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Exercise Gear to Improve Your Workout and RecoveryExercise Gear to Improve Your Workout and Recovery


Exercise Gear to Improve Your Workout and Recovery

While exercise equipment is not required for a great workout, some fitness tools can aid in your recovery and help make your exercise sessions more challenging. Here is a list of inexpensive exercise equipment that can take your workout or recovery to the next level.

Exercise Ball

A study by the American Council on Exercise rated crunches on an exercise ball as the third best exercise for effectiveness. The exercise ball can also be used to improve balance and challenge smaller muscle groups while performing moves like push-ups and shoulder presses. It can also be used during stretching — especially for the upper and lower back, abdominals, and hamstrings.

Foam Roller

A foam roller is a cylinder-shaped piece of firm foam used to give you a mini massage that lengthens and stretches the muscles. Regular foam rolling has been found to decrease muscle soreness and improve range of motion.

Leg Sleeves

Leg sleeves are one of the many forms of compression clothing that have gained popularity. While most research has not found a direct link between compression sleeves and better exercise performance, studies have shown they may help with exercise recovery. In some cases, leg sleeves have been found to reduce muscle soreness.

Tennis Ball

A tennis ball is a simple piece of equipment that can be used to massage and stretch small target areas. For example, you can place the ball on the floor and put your foot over it. Then, slowly move your foot around to massage the soles of the feet. In a similar way, the balls can also be used to massage specific areas of the upper back.

Exercise Bands

Performing your strength training routine with exercise bands allows you to challenge your muscles in a new way. The bands are a great alternative to add variety to your routine. They are also ideal for traveling and can be used during stretching exercises to improve flexibility.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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