This weighted ball adds extra resistance to basic moves while also challenging your hand-eye coordination. These five medicine ball exercises can be performed anywhere as long as you've got a ball to work with!

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