In our weekly Q&A installment, we asked The Greatist Team and readers about their favorite gym equipment. Here’s what they had to say:

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft

The mat! Yoga is easily my favorite class to take, so I like logging mat-time. Plus ab work is my favorite part of strength-training (second, maybe, to stretching...), so that means even more time on the mat. I find a lot of gym equipment intimidating, so I like sticking to body weight exercises— just me and the floor. — Kelly Fitzpatrick

I'm also going to have to say my handy dandy yoga mat. It accompanies me to almost every class I attend, and keeps me away from the worn, sweaty old mats in the gym. And it's my favorite color: purple! I'm more than excited for my new matching no-slip yoga towel to arrive, too!  — Kate Morin

The classic barbell! With the development of countless machines working muscle groups in isolation, we've lost site of the benefits of good old-fashion strength training. Gradual resistance training, especially when the body has to move weight across different planes and through a full range of motion, increases muscular strength and endurance. I think a lot of people these days are scared of barbell movements because they're often challenging and take some real getting used to. But that's the whole point of working out! If it doesn't feel like you're working hard, chances are you won't be getting very good results. — David Tao

The weighted jump rope. It's always nice when a gym carries one, and you can get a nasty full-body workout once you have the basics down (sprint or double-jump for two minutes, then throw in squats, push-ups, and sit-ups, and repeat a bunch of times).  — Justin White

The seated back extension machine. Kills the back fat/ love handles! — Shannon Orcutt


I like my trusty shoelaces. They're multi-purpose (double points for being useful outside the gym!) and they keep my shoes on tight to ensure a successful workout. — Kelli Kerkman

My go-to is the treadmill, as long as there is a television attached! Catching an episode or two of Seinfeld always make my run go by WAY faster. And how often do you find yourself cracking up when running? — Laura Schwecherl

My favorite is the dumbbell. They are super versatile and can be used for any type of workout, from circuit training to muscle endurance to resistance training and more. Because of the natural movement, they are more effective for me when it comes to building muscle. Also, when I am at the gym, and it seems like all the machines and barbells are taken, I can pick up a any set of dumbbells (from five to 20 pounds—I’m not participating in any Strongwoman competitions after all) and do several exercises with only that set of dumbbells to get in a challenging workout. — Kristine Lockwood

I must admit I've only used an elliptical trainer about twice in my life. But it remains my favorite piece of gym equipment. I can't help but feel I'm riding some kind of roller coaster, floating up and down and back again. If I used the machine properly, I imagine it would quickly become my least favorite equipment and fitness-related activity. Until then, I guess, it's happy riding. — Shana Lebowitz

I'm a big fan of the Rocky movies. There is nothing like skipping rope while humming the tune of Eye of the Tiger. It also happens to be a great aerobic workout and coordination-building exercise. — Justin Singh

From our readers:

Julia Jacobo (via Twitter): The elliptical!

Roger Lawson (via Twitter): Chin up bar. Forcing yourself upward against the force of gravity is quite possibly the most awesome thing ever.

Batu Kaplan (via Twitter): TRX or kettlebell

@_GRACEL: Either the roman chair or the stretching machines!

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