Originally from Russia, a kettlebell is a cast iron weight that essentially looks like a cannon ball with a handle. It’s available in various weights (4,6, 8, 12, 20kg), and it’s often used for plyometric training (exercises that involve rapid stretching and contracting of muscles to increase muscle power) to improve explosive power in athletes. You can use it for exercises such as squats and kettlebell swings.
A medicine ball is a weighted ball that is approximately 38cm in diameter and weighing between 1kg to 11kg. Like the kettlebell, it is often used for plyometric training exercises to improve explosive strength. You can use it for exercises such as Russian twists, side throws or lunges.
The BOSU ball is an inflated rubber hemisphere that is attached to a rigid platform. BOSU is an acronym for “both sides up”, which refers to the two ways the ball can be positioned. Placing the dome side of the BOSU on the floor creates an unstable surface which is perfect for core and balance training – try doing squats or planks on the platform, for example. Place the dome side upward when doing stretching exercises (such as hip flexor stretches) to improve your flexibility.
Ever seen a crescent-shaped weighted bag with flexible fabric handles at the gym? It’s actually a Bulgarian bag, which can weigh between 0.5kg to a whopping 50kg. It’s primarily used to target and strengthen isolator muscles in the torso, arms, shoulders and back. Use it for exercises such as arm throws and halos.
The ViPR is a meter-long “log” made of rubber, and its name stands for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning. It is available in seven weights, ranging from 4kg to 20kg. It can be lifted in the air to tone the arms or swung to work out the oblique muscles. You can also flip it to build strength.
To find out more on group exercise classes with these tools at Virgin Active, visit www.virginactive.com.sg.