Below is a list of common gear and tools that we regularly use and recommend in our practice.
- Lacrosse ball: This inexpensive tool will help you make some gain in improve tissue mobility.
- Lacrosse ball peanut: Tape two balls together or use one pre-fabricated. This will help you mobilize your spine.
- Yoga tune up balls: The texture of these balls helps improve tissue mobility a little differently than a lacrosse ball.
- Coregeous Ball: Great for improving core stability and mobility at your neck and trunk.
- Foam roller: great tool for improving tissue mobility at large muscle groups
- The EDGE Tool: a great tool invented by fellow physio, Erson Religioso. It helps improve mobility and alleviate pain.
- Floss bands: a great tool that uses compression to improve mobility and various joints.
- ProStretch: a simple tool to improve ankle mobility.
- TheraBand: Quality counts. We recommend TheraBand brand.
- Cook Band: Designed by fellow physio, Gray Cook, this is a great tool for working on a variety of corrective exercises.
- Resistance and Mobility Bands: Great bands to work on mobility and a variety of exercises.
- Mini-Bands: great bands to to use for warm up drills and corrective exercises.
- Standing Desk: Standing is healthier than sitting. Use this at your home and office to improve your posture and alleviate pain.
- Saddle Stool or chair: saddles keep the spine in a better position when sitting.
- Yoga Mat: Quality counts. We recommend Manduka brand mats.
- Balance Pad: great for providing support during tall and half kneeling exercises and balance positions.
- AbMat: help protect your lower-back when performing abdominal exercises.
- Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition by Kelly Starrett: an encyclopedia of techniques to improve mobility and performance.
- It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig: a great starting point to learn how to eat well.
- Kettlebell Simple & Sinister by Pavel: if you’re crunched for time, this book outlines how you can improve your fitness with just 20 minutes per day.
Basic Home Gym (from moveSKILL.com)
- Olympic weightlifting bar, plates and collars: a quality bar will last nearly forever barring unknown and unforeseeable circumstances. You’ll want to start with a combination of large and small weight increments for a total of about 200 lbs. This is a great tool to begin with and you can always add more weights as you progress.
- Pull-up Bar: whether or not you can do pull-ups or chin-ups at this time, you can anchor Olympic rings or bands on the bar for both workouts and mobility work. Whatever you do, make sure they’re firmly anchored!
- Olympic rings: go for the good stuff and choose a set that is made of wood (not plastic). The grip and feel of the wood is far superior.
- Resistance Bands: resistance bands are a must have for a variety of reasons: they assist with stretching, rehabilitation, conditioning, and are also useful from a variety of strength-building perspectives. Choose several different sizes; they can be used together or independently.
- Kettlebells: these amazing implements are used for a variety of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. They are offered in a variety of sizes (9 lbs. to 88 lbs, or for those of you who think in kilos: 4 kg to 40 kg). The best place to start is pairs ranging from 9 lbs. – 35 lbs. (4 kg – 16 kg)
- Plyo-Box: another essential piece of your gym is the plyo-box. Basically it’s a very sturdy steel or wooden box that you can use to jump on, squat down to, step up on, or use to climb up and down from your pull-up bar or simply step up on. This is another item where quality counts!
- Lacrosse Ball: for less than a two dollar, this little ball will help you make huge progress in your mobility.
- Foam Roller: another high priority item that helps you make huge jumps in your mobility work, and also assist in your work out recovery.
- Gymnastic mats: when all else fails and you’re going to take a tumble, a good gymnastic mat will prevent a lot of injuries. They’re an essential piece of equipment for any basic or advanced gym.
Next-step Home Gym
- Dumbbells: choose a rubber coated dumbbell and it’s very hard to go wrong. Just like the kettlebells, they are offered in a variety of sizes. You’ll go far with pairs of 10’s, 12’s, 15’s, 20’s and 25’s. As you progress you might end up with a pair of 120+ lbs!
- Medicine Balls: medicine balls combine strength, conditioning and power options into a single implement. Typically they range from 2-25 lbs. A single 10 or 12 lbs. medicine ball is a great place to start.
- AbMat: training the abdominals is tricky business. Abmats decrease the loads placed on the spine while performing abdominal work.
- Jump Rope: a jump rope is perhaps the lowest priced piece of conditioning equipment out there besides a sidewalk. As you open up your conditioning and discover agility, a good jump rope with a bearing handle is a must.
- Parallettes: similar to a set of dip handles or dip rack, a set of parallettes is used close to the ground and assists with the development of bodyweight movements.
Complete Home Gym
- Squat Rack: this is essential at some point along the path, and now you’re here! Once you’re ready to move some serious weight it’s an amazing investment. This is another item where quality counts!
- Flat Bench: along with that squat rack, a flat bench opens up the possibility of moving more weight, and is also another fixture from which to lunge, squat or press off of. Quality still counts!
- Dip bars: a solid pair of dip handles or a dip bar allows you to add weight to push the strength training and skill development even farther.
- Rubber tiling: the weights you drop as well as your floor will thank you for having these mats. The padding will protect both from damage, as well as your pocket book from having to replace broken items.
- Climbing rope: awesome for so many reasons, but it can be difficult to use at home due to hanging and height requirements. This is definitely a “going for it!” item.
- Concept 2 Rower or Airbike: both are amazing pieces of equipment for conditioning but are quite pricey. When you’re ready to step it up a notch, purchasing one or both is a fantastic investment for your fitness regime.
- Stall Bars: old school fitness enthusiasts absolutely adore stall bars. They are used for strength training, mobility and stretching.