There’s many different types of exercise equipment on the market, some of which you’ll use time and time again and some which will just gather dust. Here I’ve discussed my four favourite pieces of equipment that I couldn’t do without. You’ll notice they all have a restorative theme as well as being able to use them for strength training.
Massage balls are an effective way to reduce tension and sore muscles, to deepen a stretch, to reduce tightness and encourage blood flow to a specific area. The beauty of massage balls as opposed to a foam roller, because they are smaller, is you can find a small area of tension and really concentrate on that area, working hard to reduce the knots. I try to stretch and use massage balls or a foam roller at least three times a week.
Pilates bands are a great tool to add resistance to a strength training programme. Bands come in different resistances; a piece of equipment to have at home as they’re not expensive and take up little room. You can also use them to stretch your muscles replicating stretch machines found in a gym.
Pilates pillows are essential for encouraging the anterior tilting of the pelvis and sitting up on the seat bones, especially if the hips are tight. A skill needed in Pilates. They are also useful for support under the head in exercises laying in a prone position (facing down) or on your side.
A Pilates ring can be used to work the upper body by holding it between your arms and between your legs to work the lower body. They are a cheap piece of equipment and are small enough to store and carry.
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