Gym Equipment You Never Use But Should (With Examples)

If you go to the gym and wander for a good portion of the time you’re there, it’s time to start using some new gym equipment. While this may be intimidating—I don’t know what I’m doing!—it may be just the refresher you need.

I’m here to be your gym Sherpa, guiding you through the gym with confidence. Give these exercises and my favorite pieces of gym equipment a try during your next workout. Just pull up this article and you’ll have everything you need to try with the confidence of a veteran.

Battle ropes

There are SO many ways to use battle ropes, from a standard double wave to alternating wave, plank wave, shoulder press and more. The two videos below are of combo moves, combining the battle rope with a few other exercises, boosting calorie burn and muscle fatigue.

Get more battle rope exercises from Onnit Academy.

Exercise ball 

If you follow me on Instagram (@HonestBodyFitness), you know that I love using medicine balls in all different ways, from med ball slams to pushups. Below I’ve shared a few of these variations to try.

Love the exercise ball? Download my full body exercise ball workout [Free]!


These teensy pieces of equipment can be found at nearly every gym, tucked away in the mats and abs area. They’re so versatile and are perfect for building core strength and definition. See a lunge and plank variation below.

Check out the top 20 slider exercises, demonstrated in this video.

Medicine balls

Medicine balls are one of my favorite items in the gym because they play well with a wide variety of exercises. You can lift them, throw them, put weight on them and much more. Check out some of my favorite medicine ball variations:

TRX Cables

TRX cables are intimidating, but they don’t need to be. They’re a great way to try new exercises, like a pistol squat, with the extra support you need if you can’t do it alone yet. They’re also great for anyone with bad knees; by holding onto the cables, you use your upper body to take some of the weight off your knees.

The exercise in my video below is an advanced move, for those who have already mastered pike and modified pike with an exercise ball.

Check out some great exercises in this tutorial video from Built Lean.

Aerobic Step

You may have thought the aerobic step lost its luster in the 80’s, but quite the opposite is true. The step is still one of the best pieces of exercises equipment in the gym, again because of its versatility. I also love how you can use it to target the glutes so effectively. Check out three step exercises and combo moves.


The BOSU ball is so much fun to use and you don’t have to balance on top of it to get the most out of it. Instead, use it to add instability to a variety of exercises, from pushups to plank leg lifts. This boosts the challenge on your core, helping you sculpt tighter abs.


If you’ve never picked up a dumbbell before, now’s the time to do so. The dumbbell is a foundational piece of equipment in the gym and one that you can do nearly any exercise with. They allow you to add weight to boost your burn and build stronger muscles. See a wide range of exercises below:


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gym equipment you never use but should

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years. She's the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Honest Body Fitness, where women are warriors who love their bodies. She's also a a full-time writer, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist. She’s written for Shape, Reader’s Digest, AARP, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and more. Follow Jessica and Honest Body Fitness on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, workouts tips and more.

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