What It Is: They look like something you’d hurdle at a high-school track meet, but–at 29 inches high–these cheerfully yellow metal bars offer surprising versatility (a big bonus for home gyms). The Equalizers are good for stretching and strengthening muscles, and even for cardio; see for yourself.
What You Might Not Know: When the creator–Toronto personal trainer Marc Lebert–and his business partner noticed that the two bended bars standing side by side looked like an equal sign (=), the product name was born. As a nice plus, the name works well because of how the bars help you exercise body parts equally.
Feelin’ the Love: When I first saw the Equalizer I thought it was just for guys. Buff guys. But when I dragged the bars into one of my circuit classes at an all-women’s club, they became a main attraction. I stand corrected.
You can lift the Equalizer like you would a dumbbell–they’re eight pounds each–but this product really shines for bodyweight exercises. The Lebert Equalizer is the best option around for doing triceps dips, incline pushups and single-leg exercises. What sold me: How it targets your butt like no regular squat or lunge can (see for yourself in the DVD that comes with the Lebert Equalizer).
If I Could Change One Thing: Minor assembly required, ug. When I first put the Equalizers together, they seemed a bit wobbly, and that’s because I hadn’t adjusted the screws properly (my bad, but, still, IKEA-style DIY instructions might help). Now everything’s secure, but I keep a screwdriver handy to ensure the bars that fit together in each Equalizer stay firmly aligned.
Should You Get It? If you want a versatile way to work out at home and you’re bored of your dumbbells, yes. If you’re a fitness trainer or instructor who could stand to motivate clients with something fresh yet effective, yes.
LebertEqualizer.com; $99, set of two plus exercise poster & DVD