I have discovered some new and interesting fitness tools over the past several years while working with my arthritic knee and IT band injury. Now I can’t live without them.
Once you reach 30 years old, you start to lose muscle mass. One way to offset this is through weight training. I use hand weights to perform upper body training. For the seated exercises, I sit on the inflated blue ball for core strengthening and challenge for my balance.
The thick blue rubber band I found during my physical therapy training. It creates significant resistance while worn around both ankles or around the knees in lower body exercises that build alternate muscles to take pressure off the ones I am overusing.
The blue inflated disk is for balance. Since my balance is weak, standing on the disk with one foot for longer and longer periods of time helps me strengthen my balance, my core strength and posture. It’s fun to do and I have improved greatly over time.
The purple dog leash is used to stretch hamstrings. It provides an amazing stretch and ability to control and push the stretch by pulling on the leash. You can get this tool from a fitness store but if you have a dog leash, it works just as well.
The black tube is hard PVC-like pipe, covered in softer foam. Using this to roll on with problematic areas helps loosen them. I found this tool from Trigger Point and I use it to roll my IT band on. It’s painful but it works! When I travel, I take a tennis ball to use for the same purpose.
I use these tools 3 times each week as part of my normal exercise regimen. They not only help me build alternate muscles and improve my alignment and overall condition, but they also help me preserve my joints and supplement my injury prone areas. Working out smarter as I get older rather than harder is what I need to do. And these tools help me do it.