Exercise Equipment

These are products we’ve found useful in support of movement sessions at the Perfect Health Retreat, or are items we believe you may find helpful to your exercise at home.

Remember that physical activity is one of the key drivers of daytime circadian rhythms, while rest, recovery, relaxation, and reduction of stress are essential at night. Be sure to support both types of movement! Also, visit our Shop Circadian Rhythms page to find items that will help create a circadian-rhythm supporting environment.

Fitness


These products help build strength or cardiorespiratory fitness.

Kettlebells
  • Kettlebells are our favorite weight – very versatile
  • Can be gripped with one hand or two, and kept close to body
Dumbbells and Barbells
  • Classic weight training tools
Pulling equipment
  • Power tower for pull ups and dips
  • TRX straps are excellent for pulling exercises — attach to a door or rafter
  • Pull up assistance bands can reduce the difficulty of pull ups
Alternative weights
  • Sandbags provide a graspable weight
  • Weighted vests add difficulty to other movements
  • Resistance bands for strength, stretching, and physical therapy
Jump ropes
  • Excellent preparation for minimalist or barefoot running
  • Light rope for fast cadence, heavy rope for slower cadence
Medicine balls and balance trainer
  • Bosu balance trainer – use either side up
  • Medicine balls can be selected in various weights

Mobility and Healing


These products help build range of motion and comfortable movement.

Mats
  • Good for floor work, stretching, yoga, pilates
  • Everlast – 1.5 inch thick; HemingWeigh – 0.5 inch thick; Yoga Accessories – 0.125 inch thick
Cushions
  • Zafu cushions originally developed for Zen meditation, useful for yoga in those with reduced mobility
  • Zabuton cushions are used for sitting by the Japanese. It is good to get into folded floor postures
Other Yoga Equipment
  • Belt straps enable some core exercises, static lateral raises and hip exercises
  • Yoga blocks enable other exercises such as a static arm cross
Foam rollers
  • Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique that promotes mobility and healing
  • Similar effects to deep tissue massage
  • Begin away from pain points – work out points of stiffness or knots
Voodoo Floss
  • For tacking and compressing tissue
  • Creates an internal massage during movement, promotes release of adhesions and alignment of fascia
  • Compare Rogue Fitness voodoo floss
Massage tools
  • Thera-Cane Massager is useful for reaching the back
  • Roller-Massager is most useful for legs and side
  • Foot roller is great to use while standing
Handheld massage tools
  • Lacrosse balls are one of Kelly Starrett’s favorite massage tools. Massage any tissue with them.
  • The Jacknobber provides a finer points
  • Thai massage set provides a variety of useful shapes

Quantified Self and Exercise Management


These products help you monitor and manage your movement.

Timer
  • A bit more convenient than a smartphone
  • Useful for timing movement or interval sessions
Heart rate monitor
  • Look for monitors that can measure heart rate variability as well as pulse

Play


These products help you monitor and manage your movement.

Agility training
  • Practice rapidity of movement in and out of squares
  • Cone markers allow easy setup of a course
Sporting goods
  • Play is exercise too
Swimming
  • Flotation devices can ease the work of swimming for children or those who lack skills
  • Breathing tubes support swimming with spine and neck vertebrae aligned in proper posture
Wetsuits

Shoes


These products help you monitor and manage your movement.

Vibram FiveFingers shoes
  • Our favorite shoes for running and walking
  • Take your time to get used to them
Other minimalist athletic shoes
  • Look for: zero heel drop, wide toe box, less than 10 mm cushioning
  • Vivobarefoot is a brand that has all 3
Indoor shoes
  • Comfortable casual shoes
Water shoes
  • Protection when walking in water with shells and stones
  • Useful on clamming expeditions
Correct Toes
  • Helpful for foot health
  • Aligns foot bones and straightens and spaces toes

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Leave a comment ?

10 Comments.

  1. Have been hoping to acquire a set of kettlebells and was happy to see this one recommended; however, it seems to be unavailable. Is there another you would recommend?

  2. I recommend the Steel Bow

  3. Paul and Shou-Ching,

    Big fan, and promoter here!

    Quick question… thoughts on inversion tables?

    http://www.amazon.com/Ironman-Gravity-4000-Inversion-Table/dp/B000VSKAI8/ref=pd_ys_sf_s_3375251_b2_8_p?ie=UTF8&refRID=0P93XRR70XKJ8CTPBKGJ

    With your blessing I’m gunna buy.

    Best,
    Kevin Riordan

    • Hi Kevin, I’m afraid I don’t know much about inversion tables. Wish I could help!

    • Kevin, I’m no expert either, but I used inversion boots with a fixed bar (which in retrospect was kind of risky) many years ago when I had some back problems which I subsequently solved with exercises .
      I don’t know how the table would affect circulation, etc., that would depend on your vascular health, soundness of your venous valves, etc. and you should of course be in good general health to use something that lets gravity pull your fluids in an other-than- normal direction, but the table will indeed take pressure off your vertebral discs and stretch muscles, etc. That probably wouldn’t provide a permanent fix for someone with back problems but it could, for example, help allow healing to take place while other treatments are being pursued – it’s the same principal as the traction used in medical settings. Or, it can just give you a nice stretch – nothing wrong with that – cats and people alike enjoy the feeling. If you start with a gentle incline, find your limits and don’t use it to the extent that you could inadvertently pass out or something, in my opinion you should be able to enjoy it and derive some benefit without a problem.

  4. Hi, Is there any good guide (e.g. book or youtube video) to help with how to use a fioam roller?
    Thanks

  5. Hello Paul,
    Obesity causes an increase in fat cell count that is mostly irreversible even if fat is lost. Fasting promotes the loss of fat cells but not that much.
    With that in mind what is your opinion on one-time liposuction with the single goal of lowering fat cell count. A few studies have shown that appetite control is much easier when fat cell count is lower, additionally fat cells are producing inflammatory and estrogenic hormones which may be in excess when fat cell count is larger.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. I’ve become very fond of David Weck’s Rolling Ropes program, which is performed with normal jump ropes, but jumping over the rope is optional. Moves include side swings, which are familiar to normal rope-jumpers and a helical stride, which swings the rope sideways in front of then behind the feet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzzmyriWvoo&t=2m45s is an example of the helical rope swing. Demo isn’t perfect: rope doesn’t consistently hit the ground behind Tony’s body, and his left foot is turned out. Another component of the workout is the transitions between side and helical swings, which is a challenging learning experience. It took me over 3 months to get really good at the basic moves and about 2 years to get very smooth with complex moves.

    The work engages pronators and supinators in arms and legs, and spiraling lines in the torso (using vocabulary of Tom Myers Anatomy Trains https://bit.ly/AT-intro ). Many muscles engaged and balance is challenged by moving rope with one foot on the ground. Rope provides good feedback on fore/aft posture, because rope hits should be symmetrical. Week’s program is available on a DVD on Amazon.

    You can optionally jump over the rope occasionally. Jumping every 6-7 swings is far less stressful than jumping on every swing. I like to do this exercise barefoot and typically do it on a hard floor or rug.

  7. Hi Paul,
    Just wondering what your thoughts are on far infaredsaunas. My sauna has near and mid but I’ve read these may be harmful, which is better to use?

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