Five Essential Items Every Runner Should Have


When you ask most runners what they do to stay in shape, they generally reply, “I run.” And although running is certainly a great cardio workout, those runners who rely exclusively on running to stay fit do so to the detriment of their running game. As surprising as it may sound, to improve your running form, endurance, and economy you need to be doing more than just running. Specifically, runners need to incorporate stability exercises and strength training in their routine if they want to truly improve their time on the track and decrease risk of injury.

Towards that end, here are five essential items every runner should have:

1. Stability Ball

Exercise Stability BallThere is absolutely no excuse for you not having a stability ball. When it comes to training your core, it’s hard to beat the big rubber sphere. But, you may say, “I’m a runner. I should focus on my legs, not my core, right?” Wrong.

As great as running is, relying on it exclusively for your fitness can lead to serious muscle imbalances and reduced flexibility. A stability ball can help address these problems by adding some instability to your training. As your body attempts to balance on the ball, it’s forced to call upon groups of core muscles working in unison. Trying to keep your balance requires far more muscle groups than sit-ups and crunches, working the front and side abdominals in combination to provide exactly the kind of core strengthening that will improve your running. A strong core is vital to stabilizing your upper body, which will allow you to maintain proper running form even when you’re fatigued.

Check out our selection of stability balls.

For some ideas of exercises to do with your stability ball, here’s a great article from Active.

2. Foam Roller

Foam RollersYou may have seen these in your local gym and wondered just what the heck they’re used for. When used correctly, foam rollers can release tension and tightness between your muscles and the fascia (the thin sheath of fibrous tissue surrounding the muscles) that result from the repetitive motions you use when running. A combination of foam rolling and dynamic stretching will help ease tension, improve flexibility and range of motion, and seriously decrease risk of injury. Indeed, using a foam roller correctly can provide benefits similar to those you’d enjoy from a deep-tissue massage. If you’re serious about running, then it’s time to invest in a couple foam rollers.

Check out our selection of foam rollers.

And here’s a great eight-part video series from Runner’s World on how to efficiently use your foam roller.

3. Kettlebells

KettlebellsAs we mentioned earlier, runners who fail to incorporate strength training into their workout regimen are not only missing out on improving their running time, endurance, and form, they’re also missing out on a prime method of decreasing risk of injury. Most runners avoid the weight room out of a fear of getting too big and bulky. However, maintaining a strength program is absolutely essential to improving your running efficiency. For example, getting rid of rounded shoulders can help increase the amount of air your lungs take in and out, while strengthening your glutes will provide more power for when you push off the ground.

Thanks to their distinct shape, kettlebells are an especially helpful tool for runners working on their strength training. Ballistic movements like swings and snatches will help improve your power and explosiveness. The shape and size of kettlebells compel you to use a lot of force, core strength, and coordinated movement, all of which increases overall body strength.

Check out our selection of kettlebells.

Here’s a nice article from about four key kettlebell exercises for runners to get you started.

4. Powerblock Dumbbells

Powerblock Sport Adjustable DumbbellsAnother key tool for a runner’s strength training regimen are dumbells. Most any dumbbells will do, but we like the Powerblock dumbbells best thanks to their convenient storage and easy-to-increase weight increments.

Again, most runners are hesitant about anything that even smells like weight-lifting out of fear of getting too big. But as mentioned before, strength training for runners is not about getting big but about targeting those muscle groups that running, alone, doesn’t hit, but which are essential to improving your running ability. You want to increase your strength to the point at which your body can handle running without injury. With Powerblock dumbbells, you can focus on increasing your strength and stamina without cluttering up the room.

Check out our selection of Powerblock dumbbells.

Here’s a quick video that shows a great dumbbell core circuit workout for runners.

5. TRX Home Suspension Training Kit

TRX Home Suspension Training KitWhen it comes to an all-in-one system that allows you to work on your balance, strength-training, flexibility, and endurance, the TRX Home Suspension Training Kit is simply the best. Originally invented by a US Navy SEAL to help him exercise without gym equipment, the TRX uses your own bodyweight to deliver a powerful workout that can strengthen key areas needed to increase running acceleration, top speed, and overall running control. It’s simple to set up, easy to increase or decrease difficulty, and works equally well indoors or out.

What makes the TRX kit especially great is that it constitutes a full-body workout using only your body weight and gravity, a fact that will assuage most runners’ fears of getting too bulky from pumping iron. From basic squats and pushups to jumps, twists, one-legged lifts, and more, the TRX system is extremely versatile and, no matter what exercise you do, will engage your core stabilizers so you can build strength, balance, agility, and power all at once.

Order your own TRX Home Suspension Training Kit today.

Here’s a great video to get started improving knee drive and posture with the TRX kit.


Holiday Fitness Gift Guide


Welcome to the HealthStyles Exercise Equipment Gift Guide!

We have a huge variety of accessories in all price ranges, for fitness enthusiasts of all ages and types!

Whether you are trying to add some strength training to your cardiovascular workout, replicate some of your CrossFit exercises at home, do some serious core training, or create your own Tabata interval workout, we have the best selection of quality accessories in the Denver Metro area and the state of Colorado!

Visit your local HealthStyles Retail store in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, or Glenwood Springs for the best holiday gift ideas.

Gifts Under $25

Resistance Bands

$10.95 – $24.99

Cast Iron Kettlebell 10lb
5lb – 10lb Kettlebells

$8.50 – $23

Jump Ropes

Only $8.99

The Great Balance and Stability Handbook (Paperback)
Fitness Handbooks

Only $9.95

Spri Yoga Block Purple 4in x 6in x 9in
Yoga Blocks


Foam Roller - Full - 12 x 6
Foam Rollers

$12.99 – $24.99

Push Up Bars

$14.99 – $16

FitBall Balance Disc

Only $21.95

Gifts Under $50

Medicine Balls

$22.95 – $49.95

Rage Swivel Jump Rope
Rage R1 Swivel Jump Rope


Pull Up Bars

$29 – $40

LifeLineUSA TNT Cable System
Heavy Resistance Bands

$29.99 – $49.99

Rage Bumper Plates
10lb – 25lb Rage Bumper Plates

$29.99 – $49.99

Cast Iron Kettlebell 25lb
15lb – 25lb Kettlebells

$25.50 – $47.00

Exercise Balls

$36.99 – $39.99

Acu-Hoop 3 pound
Weighted Hula Hoops

$29.00 – $49.99

Gifts Under $100

Cast Iron Kettlebell 10lb
30lb – 45lb Kettlebells

$51 – $97

Rage Soft Medicine Balls
Rage Soft Medicine Balls

$84.99 – $94.99

Rage Slam Balls
Rage Slam Balls

$39.99 – $99.99

Rage Gymnastics Rings
Rage Plastic Gymnastics Rings


10lb – 30lb Dumbbells

$59 – $96

Rage R2 Pull-Up Bar
Rage Home Pull-up Bar


Rage Steel Plyo Boxes
Rage Steel Plyo Boxes 12″ – 24″

$69.99 – $99.99

FitBall Deluxe Balance Board
Balance Boards

$67.95 – $99.95

Other Great Gift Ideas

TRX Home Suspension Training Kit
TRX Home Suspension Training Kit


Bosu Home Balance Trainer
BOSU Home Balance Trainer


Inversion Tables

Starting at $159

PowerBlock Sport 2.4 Dumbbell Set 3-24lbs
PowerBlock Dumbbells

Starting at $149

TAG 10 in 1 Trainer
TAG 10 in 1 Trainer


Rage Conditioning Rope
Rage Conditioning Ropes

Starting at $138

Weight Benches
Ab/Back Benches
VKR Dip Stations
Vision Fitness V-Series Indoor Cycle
Exercise Bikes

Give the Gift of Fitness!


Are you looking for ideas for unique Christmas gifts?

HealthStyles Exercise Equipment has some great gifts for fitness enthusiasts in all price ranges!

Whether your gift is for an avid runner, a Cross-Fit or P90X junkie, or a friend or loved on who is trying to firm up or lose weight, here are just a few of the many possible gifts you can put under the tree for those important people in your life.

Review – PowerBlock Urethane Dumbbells


Adjustable dumbbells have been around for many years but have gained a sort of re-birth as of late. When it comes to working-out at home, there are a few things that most people take into consideration when making purchasing decisions; convenience, cost, and space consumption. Adjustable dumbbells have always hit two out of the three parameters. Now, with the cost of steal steadily rising over the last few years, adjustable dumbbells have begun to be more cost efficient as well.

If you have never used adjustable dumbbells before then here’s a quick educational:

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