Updated: Mar 13
This portion will talk about the tools that would be helpful in our Winning WarmUPs and Workouts. I designed this course to literally be done in a barn aisle on a saddle blanket or in your horse trailer on the road - you could definitely do this with out any extra tools (you don't even need shoes!). Know that these tools are NOT necessary, but if you can acquire them they are really great at helping facilitate more dynamic movement!
One of the biggest annoyances I had with looking at the fitness world was that it makes people think exercising and health is unattainable unless you A. go to a gym or B. have fancy equipment to work-out on. Lucky for you, this is simply not true.
The beauty of a program designed with principles of stability, circulation and strength is that they share the quality of needing proprioception to function well. With proprioception as the main focus, it doesn't require all the frivolous extras you might see on commercials or social media. It just uses your own body and as much resistance and repetitions as you want to add.
Don't think of this as a boot camp, fitness course or exercise class - think of it as a healthy movement program!
That being said, there are a few tools I would recommend trying to get. They will help you with balance (body awareness and strength) and muscle activity (circulation). You can find these multiple places including my shop, the internet, even Goodwill Stores! These tools are versatile, compact, very practical and low cost. I also want to say, please feel free to do the course a few times JUST TO DO IT, and THEN go buy the 'accessories'. Don't feel like you must have these to start, or break the bank just to get them and then not utilize them.
In list of priority here are my recommended helpful work-out tools!
The purpose of the mat will be to stem and base all our movements on top of. The workout is made to flow within the space that a mat takes up, so it will be convenient if you have a padded place to work from.
I really love "yoga" type mats, since they are long enough to lay on, thick enough to add cushion to your hands, feet, and bones, and you can roll them up easily. They also have a 'grippy' type of texture which helps stabilize our movement.
*The alternative to an exercise mat: stall mat, square saddle blanket, thicker towel or rug*
The purpose of a balance disc is to have a multi-functional product that aids in training our balance. It can easily simulate riding a horse, which is the more practical function of it. You can stand, sit, lay or use your hands on it. Since it is a rubber ball type material it moves around with you, which forces you to stabilize your body, based on your position.
I enjoy the thinner type discs that are soft on both sides that fill with air. You can adjust the thickness, but it is thin profiled enough to shove under your truck seat or closet.
*The alternative to a disc: a half exercise ball, balance board, or small foam block*
The resistance band is so useful for building strength and flexibility safely, as you are in control of the resistance level that your body can tolerate. It has almost infinite use, as it can be used solely on your body, or in combination with securing it to something.
I really like the long version of resistance bands. You can loop or knot them if need be. You can choose the resistance thickness (the thinner the less resistance, the thicker the less 'give' it has when you pull it) and then the length can be adjusted according to where you grab it.
*The alternative to a band: is using a dish towel just to support the frame of certain positions*
The exercise ball for this course is useful for flexibly and strength. It is great to stretch gently on top of. It also adds a pretty challenging factor of balance in some positions. A ball is also useful for riding simulations or a chair replacement which is good for back mobility.
I really think the medium sized balls (around 55cm) are the most versatile. You can workout on them with out feeling they are cumbersome to use or to store.
*The alternative to a ball: a balance disc or ball rated protected from a 'pop' factor *
The weights are useful for building strength and adding proprioceptive input to your body. You can choose them in a very light weighted variety that straps on easily for nearly every exercise.
I like the sand weights that are designed to velcro on to your wrists or ankles. They are very small to store and practical to use in almost any work-out.
*The alternative to an strap on weights: small hand held weights*
Athletic Stretchy Tape
This athletic kinesiology tape stretches and can be applied to the body. There are a few reasons that a chiropractor or body worker might recommend taping the body. The most common is healing, by bringing circulation to the tissue beneath it (the skin lifts and the fascia and blood can breathe and move freely). But it is also incredibly useful for reminding your body where it is! If you favor one side, have dominant leg/arm, a crooked posture, or twisted torso this helps you by pulling on your skin and reminding your brain to 'stand up straight'.
I like to find an athletic stretch tape that has safe adhesive, made to use on human skin. You can usually find them in a chiropractors office or online, and they can direct you on the best way to apply and use it.
*The alternative to athletic tape: bandage tape, vet wrap, hair scrunchie, or lightly wrapped resistance band*
This tool will help you check your body placement. With out a second set of eyes it can be challenging to calibrate where the alignment and activation is in your body. By looking in a mirror, it can confirm that you are indeed where your mind thinks you are, or if you need to 'straighten your supporting knee' or 'level your shoulders out'. Sometimes we think we are standing up straight, and then a double-check proves this is not the case! Visual feedback is sometimes just the fix for needing to make a small adjustment.
I like to find an over the door mirror and prop or hang it wherever I need it.
*The alternative to a mirror: a reflective surface, or your phone in selfie-mode*