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At Home Fitness Blog: Articles & Features

Archive for the ‘At Home Fitness’ Category

The ABCs of using, buying a treadmill

Monday, April 14th, 2014
Landice L7 Pro Treadmill

Landice L7 Pro Treadmill

It’s hard to beat a treadmill for the results it can provide.
People of just about any exercise background can exercise on a treadmill, helping to make it the most popular selling cardio machine in the world.
You can get on a treadmill and immediately get started: walk, jog or sprint on a treadmill; change incline and speed; even walk or jog sideways or in reverse on it if you wish to work the muscles in different ways.
Although treadmills are incredibly easy to use, they can be very difficult to shop for.
Buying a treadmill for your home, office or somewhere else you want it to exercise on can be intimidating. There are a huge variety of treadmills in all price ranges.
It’s very important to try out treadmills in person. Bring running shoes and walk or run on it — and talk with a trained sales associate at a specialty fitness store like At Home Fitness to learn the different features available. They can help match you with the best treadmill to fit your needs and budget.
Often, a treadmill really is an item in which you get what you pay for. Don’t go to a “big box” department store and expect to get a treadmill you’ll enjoy running on for a crazy low discount price. Chances are it will be a flimsy machine that will wind up breaking down or that you won’t want to use. The department stores often won’t tell you that some discount treadmills aren’t even made for running on — just walking.
To help get you started, here are three treadmill brands I highly recommend at three different price points:
Landice – Generally regarded as the best in the business, Landice has been the No. 1-rated Treadmill seven years in a row with a perfect score. Landice also has the best warranty in the business.
At Home Fitness in Arizona and their online headquarters www.athomefitness.com is your one-stop source for great deals on Landice equipment.
People might be surprised to learn they can mix and match treadmill features even at this elite level. Landice has two different sized frames (L7 and L8) and four varieties of electronic boards (pro trainer, pro sports trainer, cardio trainer and the top of the line executive trainer) to select from.
Even if you want the top-end frame, you could save about $700-800 depending on what electronic board you decide to go with. Depending on the model and features, Landice Treadmills are often priced between $3,300-$6,000.
BH Fitness — The internationally regarded BH Fitness has been around since 1909 and has some tremendous mid-priced treadmills.
The BH Fitness TS2 Treadmill ($1,999 retail, on sale for $1,199 at AHF) has an extra-large blue backlit LCD display and an extra 2 inches of running surface. The folding frame features Safe Drop technology, which helps offer a space-saving solution without sacrificing quality. It has a quiet 2.5 HP DC motor, 20” x 57” running surface and is Polar® wireless HR compatible.
3G Cardio – To save money and also space, try the ingenious 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill ($1,499 at AHF, $600 savings off MSRP).
The 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill has one of the most powerful motors among fold flat treadmills and is sturdy enough to provide an excellent workout whether you’re walking or running. It can accommodate people who weigh up to 325 pounds.
If you’re short on space in your home, garage, apartment, camper or wherever else you want to have a treadmill, the 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill should fit your needs.
It can fold flat to a height of just 9.75 inches and easily be rolled under the bed for storage, or it can be folded up and stored vertically.
If you are looking to buy a new or used treadmill in Scottsdale, Desert Ridge, Ahwatukee or Gilbert, there are At Home Fitness superstores in those cities in the Phoenix area. Those stores are also located near many other cities in Arizona.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Do this, not that: exercise tips for chest, abs

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

There are many exercises that have been around seemingly forever, but are actually not the best alternative for everyone. They put the body at greater risk for injury, and are not as efficient as other ways to exercise the same muscle groups.
Do this, not that for the following chest and ab exercises:
For abs, do planks — The plank activates as many muscles in the obliques as any exercise.
In addition to being a highly efficient exercise, planks put the body in a safe position while working out.
Planks stabilize the core muscles, build endurance and can lower the odds of developing lower back pain down the road.
For abs, don’t do crunches — The old-school gym class exercise is the least effective way to exercise your abs there is, according to most trainers. In fact, because crunches do take considerable strength to do, they can create a muscle imbalance in the core that can lead to back problems.
For chest, do pushups, cable cross-overs — Pushups are one of the best exercises you can do for any body part. They don’t requite equipment, can be done any time and compared to other chest exercises they are safe for the shoulders and chest. Pushups build muscle in the pecs, triceps and shoulders and also help build overall core strength.
Depending on the angle of hand placement, or if you do pushups at an incline or decline, you can change up the way they work the upper body.
A lifelong part of fitness legend Jack LaLanne’s workout regimen, you can’t beat pushups.
Cable crossovers engage the same muscles as the Pec Deck, but crossovers allow you to work muscles quickly and effectively without unnecessary risk to your joints.
For chest, don’t do bench presses, pec deck — Bench press is a great exercise for some people, but be very careful with it as many people bench press-related shoulder injuries. The bench itself reduces how much the shoulder blades can move, which places a great deal of stress on the rotator cuffs. It’s personal preference, but some fitness trainers call the bench press unsafe.
The pec deck machine is another exercise that puts your shoulder joint in an extremely vulnerable position, as it simultaneously rotates and abducts.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Do this, not that: tips for leg exercises

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

There are many exercises that have been around seemingly forever, but are actually not the best alternative for everyone. They put the body at greater risk for injury, and are not as efficient as other ways to exercise the same muscle groups.
Do this, not that for the following leg exercises:
For legs, do lunges — Lunges engage every muscle in your legs and you can challenge your core with different variation on lunges.
Lunges are a great functional exercise because they increase your flexibility and muscle tone.
For legs, don’t do leg extensions — While leg extensions can benefit some people, they actually put a good amount of strain on the knee and work only a small part of the quadriceps. Leg extensions can grind the knee joint and put connective tissues into compromised positions
Bonus tips for leg exercises – Trainers I’ve talked to would rather see people do the aforementioned lunges and when on machines do hamstring curls. To further work the quads, a leg press machine is safer for the knees. Even squats are better recommended for legs than leg extensions.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Report finds most people should increase consumption of fruits and vegetables

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Dr. Oyebode told The Telegraph: “My advice would be however much (fruits and vegetables) you are eating now, eat more.”

Dr. Oyebode told The Telegraph: “My advice would be however much you are eating now, eat more.”

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is crucial to a healthy diet. But how much of them should we eat?
First Lady Michelle Obama has a simple rule that’s easy to remember: fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the five servings of fruits and vegetables that are commonly recommended in the U.S. and U.K. may not even be enough to prevent common health problems and ailments.
According to the researchers, a healthful diet should include seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day. In particular, the researchers say eating a diet rich in vegetables offers the most protective health benefits.
Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode of UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health and lead author of the study, led a group that evaluated data for more than 65,000 adults, who were 35 and older.
The researchers looked at information collected from England’s annual health surveys conducted between 2001-2008, which included records of fatalities over 7.5 years. The data reported that 4,399 people died during this time period, or 6.7 percent of the population surveyed.
On average, the study revealed that people consumed under four servings of fruits and vegetables a day — and the more they ate the better their health. People who ate seven servings of fruits and vegetables appeared to lower their risk for death from common diseases by about 42 percent. Additionally, they reduced their risk for heart disease and cardiovascular problems by 31 percent and their risk for cancer by 25 percent.
Interestingly, the study found that eating vegetables had a more positive impact on health than fruit. Two to three portions of vegetables reduced risk of death from common diseases by 19 percent, compared with 10 percent for people who favored fruit.
“The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age,” Dr. Oyebode told The Telegraph. “My advice would be however much you are eating now, eat more.”
This impressive study even recommends which types of fruits to eat — stick with fresh over canned. They reported people who consumed canned peaches rather than fresh ones actually increased their risk for dying premature by around 17 percent.
Eating seven helpings of fruits and vegetables can seem overwhelming, but the portions don’t have to be that big. The CDC has a chart with tips how to get reasonable portions throughout the day.

3G Cardio Vibration training great for baseball, softball

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Vibration training is a great way to build strength and also improve flexibility for baseball and softball.

Vibration training is a great way to build strength and also improve flexibility for baseball and softball.

Baseball and softball seasons are now under way at all levels.
Did you know a great way to build strength and also improve flexibility is through accelerated vibration training?
There are an abundance of exercises that a baseball or softball player can perform on a 3G Cardio AVT machine to strengthen the upper body and lower body, improving power and bat speed at the plate, strength for throwing and overall speed and agility.
Trainers advise using vibration training in conjunction with traditional strength training methods, such as free weights or functional trainers.
Here are some of the countless exercises that can be performed on a 3G Cardio Vibration Trainer for baseball and softball: Regular squat, Lunge, Calf Raises, Push Up, Triceps Dip, Biceps Curl (use strap attachments), Bent Over Row (use strap attachments), Front Raise (use strap attachments) and Abdominal Crunch.
Vibration training also helps with another extremely important aspect of playing baseball and softball: stretching.
Baseball and softball players are at greater risk for arm injuries and pulled leg muscles because of the explosive movements that are required in the sport.
More and more trainers are making vibration training an important part of regular conditioning programs to improve flexibility.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Do this, not that: tips for best upper-body exercises

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Inverted rows eliminate the unnecessary strain on your shoulders of pull-ups, and give your body a balanced workout. It can help improve your posture and help or even get rid of back pain.

Inverted rows eliminate the unnecessary strain on your shoulders of pull-ups, and give your body a balanced workout. It can help improve your posture and help or even get rid of back pain.

There are many exercises that have been around seemingly forever, but are actually not the best alternative for everyone. They put the body at greater risk for injury, and are not as efficient as other ways to exercise the same muscle groups.
Do this, not that for the following upper-body exercises:
For triceps, do triangle pushups — Do a pushup with your hands close together under you, touching to make a triangle shape. They work not only the triceps, but also activate muscles in your chest, shoulders and core. You get more extensive results for your time and effort without an increased risk of injury. Some experts have said triangle pushups are the single best exercise you can do for this muscle group.
For triceps, don’t do dips — Although dips work for some people, they also put extra force on your shoulder joints and can lead to developing rotator cuff problems.

For back and shoulders, do inverted rows — Lie back on the floor inside your squat rack with the bar at arms length. Pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar. Lead with your chest, not with your stomach or head. Keep your chin tucked, chest forward and shoulder-blades back & down. They eliminate the unnecessary strain on your shoulders of pull-ups, and give your body a balanced workout. It can help improve your posture and help or even get rid of back pain.
For back and shoulders, don’t do pull-ups — Pull-ups may be OK for some, but many people who are even in decent shape can’t even do one correct pull-up. Many just don’t have the shoulder flexibility or strength to safely hang vertically from their arms and that can put pressure on the joints and muscles. Inverted rows are simply more efficient and safer to do for many, while greatly reducing the chance for injury.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Six tips to ‘spring’ back into shape

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 2.10.59 PM

Spring has sprung after an especially long, cold, snowy winter.
If you live in a cold-weather state, it’s time to come out of your cabin and emerge from hibernation if you’ve been cooped up inside all winter.
Even if you have been getting outside a good amount, spring is also a good time to reassess your fitness goals.
Here are six excellent ways to spring back into shape:
1. Write down your goals – Assess where your fitness level is at and where you want to get. Write down short- and long-term goals, such as lose 10 pounds or exercise at least three times a week and then stick to them. Chart your workout progress as you go.
2. Exercise outdoors – It’s great to exercise in your home gym or at the fitness club, but now that the weather is getting warmer take advantage of the opportunity to cross train outside. Go for a walk outside, take a light jog or long run, ride a bike, hike, etc.
3. Start a stretching program – Improve your flexibility, but make sure you are stretching properly and only after sufficiently warming up.
4. Clean up the yard – Get a head start on yard work for the spring and summer by cleaning up the debris left over from a long winter. Working in your yard is a great way to get exercise, and also improve your property.
5. Plan fit outings — Instead of going out to eat with friends or family, plan a gathering in which you’ll exercise, such as meeting at the park to hike or going on a group bike ride.
6. Tune up your home gym — Spring cleaning should also include cleaning up your home gym and if it’s been more than a year consider getting your equipment tuned up. At Home Fitness offers excellent deals for equipment tune-ups and repairs in Arizona.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Vibration training is hidden gem of fitness world

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
AVT 6.0 Vibration Machine by 3G Cardio

AVT 6.0 Vibration Machine by 3G Cardio

During the NCAA Basketball Tournament, everybody loves the Cinderella team. You know, the bracket buster that somehow beats the bigger, more well-known schools and makes it a March to remember.
In the fitness world, a true hidden gem is the vibration trainer machine. It may not be as well known as machines like treadmills, ellipticals or home gyms, but can stack up or exceed them with the results it provides.
Lots of people still aren’t familiar with vibration training, although that’s changing by the day as it’s become the fastest growing segment of the fitness industry.
Accelerated Vibration Training (AVT), aka Whole Body Vibration Training (WBV), is helping people ranging from NFL and NBA players to average every-day people and even senior citizens.
How is this possible that so many different types of people can benefit from vibration training? The key is in the vibration plates and the way the body reacts to instability the vibrations create while standing on the platform.
Instead of adding “mass” in traditional strength training such as weightlifting, with vibration training the “acceleration” is increased through rapid movement of the platform and the muscles reflexively react as you perform a variety of static or dynamic exercises.
Whereas people use as little as 20 percent of their muscle fibers in traditional strength training they can use up to 95 percent with AVT. The vibrations cause the muscles to contract 25-50 times per second.
AVT is not only much more efficient, but it’s also a lot safer because it allows the body to experience stress with much more ease than it would traditional weightlifting with dumbbells and barbells, for example.
The top-ranked vibration machines are made by 3G Cardio, which is available for the lowest prices anywhere through At Home Fitness.
The 3G Cardio AVT 3G Cardio AVT 6.0 Vibration Machine, ($4,999, AHF price $4,499), 3G Cardio AVT 5.0 Vibration Machine ($3,999, AHF price $3,599) and the 3G Cardio AVT 3.0 Vibration Machine ($2,249, AHF price $1,999) lead the way for quality and value.
The trio of 3G Cardio Vibration Training machines have been given “Best Buy” awards by both www.vibration-machine-reviews.com and www.vibrationplatereview.com.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Final Four winners easy to pick for home gym

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

With “March Madness” under way, aka the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, lots of people around the country have filled out brackets in contests trying to pick the winners.
Sports history has shown repeatedly that it’s impossible to pick a sure thing, but the potential for upsets are part of what makes events like the NCAA Tournament so much fun.
When it comes to fitness, there’s a pretty clear-cut Final Four for any top-notch gym: treadmill, elliptical machine, home gym or functional trainer and exercise bike.
If your workout room has these tops seeds, you have all the tools necessary to bring out your inner champion.
** Treadmills are the No. 1 selling home exercise machine for a reason – they get results. If you purchase a treadmill for your home there are a multitude of ways it will help you get in better shape. Exercising on a treadmill can help increase your metabolism, whether you’re running or walking.
** Elliptical machines provide a great cardio workout without jarring your joints and bones. For people who have soreness in their knees or ankles after a run, the elliptical could provide an excellent alternative. The elliptical uses continuous motion instead of the up-and-down movement of your feet slamming against the ground on each step. This elliptical motion is a lot better for your joints and bones.
While the focus is on the legs, the elliptical can provide a full-body exercise. By grabbing onto attached handles, your upper body will also get a workout. The full-body workout can allow a person to burn as many as 500 calories in a half hour.
** Home gyms and functional trainers are long-time staples in the fitness world, dating back to the days of the Nautilus machine in the 1970s.
** A home gym features one or two weight stacks, along with fixed arms and hand grips to move the weights. Movements on a home gym traditionally follow a set plane, such as military press for shoulders, bench press for chest or leg extensions.
Functional trainers allow users to follow a variety of different paths and are also great ways to build strength and increase flexibility. Check with a specialty fitness store to decide if a home gym or functional trainer is better for you.
** Recumbent bikes, upright bikes and indoor cycles are a great way to get a cardio workout.
These exercise bikes give you a good low-impact workout because you’re not jumping or running on an exercise bike.
Regular exercise on a bike helps improve your cardiovascular health and research has even found that regular workouts on an exercise bike can help manage joint and even back pain. The American Council on Exercise has reported that researchers at the Virginia Medical Center found in a study that people with chronic back pain who rode an exercise bike for 25 minutes had a lower perception of pain for at least 30 minutes afterward.
Basically, if you get the blood flowing and muscles moving on a regular basis, it can loosen up your body.
Postgame show – Shop at At Home Fitness – Arizona’s specialty fitness leader – for great deals on treadmills elliptical machines, exercise bikes, home gyms and functional trainers.
At Home Fitness has stores in Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert and Ahwatukee
Having this winning lineup in your own home gym can allow you to working out in the privacy of your own home or office when you want to.
Make workouts more fun by setting up a TV or stereo system in your workout room, or plug in your headphones into the treadmill or elliptical and use your ipod or other music player.
Built in electronics allow you to customize workouts on many types of specialty fitness equipment, ranging from cardio, to strength, to endurance.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

Health screenings a key part of healthy lifestyle

Monday, March 17th, 2014

You get to the gym and exercise regularly. You’re careful about eating the right foods.
Yet, there’s another key component to health that many people overlook: Make sure to get the necessary health screenings at the recommended age.
By undergoing health checks at the suggested ages, screenings can often help doctors find diseases or other problems early when they’re easy to treat.
Some people may not think that they can afford to pay for a lot of different tests, but they’re covered by the health care reform law. Depending on your insurance coverage, there may be no cost to you.
Healthfinder.gov has an excellent link to help men and women figure out which screenings they should have performed at different ages.
With March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, this is as good a time as any to look into these types of tests. It’s also important to know what your blood pressure and cholesterol are and take measures to get them into line if they’re judged to be at unhealthy measurements.
Staying proactive with your healthcare is one of the most important things you can do.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com



 
 
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