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Too Busy to Work Out? The Gymstick Might Be Your Solution !

My Review of this Versatile Nordic Invention and Some Recommended Exercises

Our modern lifestyle means that there are often a number of things competing for our time. There are only so many hours in the day, and when we’re juggling work, study, family and other commitments, exercise too often drops far down the list of priorities. The Gymstick is good news for anybody who feels they are too busy to squeeze a workout into their over-scheduled day.

This portable, convenient, relatively affordable, and super-versatile piece of equipment claims it can give you a full body workout. But does it live up to that promise? 

Woman working out with her gymstick

Developed by a Finnish company also called Gymstick, the Gymstick first hit the market in 2003. It was so successful that it went global and since its launch, the company has gone on to create a huge range of fitness equipment and further upgrades of this clever little apparatus.

We’ll focus on the piece of equipment that started it all: what the company calls the Gymstick Original.

The Gymstick Original is a 130 cm rod made of fiberglass. Attached to each end of the rod is a rubber resistance band, fastened to a looped foot-strap. It looks simple enough, but by performing a variety of stances, grips, and movements, it’s possible to do several dozen different resistance exercises, targeting all the major muscles of your body.

Furthermore, you can adjust the resistance level and the difficulty of your workout simply by turning the Gymstick to make the rubber tubing shorter. No need to fetch a heavier weight or go on another piece of training equipment: just shorten the straps to make your workout harder.

gymstick green light
Gymstick original : blue medium

It comes with different choices of resistance levels, graded by color :

  • Light (green)
  • Medium (blue)
  • Strong (black)
  • Extra strong (silver)
  • Super strong (gold)
People of all fitness levels can use a Gymstick.
gymstick black strong
Gymstick silver extrastrong
gymstick gold superstrong

What Kind of Exercises Can You Use it For?

If you know the correct exercises to do, the Gymstick can give you a full body workout, meaning that you can use it for resistance training for all your body’s major muscles. The Gymstick website has several workout videos that demonstrate the many ways you can use the Gymstick in your training. 

We’ve had a look at those workout videos, and pulled out a small selection of exercises, each of which targets different muscle groups.

For each of the exercises below, start by placing a Gymstick foot strap around the arch of each of your feet. Roll up the straps to increase resistance before you begin the exercise.

Squat

Target area: Buttocks, thighs, backs of legs

  1. With the straps around the arches of both feet, wind up the Gymstick to add resistance.
  2. Pull the Gymstick up to shoulder level.
  3. Holding the Gymstick level with your shoulders, squat by bending your knees as low as it feels comfortable, while keeping your torso upright.
  4. Stand up in a smooth motion, holding your back straight, and repeat.

Bicep Curl

Target area: biceps

  1. With the straps around the arches of both feet, wind up the Gymstick to add resistance.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and grip the Gymstick with your hands underneath.
  3. Slowly curl your biceps, lifting the Gymstick up to your shoulders, then lowering it to your thighs. Make sure you keep your elbows close to your body, and keep your body straight and your spine in a neutral position.
  4. Adjust the Gymstick’s resistance if you don’t feel the burn.
Woman biceps curl gymstick

Squat and Calf Raise

Target areas: Calves and legs

gymstick woman squat
  1. With the straps around the arches of both feet, wind up the Gymstick to add resistance.
  2. In a standing position, spread your feet out wide. Hold the Gymstick with your hands shoulder width apart.
  3. Bend your knees as low as comfortable, then straighten your legs.
  4. As you come back to standing position, raise yourself up onto your toes.

Hip Extension with Balance

Target areas: Buttocks, hamstrings, thighs, and back

  1. Kneel on the floor and wind up the Gymstick to add resistance.
  2. Place the Gymstick on the floor. You should now be kneeling on all fours.
  3. Rest one hand on the Gymstick to keep it still.
  4. Extend one leg straight out behind you, then bring it back to rest on the floor in the starting position.
  5. To add extra difficulty, as you extend your leg back, stretch your opposite hand out in front at the same time, and bring it back to tap your knee as you return to the starting position.
Gymstick hip extension exercise

Bicep and Abdominal Curl

Target areas: Biceps and torso, plus legs with harder option

  1. Sit on the floor and add resistance to the Gymstick.
  2. Lie down flat on your back.
  3. Do a sit up by lifting your torso off the floor, and do a bicep curl with the Gymstick at the same time.
  4. To make this more challenging, hold your knees up. As you curl your biceps, lower alternating legs towards the floor.
Gymstick bicep abdominal curl exercise

Lying Shoulder Press With Alternate Leg

Target areas: Shoulders, abdomen and legs

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back.
  2. Add resistance to the Gymstick.
  3. Raise both knees up to the middle of your body.
  4. Stretch alternate legs to the floor and bring back to the center, while stretching the Gymstick above your head with both arms.
Gymstick workout : lying shoulder press alternate leg

Warmup

Don't forget to warmup before doing the above exercises. Here's a short video to help you with warmup before your Gymstick session :

You can read the importance and benefits of warming up before exercises here.

Who can use the Gymstick?

The gymstick is a great option to use while you're working out at home. It's portability makes it a convenient choice for personal trainers who meet their clients outside the gym.

Gyms can also stock up on several Gymsticks and use them in fitness classes.

Gymstick fitness classes exercises

Pros and Cons of the Gymstick

Pros

  • Versatile: You can use the Gymstick to work out all your major muscles. There are dozens of different exercises available.
  • Effective: The Gymstick gives you an effective workout.
  • Adjustable: You can easily increase or decrease resistance, making your workout less or more challenging.
  • Portable: Because it’s so light and takes up little space, the Gymstick can go anywhere you go. You can use it at home, at the office, in your dorm room, or when you’re travelling.

Cons

  • If you don’t have a personal trainer or access to a Gymstick class, you will need to teach yourself how to use it. However, there are a huge number of videos available for free here.

Conclusion

The Gymstick is a portable, lightweight piece of equipment that can give you a full body workout. Because it’s so easy to store and carry around, you can fit your workout into your own schedule, making it much easier for you to get the exercise your body needs.

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