Variety is the spice of life — and functional fitness. However, we humans also love routine and predictability. This often means we end up sticking to the same workouts day after day. You know what happens next? Boredom. Plateaus. Instead, throw your fitness programming a curveball with these four pieces of totally underrated gym equipment that you’re probably not using.

1. The GHD Machine

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The GHD or (glute-ham developer) looks complicated and scary, but it’s an amazing piece of equipment for any gym. It’s one of the best pieces for strengthening your core. It also targets body parts which we often forget, like the glutes and hamstrings.

If you’re a beginner, ask for help from your coach to learn the safe and effective manner of using the GHD, and also how to adjust it to fit your proportions and height. It can be challenging at first; but once you get used to it, you’ll be able to reap the benefits it provides. Try using it to do:

2. The Sled

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Using the sled is grossly underrated. Simply walking while you push it can give you a killer workout. Furthermore, it’s one of the safest ways to build strength and stamina while eliminating the risk of getting injuries. It doesn’t require much technique, so it’s almost fool-proof.

The sled also offers a lot of variety. You can push or pull it forward, backward, and sideways. You can switch your grip, grabbing low or high, close or wide. What’s more, you can apply heavy, medium, or light loads. The light load is perfect for speeding up recovery while adding more weight helps you strive for maximum strength and endurance. Just set your distance, throw on those plates, then push as hard or as fast as you possibly can.

Check out this blog for some of our favorite sled exercises.

3. Dumbbells

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Sometimes, we get so busy throwing around heavy barbells that we forget the dumbbell is one of our best friends in the gym.

You can do more with dumbbells than most of us realize. Think of things like:

  • Snatch.
  • Push press.
  • Strict press.
  • Thrusters.
  • Russian twists.
  • Walking lunges.
  • Goblet squats.

They also serve as great tools for strength and conditioning and are helpful when it comes to correcting imbalances in muscular strength through unilateral exercises.

Need some inspiration? These are a few dumbbell WODs we love.

4. Medicine Balls

medicine ball

Sadly, medicine balls nowadays stay on the shelf most of the time, only brought out for wall balls, even though their uses go far beyond that.

Med ball slams, pushups, and wall throws are just some of the other exercises you can do using a medicine ball. When used in warm-ups and training sessions, the medicine ball can really boost the speed and accuracy of your movements, not to mention improve explosiveness. As a result, it increases coordination, improves your mobility, and heightens your awareness of your body position in every movement you make.

Remember that you don’t have to confine yourself to just one method to get better. Functional fitness loves variance, and these pieces of equipment can help you with your progress.