3 Pieces of Fantastic Fitness Equipment

I am a giant fitness geek. This means that when I see a new piece of fitness equipment…I want to buy it.

  • Unfortunately, a lot of fitness equipment sucks…case in point – the Ab Circle Pro.

Fortunately, there are a few pieces of fantastic fitness equipment that are worth the money. Here are three of them:

1.  The Hammer Head Anchor Gym

In my humble opinion, the Hammer Head anchor gym is a truly fantastic piece of fitness equipment that should be in every home gym.

  • I use it for strength training
  • I use it for flexibility training
  • I use it for mobility training
  • I use it for energy system training
  • It takes up almost zero space
  • It’s cost effective
  • And it’s safe

For years and years and years, I have used a set of high quality resistance bands with all of my clients. They are portable, never break, are versatile and allow me to do just about everything that I can do in a full commercial gym without turning my client’s rec room into a health club. The only requirement that I need from my clients is something solid to attach the bands to…usually a piece of cardio equipment – treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc… It isn’t the perfect set-up for resistance-band strength training, but
it was okay until…

…I got my hands on the Hammer Head anchor gym. The multiple attachment points have allowed me to get way more creative with my selection of exercises. For example, earlier today…

  • I had a client perform a circuit involving a standing two-arm chest press…with the added resistance of a resistance band looped around her waist.
  • In addition to the work being performed by her chest, triceps & front delts, she was also stressing her core muscles as well as stabilizers in her ankles & hips as she resisted being pulled backwards by the band around her waist.
  • As soon as she finished the chest press set, I had her jump immediately into a set of shuffle lunges with the added resistance of the band looped around her waist.

hammerhead h2 home gym strength bands fitness health

For less than $200, they now have a home gym with a lifetime guarantee that takes up zero floor space.

Love it, love it. love it.

Next PageThe Glasstic Water Bottle….

Say Bye Bye to Sore Muscles

As a personal trainer, keeping my clients pain-free is very, very, very important.

In addition to muscular pain brought on by sitting in front of a computer, talking on the phone, watching tv, etc… weight-training clients are prone to muscular tension as part of the natural workout recovery pathways.

Because of this, I am constantly trying out new methods of preventing stiff and sore muscles

  • Therapy Rollers
  • Electronic Muscle Stimulators
  • Manual & Electrical Massagers
  • Creams
  • Mineral Bath Soaks
  • And all sorts of different physical therapists
And my all-time favorite (as of Sept 2012) are these beauties…
1. The Adjustable MyoRoller
The Myo Roller

2. and the TPRPal….

Trigger Point Release Pal

… from MyoTools.

Incredibly simple… and incredibly smart.

For example, when I am trying to loosen up sore muscles in my back, I position the two closed cell foam balls of the Myo Roller so that they are on either side of my spine…focusing all the force onto the paraspinal muscles themselves. Foam rollers can’t do this. Lacrosse balls can’t do this. Back knobbers can’t do this.

And when I want to roll out my tight IT bands, I push the two balls together to provide a wider rolling surface. Instant foam roller.

It’s also brilliant for loosening up the sub-occiptital neck muscles that are responsible for a majority of tension headaches.

LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!

Regarding the TPR Pal, I use it to…

  • work into all the little nooks and crannies in my upper back as well as…
  • using it to break up myofascial knots in my upper pecs
  • I also use it on the soles of my feet to prevent plantar fasciitis

But my favorite use for the TPR Pal is when my wife uses it to give me a massage. Holding the foam side in her hand, she can use the wooden knob to press deep into the muscle tissue without putting any force on her fingers/thumbs. A quick 5 minute massage turns into an awesome 30 minute knot-busting massage session

And when you consider that the Roller costs $20 and 4 TPR Pals (diff size knobs) cost $15, it really is a no-brainer.

Note – As a small-business person, I love the fact that all of these tools are made by hand by the owner of the company…just as soon as you place your order.

He also has a bunch of other cool therapy tools and I am going to place an order for Myo-Vise Body Clamp soon.

3 completely badass fitness products that you’re GONNA buy…or else.

Alright….maybe badass isn’t the appropriate description for these products.

None of them are going to smack you around for being a pair of idiot skinheads starting trouble on a public bus.

But they will help you :

  • make your feet work better
  • reduce associated pain
  • pack on muscle faster than cheap internet steroids

Correct Toes

Dr. Ray McClanahan (podiatric physician) believes that the best way to treat most foot problems is by allowing the foot to function exactly as nature intended. Unfortunately, the shoes you are wearing right probably don’t do that. This realization is why so many people are giving barefoot / minimalist shoes a try. Unfortunately, if you have been wearing “normal” shoes for most of your life, switching to a barefoot shoe isn’t going to fix your feet.

This is where the Correct Toes spacer can help. They are designed to spread your toes into their natural and correct position…improving “proprioception, which then allows the brain to better promote balance and optimal muscle function”.

Paired with a quality pair of barefoot / minimalist shoes, Correct Toes returns your foot to its natural state, treating most foot problems, and by extension, many musculoskeletal problems.

Sidewalk Surfers from Sanuk

There is no point in buying the Correct Toes spacer and fixing your gnarly old feet if you’re going to keep shoving them into a pair of “normal” shoes and scrunching them together like some masochistic Chinese foot binding experiment. What you need to do is buy a pair (or two) of barefoot / minimalist shoes that allow your feet to move as they were originally intended.

And that’s one of the reasons why I have been wearing a pair of Sanuk Chibas all summer long.

Some of the other reasons are…

  1. they are comfortable as heck,
  2. can be worn on the beach AND with casual clothes,
  3. they look pretty darn good
  4. and they come with an antimicrobial additive…meaning they won’t stink after hours and hours of barefoot wear.

SizeOn

skinny exercise weightlifterA few months back, I started working with two different 40+ year old clients who wanted to add some muscle to their “slender” physiques. In addition to a complete restructuring of their diets and an introduction to a truly nasty training program, I put them both on Gaspari Nutrition’s SizeOn product.

Instead of taking a bunch of different products, I wanted one supplement that would service their workout endurance demands as well as help them pack some meat on their hardgainer bodies. And SizeOn turned out to work perfectly.

Both clients had already started gaining muscle with SizeOn, but when we added it into the mix, things really took off.

  • Both gained significant muscle mass
  • Subject #1 gained 14 lbs of muscles while losing 7 lbs of fat
  • Subject #2 gained 11 lbs of muscle while losing 22 lbs of fat.

Pretty significant transformations…especially when you consider that both of these guys were both ectomorphs and lifelong hard-gainers.

I can’t say enough about this product – Great Stuff!!! – Here are the ingredients if you want to check it out.

Low Back Pain? Your Hips May Be The Problem

Every year, we spend close to a bazillion dollars on low back pain treatments – massage, pills, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc

  • What if the problem isn’t your back?

Most of us sit on our butts way too much – at work, at home, at restaurants, at movie theaters, etc.

And this can mess up a bunch of the muscles surrounding your hips & pelvis. And when those muscles get all tight, bunched up and inflamed, they can mis-align your hips & pelvis which can lead to mis-alignment of your lumbar spine which leads to lower back pain.

Luckily for you, there are some pretty simple (and 100% free) ways to help repair those messed up hip/pelvis muscles.

I’m not saying that these techniques will fix all your lower back pain…..but they just might.

Give ’em a try.

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Stand Up Straight…your posture is making you look short and fat

Is Your Poor Posture Making You Look Short and Fat?

Two of the most common postural flaws I see are:

Postural Flaw #1  –  Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Which leads to Lordosis

Unfortunately, Anterior Pelvic tilt & Lordosis manifest themselves as a protruding Gut and Butt. And no one likes that.

Postural Flaw #2  –  Kyphosis

Kyphosis and a ‘forward head’ position makes you look hunched over and appear shorter. And once again, no one wants that.

your posture is making you look short and fat

But wait…it gets worse

When you are unwise enough to put kyphosis together with lordosis, you end up with…

  • the whole looking fat and short thing PLUS,
  • headaches,
  • neck pain,
  • bicep tendinitis,
  • dry mouth,
  • pain under the shoulder blades,
  • mid back pain, lower back pain,
  • lateral knee pain,
  • torn knee ligaments,
  • hamstring tears,
  • plantar fasciitis and
  • sciatica.

Booooooooo!!!!!

This is what you should look like.

Here is a postural analysis video that should provide additional detail.

So What Do I Do About It?

The short answer is that you need to stretch some muscles:

  • Psoas
  • Iliacus
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Tensor Fascia Latae
  • Spinal Erectors (special care here)
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Teres Major
  • Anterior Deltoid
  • Subscapularis
  • Upper Trapezius
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Suboccipitals
  • Sternocleidomastoid

and strengthen other muscles:

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • External Obliques
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Mid/Lower Trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Pectoralis Minor

The long answer will require you visiting a physiotherapist or an osteopath or some other postural guru.

 

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If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

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