Physical therapy gear for exercise enthusiasts
Keep your body primed and pain-free at home and while traveling.
Sometimes you overtrain. Sometimes you undertrain. And sometimes you trip on the sidewalk. Regardless of how you find yourself in physical therapy, getting injured is an unfortunate part of being an athlete. As you recover, you’ll likely be assigned an exercise program to help you build strength, improve balance, increase flexibility, and retrain your body to give up on its bad habits. These quality products for your home can help you do your reps while healing, plus build protective muscles and form new movement patterns that minimize your risk of future injury.
Lying on a hardwood floor to stretch or sinking into the carpet while holding a plank is never fun. This PVC yoga mat provides thick cushioning and non-slip traction at an affordable price. It weighs just over three pounds and is easy to transport to the gym with a strap or bag. Use it for all your floor exercises even if the only downward-facing dog in your life is the golden retriever digging up your backyard.
Resistance bands are a staple of physical therapy, used in aptly named exercises like monster walks and clamshells. This TheraBand beginner set is latex-free and includes three band strengths ranging from yellow (least resistance) to red (most resistance). Vacations and business trips are no longer an excuse to skip your PT recommended program—these lightweight bands are as portable as they come.
Physical therapists will often assist patients using careful and controlled movement to stretch you further than you could go without support. Exercise straps don’t replace people, but can serve a similar function. The OPTP company has been making this quality nylon strap, which comes with a booklet containing 30 exercises as well as anatomical illustrations, since 1993. Use your strap to target tight muscles and expand your range of motion. Take advantage of the10 hand and foot loops across its 6’4” length for a more secure grip.
Made from dense and firm polypropylene, this solid foam roller is meant for targeting sore or tight muscles. You’ll want some guidance before you add rolling to your warm up or cool down routine, as there are definitely body parts you do not want to roll. Physical therapists, sports massage therapists, and personal trainers all may have tips on the best exercises to try. At three feet long and half a foot wide, this size accommodates most people and is a great place to start.
If you have the space for this half ball in your apartment or home, you’ll love having an opportunity to work your core and improve your balance in a variety of different ways. You can jump, kneel, stand, or even lie down on the ball, which is designed to be slip-resistant and also comes with resistance bands (not the same type as TheraBands), and a workout guide. Flip the ball over for a wobbly challenge that makes you feel like you’re surfing in the middle of the living room.