Flexibility and Core Strengthening Gear Everyone Needs

Stock Your Home Gym with These Items to Stay Supple

Staying flexible and developing core strength and balance is key to general fitness, posture, and good walking form. These items can help you develop your flexibility, core strength, and balance.


Exercise Ball

Exercise Balls
Exercise Balls. gilaxia/E+/Getty Images

Whether you use it as a chair or as a base on which to do exercises and stretches, an exercise ball is an essential piece of core strengthening and balance equipment. It also helps you develop your balance and proprioception. You can find an exercise ball at any major retailer in the fitness and health section. See this yoga workout to improve flexibility and coordination.


Foam Roller

Foam Roller
Foam Roller. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

This was the first piece of core strengthening equipment my trainer recommended. A high-density foam roller is used as an unstable base on which you can perform exercises that make your stabilizing muscles come into play. You can also use it for deep massage pressure to relieve muscle tension - two excellent benefits. You can find foam rollers online or at any sports or fitness retailer. See how to use it for massage.


BOSU Balance Trainer

Bosu Ball
Bosu Ball. Rich Legg/E+/Getty Images

The BOSU balance trainer is a bit more expensive, but I love doing exercises on it at the gym. You can do almost any exercise on the BOSU, such as squats, crunches, dumbbells, and give it that extra edge, also training your balance, proprioception, and core strength. You can probably find a BOSU at a sports or fitness store, or buy one online. Here is how to use a BOSU for a variety of workouts.


Yamuna Body Rolling Balls

Yamuna Balls
Yamuna Balls. © Pricegrabber

Give yourself a deep tissue massage with the Yamuna Body Rolling technique. My massage therapist gave classes in the technique, in which you use the weight of your body against a firm ball to release muscle tension. I take a ball along in my luggage to get a good massage when traveling.


Balance Disc

Fit Disc
Fit Disc. Wendy Bumgardner ©

The J-Fit Fit Disc can be used as a seat cushion to give you the same benefits as using an exercise ball as a chair, without some of the drawbacks. It can also be used as the base for core, balance, and stretching exercises. It has one smooth side and one knobbly side to provide massage and more challenges for exercise.


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