We all love fitness tools!

I’m sure we’ve all got some resistance bands, kettlebells, dumbbells or maybe some bigger items around the house that we bought with good intentions, used them a lot at the time and are now gathering dust somewhere.

What if I was to tell you that you already had some powerful fitness tools without realising?

I believe in starting where you are, with what you’ve got and use the time that you have when it comes to exercising. Getting started is usually the biggest step in any fitness journey and rather than splash out on gym memberships or equipment, I encourage people to use what they’ve already got, build a base then find the right tools further down the line.

Here are my Top 3 Fitness Tools that you may already have and could make a massive difference to your fitness:

  1. Broomstick
  2. Stairs
  3. Socks

Broomstick

The broomstick is one of the most powerful tools I’ve ever used! It’s so versatile, we’ve all got one or they only cost a couple of quid if you don’t. I’ve used it to help clients overcome back pain, run faster with less effort and lots of other things in between!

I love the broomstick because it’s light, it can help you get greater range in an exercise than any other tool and the only limit to what you can do with it is your imagination.

I’ve heard it can be used to sweep floors but I think that’s just a vicious rumour! ;-)

How I use it: Primarily, I use it to help clients loosen off a stiff neck and reduce stiffness in the upper back from sitting behind computers all day. I also use it myself, and with runners I coach, to give more freedom of movement in the arms and back to generate more speed when they run.

Stairs

I’ve come to the realisation lately that downsizing to a bungalow is bad for your health!

I’ve seen a greater number of people who stay in bungalows, or have downsized, have poorer hip mobility and more prone to tripping. As we’ve become conditioned to sitting in chairs, we’re not doing enough to lift our knees and this is having an impact both in general life and also in running performance. 

How to use them: You maybe go up one at a time or go up two at a time at speed, but try going up two at a time, slowly. The slower you do it, the more effective it becomes! It looks easy but it’s not. It’s a great way to build strength and stability in your ankles and hips, work your core and strengthen every muscle in your legs!

Don’t have stairs? Try going into a shop or a building with stairs and go up two at a time. No holding onto handrails for support!

Socks

I bet you’re wondering how socks can help your fitness eh?

Another aspect I’m seeing a lot of in people is poor balance. In fitness, I think there’s too much emphasis place upon muscle strength and HIIT workouts and not enough on balance and mobility.

We also spend a lot of time walking around on flat surfaces, wearing cushioned shoes and not enough walking on rough ground. This is leading to weaker ankles, increasing the risk of falling, rolling our ankles and causing injuries.

How do socks help? You can use them in a few exercises such as standing on one foot and squatting down to pick them up.

How I use them: Every morning when you’re putting your clothes on, place your socks on the floor in front of you. Stand on one foot and bend down to pick up your sock and place it on your foot. Then stand on your other foot and repeat on that side. The progression, for when you’re about to leave the house, is to stand on one foot, put your sock on then your shoe and tie the laces before putting your foot down and repeat on the other side.

This is a brilliant exercise to help improve your balance, give you more stability in your ankles so you don’t go over them and can help build strength in your legs and core too!

It’s not about trying to be perfect first time but to embrace your weaknesses and keep practicing to become better. Do it every time you put your socks on and it won’t be long before you’re not wobbling as much or can do it without losing balance.

Conclusion

It’s not always about the fitness tool but what you do with it and quite often, the simplest tools are the most effective.

I believe exercise should be fun, easy to fit in yet challenging enough to make us want to do it again and get better at it. 

These exercises will not only improve your mobility, balance, stability and strength, you’ll also feel like you’re becoming stronger, feel less stiff or sore, feel like you’re standing taller and begin to feel more confident when you see that you’re getting better at each one.

You can begin to use these fitness tools straight away, practice as often as you like and feel a difference fairly quickly.

Once that happens, and you’d like to discover what else you can do, get in touch and let’s have a chat