The biggest challenge with exercising at home is finding space to store all the equipment. In our (continual) quest to downsize, we sent our health and fitness writer Larissa Yu to try YBells, the innovative 4-in-1 hybrid weights that promise to replace all of your existing fitness clutter whilst delivering a killer cardio & resistance workout.
Looking a bit like super-sized doorstops, Aussie-designed Ybells are the brainchild of Bondi Beach personal trainer Aaron Laurence. With his group classes growing every week, it wasn’t practical lugging around so much heavy bulky equipment to outdoor locations. Problem solved: one YBell can be used to do hundreds of different exercises. Simple changes in how you hold it means it can replace dumbbells, kettlebells, double-grip medicine balls and push-up stands. My cluttered living room (aka home gym) already loves the sound of this!
Why they’re different:
First, the different grip positions are what make YBells so versatile: under-grip, double-grip, centre-grip top lock, centre-grip loose grip, top grip, outer grip, rack grip. Safety is intrinsic to the design: correct positioning of the 3 equi-distant handles stabilises and supports the wrist, helping avoid that dangerous wrist wobble you can get with dumbbells. The triangular shape is perfectly evenly weighted (allowing you to lift heavier than you usually do, while still maintaining good form). The user-friendly neoprene coating helps with grip (especially when sweating) and comfort – a nice change from holding cold steel. The compact shape is less clunky than a rounded medicine ball. Also when doing bicep curls, the shape allows you to tuck your elbows closer to your body to better isolate the muscle.
We did a one-on-one workout with inventor & head trainer Aaron Laurence. A warm-up was followed by a circuit of classic exercises such as overhead medicine ball presses, squat & press combos, reverse lunges, haloes, tricep extensions, bicep curls, one arm push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, ab crunches, hammer curls, shoulder presses, bent-over rows, ab twists and kettlebell swings. The simple and effective workouts are for all fitness levels, combining a unique product and customisable program in one system. One compact set of equipment (most people use a pair of YBells) available in 5 different weights replaces all of your other weights. It’s cost-effective (YBells are $49.99–$89.99 each), with no need to buy heavier weights every few months as you get fitter. Workout intensity is upped by simply adding in plyometric jumps between reps, explosive upper body punches, simultaneous upper/lower body moves, more rounds or a faster pace to the core classic exercises.
I’m sold. After a 45-minute workout I was puffing and all-over-sore for DAYS in a way I wasn’t expecting. I’d done these resistance exercises hundreds of times before with weights, but doing them with the Ybell made all the difference. The shape of the equipment helps you perfect your form to really target muscles in a much more precise way, yet it feels effortless to lift.
TIP: Chances are you currently use different weights for your dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls – choose your ideal YBell weight size by averaging them.
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