The 2019 Best Home Fitness Equipment for Mobility, Strength & Conditioning

Some key insights before jumping into the gear: When it comes to fitness equipment, Occam’s razor definitely applies:

The simplest explanation tends to be the right one – Occam’s razor

The best tools and peaces of equipment almost always turn out the be the simplest. Clean, uncomplicated (often with no moving parts) –  ingenious. Just as Movement Culture’s Ido Portal says of today’s fancy footwear: “hight tech shoes = low tech feet” – such is true for fitness tools and the human body as well.

Thus, the following is a collection of my favorite, time-tested, expert suggested simple and inexpensive fitness contraptions.

Best Home Fitness Equipment For Strength & Conditioning:

Fat Gripz  – For faster muscle gains

  • What it is: Portable handles that add width to normal barbells and dumbbells
  • Why it’s beneficial: Increases strength development in the forearms and translates to heavier lifts
  • How to use it: Just slip over virtually any existing handles on any piece of equipment

 

 


Gymnastic Rings – For building upper body strength

  • What it is: Classical gymnastics strength training ring set
  • Why it’s beneficial: allows you to transition from below (hanging) to above ring (pushing/press) type of exercises with an open kinetic chain
  • How to use it: Just toss the straps over any hanging bar, or set up in your doorway to develop a strong and stable upper body anywhere


Workout Exercise Bands – For improving range of motion

  • What it is: Simple rubber strips offer varying degrees of intensity
  • Why it’s beneficial: Ultra light, super portable, hit all the angels for rehabbing or prehabbing any joint – extremely versatile
  • How to use it: tie one end to a door knob and perform external shoulder rotations, or any PT exercise desired, anytime, anywhere

 


Yoga  Blocks – For increasing flexibility

  • What it is: Foam blocks add hight & cushioning for essential stretches and yoga poses
  • Why it’s beneficial: Allows you to systematically work into deeper positions where alternate levels of ability are not otherwise available
  • How to use it: Place under hands or feet to aid in proper alignment of common yoga or stretching positions

 

 


P bars – For strengthening the wrists and forearms

  • What it is: Portable handles for pushups and handstands
  • Why it’s beneficial: offers variation from open palm ground positions, and is healthier for the wrist joint
  • How to use it: place on ground parallel for handstand and pushup practice


Hand Stand Base Blocks – For nailing your perfect handstand

  • What it is: Raised blocks for press handstand and other hand balancing practices
  • Why it’s beneficial: Provides needed additional space between torso and floor when practicing L-sits and press handstands
  • How to use it: Practice L-sits, Straddles, and gradually pressing up to handstands

 


Stretch Strap – For stretching smarter and harder

  • What it is: Woven fabric all-purpose straps
  • Why it’s beneficial: Allows you to self-assist into challenging positions
  • How to use it: Loop the strap around a foot, ankle or thigh and play with different angles to work your hips and hamstrings loose

 

 


Captains of crush grip crushers – For total body strength

  • What it is: High-tension grip crushers
  • Why it’s beneficial: Increases neural (total body) strength through practicing intermittent force application
  • How to use it: Keep a set in your pocket and give a single max effort with each hand every hour or two for a few weeks. Watch ALL your major lifts improve!

 

 


Liquid Chalk – For power lifting, crossfit and climbing

  • What it is: Super portable climbing lifting chalk in liquid form
  • Why it’s beneficial: Easy to carry and to mess!
  • How to use it: Apply a small amount just prior to climbing or lifting

 


Kettle bells – For total body workout

  • What it is: Classical Russian kettle bells – basically “a cannonball with a handle”
  • Why it’s beneficial: KB swings and snatches are called “nature’s perfect exercise” and work strength, power and mobility simultaneously
  • How to use it: take a workshop with www.srongfirst.com

 

 


Indian Clubs – For improving shoulder mobility

  • What it is: Classic Indian clubs for shoulder mobility training
  • Why it’s beneficial: Utilizes full range of motion of the shoulder joint in a controlled manner
  • How to use it: Most pieces of equipment use a linear (up/down) range of motion. Indian clubs foster circular movements, the way the shoulder was meant to function

 

 


Speed Jump rope – For training speed and coordination

  • What it is: This grade wire jump rope for speed and agility training
  • Why it’s beneficial: Jumping rope not only offers a massive cardio and conditioning benefit but also trains coordination and timing
  • How to use it: ask Rocky


Climbing shoes – For…. well, for climbing

  • What it is: Rock climbing and bouldering toe shoes
  • Why it’s beneficial: climbing offers a full body strength and conditioning exercise. Having your own pair of shoes will make this awesome sport more accessible whether in the gym or in the park
  • How to use it: Climbing shoes should be a tight, almost uncomfortable foot. These shoe’s ain’t made for walking.

 

 


MMA gloves – For boxing, fighting, and aerobic conditioning

  • What it is: MMA boxing offer protection during fist strikes while still enabling open handed strikes and grappling maneuvers
  • Why it’s beneficial: Protection of the knuckles, and especially the wrists, will ensure you can train boxing drills on a regular basis.
  • How to use it: wrap up tight, exploded on the bag. Rest. Repeat.

 

 

The Best Fitness Equipment for Soft Tissue Work & Mobility:

Thera-cane – For deep tissue and trigger point massage

 

  • What it is: Self-massage stick for pressure points and knots.
  • Why it’s beneficial: Enables you to reach your back, and dig into pain points no matter severe
  • How to use it: Begin on top of the traps and work your way down the scapula to uncover some knots you didn’t know you had


Lacrosse Balls – For soft tissue and mobility work

 

  • What it is: High density rubber balls for self myofascial release
  • Why it’s beneficial: Cheep, portable, functional
  • How to use it: Roll out the IT bands, or dig into your quads, calves or hamstrings

 


Peanut Roller – For soft tissue and T-spine mobility

 

  • What it is: Double ended lacrosse ball-like device
  • Why it’s beneficial: lighter weight than lacrosse balls, allow you to straddle the spine and hit those knots in the thoracic and shoulder girdle areas
  • How to use it: Lie flat on your back on a hard surface, start with the roller in your lower back, and gradually work your way up to the T-spine moderating pressure as you go

 


Heavy Duty Foam Roller – For IT band and mashing quads

 

 

  • What it is: High density, heavy duty “truck tire” foam roller
  • Why it’s beneficial: Offers superior resistance and pointed pressure to release specific knots and fascial adhesions
  • How to use it: Roll out the IT band, quads, adductors and calves

 


Nylon Looped Stretching Strap – For improving active flexibility

 

  • What it is: Looped nylon strap to use anywhere for assisted stretches
  • Why it’s beneficial: Quickly change positions and intensity without having to fuss with the length or the strap
  • How to use it: Loop over a foot or ankle to pull yourself deeper into a given stretch

 


Spiky Mat – For increasing blood-flow and stimulating the CNS

 

  • What it is: Acupressure mat relieves pain and improves circulation
  • Why it’s beneficial: Increases blood flow and sensory perception to a given area or whole body via meridian pathways
  • How to use it: Stand barefoot or (if brave) lie flat on your back to stimulate the governing vessel acupuncture system

Guardian angel hand acupressure device

 

 

  • What it is: Portable hand acupressure device
  • Why it’s beneficial: Stimulates flow of blood, oxygen and energy throughout the acupuncture system via the conception vessel pathway
  • How to use it: Role between fingers and palms, or touch to desired points along the midline to stimulated specific organs and systems

Rapid Release massager – For releasing muscle adhesions

  • What it is: Most powerful massage therapy device on the market
  • Why it’s beneficial: Specifically calibrated rate of vibration to match and release muscle fiber adhesions
  • How to use it: hit the on switch and hold on for dear life

Best Resources For Training Education:

I’ve had the chance to learn directly from some of the best in the business, Pavel Tsatsouline, Charles Poliquin, “Coach” Christopher Sommers, Robb Wolf, the Strong First Team at Five Points Academy, and more recently, Ido Portal via NYC Movement co.

 

What does Ido Portal pack to stay fit while traveling?

 

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