Are these exercise gizmos a good fit?

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Shanahan says a bar is one of his favorite pieces of exercise equipment but this particular one "is a piece of junk." When it's wedged into a doorway you can't use it for pull-ups — although instructions show you can — because your elbows hit the door frame.

Also, the foam handgrips are misplaced, says Ray: "They made it wrong."

Other door frame products with curved mounts solve the elbows problem but check user comments online before buying to avoid problems.

Your home gym?

The experts I consulted say you don't need expensive gear to get a thorough workout at home. They recommend a high-quality jump rope for cardio. And to work all your muscles, invest in two quality resistance bands — one heavy, one medium — at $11 or so apiece. "What we're saying is 'keep it simple' which is better than using all these fancy toys," says personal trainer Krissy Ray.

Before you buy home exercise equipment:

+Go online and check the comments.

+Consult with experts at a gym.

+Think about the assembly. Who will do it? How much will it cost?

+Treadmills and stationary bikes can be picked up cheap at yard sales.

+Keep it simple. Jump rope and resistance bands are cheap, effective.

+Remember that fitness takes hard work. Period.

All equipment from
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