Flexibility equipment will help you make the most of your stretching routine. Most of the equipment discussed in this article can be found at a gym or can be purchased and used in the home. While household items can help you with stretching, the right equipment helps you keep proper form and maximizes your body's ability to stretch. With any stretching program, it's important to to build little by little and work with a personal trainer to set up the proper form and avoid injury. Here are some basic equipment items for your flexibility routine.
A Good Exercise Mat
Many stretches are best if you do them on the floor. It's important to have a mat to lie on so that you have some padding, but not so much that you can't feel the floor beneath your back.
You can work out many areas of the back, upper back, neck, chest and shoulders with a styrofoam roller. These can be purchased online, and many gyms carry them. It also doubles as a massage tool if you lie on it and have it press on different myofascial trigger points.
This is basically just a wide and flexible band that requires strength to stretch any further than about shoulder width apart. Try to get a band that has a handle or something on the end you can put your foot into. This way you can attach it to the ankle and try to stretch it out using the leg. This will work the the hip muscle if you're stretching out side to side. You can also use the band to stretch forward with the leg or to extend the leg backward.
Back Stretching Machine
There are many different machines that will help you stretch the back. The best is one that will allow you to go upside down. Doing this type of inversion helps increase the blood flow to the back. This circulation will help keep it healthy and can speed up recovery from injury.
You can also use the stretch band to work the arms. Lifting the band up and over your head with your arms slightly apart, you can try to stretch it out. You can also use it to exercise the triceps and biceps. It's an incredibly useful tool.
An Exercise Ball
Before you buy an exercise ball, you can try different sizes out at the gym or at your chiropractor's office. It's important to choose a size of ball that fits your body and your strength and balance abilities. You can use it to work on opening the chest, stretching the back and working the abs. You can also use it to increase your balance by sitting on it and trying to lift one foot off the ground.