You’ve accomplished so much! You started moving to higher weights, running longer distances, but then you had an injury. The quickest way to recover after an injury is by focusing on your personalized physical therapy plan. However, rehabilitation doesn’t stop after you’ve finished your session—ease yourself back into fitness at home with a couple simple pieces of equipment. This equipment is affordable, portable, and easy to use.
Exercise balls are a great way to strengthen your back, core, and abs while also toning and increasing flexibility. It’s great for all regardless of fitness level and offers a low-impact workout. There are a variety of exercise balls out there that can specifically target certain areas, so ask your physical therapist which type to get before buying. Don’t worry about your ball popping, it is designed to take a beating, and if it loses air you can always inflate it with a standard air pump.
The foam roller is an underappreciated tool that everyone should have at home. Foam rollers stretch, strengthen, and relieve muscle pain all over your body. If you have sore or tight muscles, use the foam roller to target them and slowly massage out the tension. You’ll know that you are using it correctly if you will feel pain akin to normal stretching, so don’t worry, this uncomfortable feeling is normal. Listen to your body’s limits and massage the area after you’re done rolling.
The most ancient exercise tool also happens to be the most fun way to workout. Exercising with a medicine ball promotes strength, balance, and coordination. It’s great because it targets the core in a natural way to prevent injury. Medicine balls are particularly beneficial to those recovering from spine, shoulder, and knee injuries. They can range in weight from 2 – 25 pounds, but always start with a lighter weight ball, then move up from there.
Resistance bands are widely used by the rehabilitation community; they are compact, lightweight, and can be used anywhere. The key benefit is that it allows you to apply differing levels of pressure in a variety of poses. There are two main types of resistance bands you can buy, one is flat without hand holds, and the other is tubular with hand holds. Speaking generally, it would be easier to continue with the one you and your physical therapist have been using.
Always consult your physical therapist at Foothill Sports Medicine Physical Therapy on how to use your new equipment before using. Exercising freely whenever you want in your home can be tantalizing, but exercising improperly could set you back weeks on your path to recovery. Mastering these tools will accelerate your recovery and get you back to your old self. Contact your local Foothills Sports Medicine location to discuss your physical therapy needs.