Equipment you might come across when exercising.
In this blog we will be giving you a brief explanation of the equipment you might come across when exercising or performing some form of therapy, either at home or in the gym.
Agility hurdles or speed hurdles are used amongst sports coaches and sports therapists. They are used to help improve footwork and agility and to maximise leg power output through essential leg recovery and force application. Hurdles are usually made of a durable lightweight plastic and vary in height.
These are weights that you can attach just above and around your ankles, by the means of velcro to add extra weight to your body. They come in different weights, usually in increments from 1kg to 5kg. Can be used for certain types of resistance training and aerobic training and are common amongst therapists for rehabilitation.
The barbell is a popular piece of equipment usually used for strength training and weightlifting and can be used in a number of ways. It is a long bar with adjustable weight in the form of plates or discs on each end which are secured by collars or clips. Some barbells also come in a fixed weight.
The two most common benches are a fixed flat position design and an adjustable design, which means you can adjust the seating position from a negative decline, right through to a 90 degree incline which is an upright seated position. This allows benches to be used for a number of exercises, being a great piece of kit to have access too.
Exercise bikes are a device with a saddle, pedals, and handlebars and used as exercise equipment rather than transportation. An exercise bike is usually a special-purpose exercise machine resembling a bicycle without true wheels. You can adapt a normal bicycle for stationary exercise by placing it on bicycle rollers or a trainer.
A BOSU (BOth Sides Up) is a fitness training device usually used for balance and core training. It consists of an inflated rubber hemisphere attached to a rigid platform. It basically looks like a stability ball cut in half. Dome side up makes an unstable surface while device remains stable and dome side down makes it highly unstable.
Although you can usually find cones on roads and paths, they are also and often used for agility training amongst sports but are a lot smaller. You can get a few different types of cones, one being a shape that tapers from a flat base to a single point and another being a round dome shape.
The dumbbell is a type of free weight / equipment used in strength training. They can be used in a number of ways by both male and female to help promote muscle strength, toning and reduce body fat percentage. Dumbbells can be used individually or in pairs. They vary in weight, usually from 1kg and can go up to around 70kg.
The foam roller is a cylinder of compact foam or polystyrene with sizes that usually range from 12″ – 36″. You use it by moving your treated area over it slowly, back and forth. Foam rolling it’s a type of self-myofascial release (SMR) and it’s a way to release unnecessary tension in the muscle and the fascia surrounding the muscle.
A football is a round ball inflated with air, has a circumference of around 68-70 cm and weights between 410-450g (size 5). Although you can get different sizes. Made out of leather or plastic and there are a number of different types of footballs. Used to play the sport known as football, but is used often by sports therapists and physiotherapists.
Cast iron or steel cannonball with a handle. They are great for every aspect of fitness such as elevating the heart rate, strength and functional training. Can be used in explosive swinging movements utilising the whole body along with momentum or used in a more traditional way like your common press and squat exercises.
A medicine ball or ‘med ball’ for short is a solid, weighted exercise ball usually used for rehabilitation, conditioning and strength training. They are used effectively in plyometric weight training to increase explosive power. Medicine balls come in different sizes, usually weighted between 1-11 kg.
PUNCH BAG & GLOVES
Punch bags come in different shapes and sizes, the most common being the 4-6ft standard punch bag. You can purchase them pretty cheap now days and have the option to hang it up or stand it up. Wear gloves to protect your knuckles and possibly hand wraps to support your wrists.
A racquet is a sports implement consisting of a handled frame with an open hoop, which can be made out of various light weight materials. There is a network of strings stretched tightly across the hoop. There are different types depending on the sport but is most commonly used for striking a tennis ball in a tennis game, but is also be used in sports rehabilitation for mimicking tennis movements.
The resistance band (or Thera-Band) comes as a long, wide elastic material or a long thin elastic cord with handles on each end. The resistance band is generally used for strengthening muscles and is more commonly used in physical therapy, specifically by convalescents of muscular injuries.
Using a skipping rope is a great aerobic, low impact exercise. It is unlikely to lead to any knee damage since the impact of each jump or step is absorbed by the balls of your feet rather than the heels like you do in jogging. This greatly decreases the ground force through the knee joint.
The stability cushion is also known as a wobble board. It is filled with air and is used to improve balance and proprioception. It is often used by sports therapists or physiotherapists in the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries such as sprained ankle and following knee and ankle surgery.
Also known as a ‘swiss ball’ and is used in a wide variety of fitness. The nature and instability of a ball when a body resists agains it, helps to improve your centre of balance and strengthen your core. It also helps improve your muscle control and coordination. There are different sizes of stability ball available.
The step is a very handy piece of equipment which is good for an all round workout. It is usually used for aerobic training, but can be used for other types of training as well – such as strength training. You can usually have various different height settings depending on the movement and intensity of the exercise.
Suspension straps are a type of equipment used for developing strength, core strength, balance, flexibility, and joint stability, often with your body weight used for resistance. Suspension straps can be used in a number of ways and are great for mixing up your training, don’t cost too much and you can take them anywhere.
A tennis ball is a bouncy ball designed for the sport of tennis. They have a diameter of 6.54–6.86 cm and are mainly yellow but can be come in virtually any colour. Tennis balls are covered in a fibrous felt which modifies their aerodynamic properties, and each has a white curvilinear oval covering it.