My Favourite Pieces of Exercise Equipment (For Home and the Gym)

For this blog I decided to talk about the different pieces of exercise equipment that I utilize to help my athletes train and perform at the highest level.

First of all, a piece of exercise equipment is a tool and that’s it. It’s not a magic wand that is going to make you a professional athlete, fit or healthy. It is a tool that if used appropriately can bring you tremendous benefits.

What is the most confusing thing in the world to buy?

Drum roll please….you guessed it….training equipment! Not only are there a ton of different options to choose from but there are different brands that sell the same things too. Hopefully this blog will help to clarify this and have you ready to outfit your own home gym. 

Our bodies are our best piece of equipment and it is our job to make sure it works efficiently. Before you go out and spend all your money on equipment you should be able to move your body efficiently before adding load.

Obviously, the best way to get access to a lot of equipment is to get a membership to a gym. What I showcase in this blog can help you decide what gym you can go to but the best option is to have your own home gym. You don’t need as much as you might think and it will save you a lot of time. Another huge benefit of having a gym at your house is it’s in your face and you will definitely workout more. 

So, training equipment? I only lift barbells and dumbbells and that’s ok, right? It might work for you and if that’s the case then great! You should still consider some of the options I provide for you in this blog. When I started out in this industry I used certain pieces of equipment and now fast forward many years some equipment is still in rotation but there are a lot of new pieces. Just like anything else in this world there are many advances because of technology. 

Many people think that they need gym’s full of equipment to reach their potential. Although it helps to have a variety of equipment it isn’t a must. I will say it again, our bodies are our best piece of equipment and it is our job to make sure it works efficiently. 

Below are my top 4 pieces of equipment that will definitely help you start to feel and move better than ever. From Average to Elite. 

  1. The cheapest and actually one of the most effective pieces of training equipment are resistance bands. They are so versatile, and you can bring them with you if you’re traveling or even put some in your golf bag! Consider buying 3-5 resistance bands varying in tension. This should only cost you around $30 depending on the brand. 
  1. The next piece of equipment that I recommend for any golfer is a ViPR PRO. There really isn’t enough that I can say about how good these are for golfers or people in general. They promote moving in all planes of motion and they aren’t as intimidating as a barbell. I actually created a whole program for golfers using just the ViPR Pro! This is by far the most versatile piece of workout equipment that I’ve ever owned. They are expensive and range in prices but they are worth every penny!  

Here’s a workout from my program: 

Check it out the full program here: 

ViPR PRO Golf Specific Program

  1. Another great piece of equipment for a golfer is a medicine ball. Now these medicine balls don’t have to be that heavy. We are looking to create speed and power when we use medicine balls, so a lighter ball is usually a good idea. I always suggest 6-10 pounds. Think about how heavy your golf clubs are, they aren’t heavy so medicine balls are a great way to create similar feels.  
  1. Next up is some sort of weight or resistance. I recommend getting a few kettlebells ranging in sizes and a few sets of dumbbells. There are different options here but if you want to get stronger then we need some outside forces. PowerBlock dumbbells are great options because you can adjust the weights and they don’t take up as much room in your gym area. 

For the rest of the examples I’m going to focus on pieces of equipment used for resistance training, not for cardio. For aerobic exercise I recommend using a rower, bike, ski erg or a treadmill. Below are the equipment options that I recommend and use regularly: 

***Always start slow and seek out an exercise professional for help if needed.

Body Weight 

Like I’ve said in many videos and past posts this is where you should start because you need to be able to control your body before you can progress. There are an endless number of bodyweight exercises that will literally change your life (if done often and correctly). If you are a beginner in the gym, or a junior, then assure you can complete major movements (Squat, Hinge, Lunge, Pull, Press and Torso) with just body weight before loading the pattern. 

There are mobility drills that most people could do daily and improve their quality of life without even touching a piece of equipment. Add bodyweight movements to your warm up, workout or cool down. It’s all in how you choose the repetitions and tempo that will dictate how challenging the drill will be and the effect it will have on you.  

Example: https://youtu.be/-Th3kbBiPZ0

Barbell 

The barbell has withstood the test of time and it has been a popular piece of equipment in the fitness world for decades. I’ve found in my experiences people either love the barbell or they are intimidated by it. I hope that by the end of this post you won’t have any of those feelings toward the barbell or training in general. 

The barbell  is also where a lot of people live and that’s ok to a point but there should be some variety. It is a great piece of equipment and the best piece to load as much weight as possible. There is a place and there will always be a place for the barbell in the gym. A thing that people don’t realize about the barbell is you can do SO many functional exercises with the barbell. Especially off of a landmine attachment, so don’t count the barbell out as a great piece of equipment for functional training. 

Example: https://youtu.be/SVJ2BWZAJxw

Dumbbells 

The dumbbell is like the barbell in that it has withstood the test of time. I’d have to say that this is probably the most popular piece of training equipment out there. 

The dumbbell is a very versatile piece of equipment that is used to train the whole body through various planes of motion. This is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can possess. They can be very expensive to get a whole set. I’ve bought a set of Power Blocks to save money and space! Check them out before you buy a set for your home gym. If you go to a gym then they will obviously have a whole set of Dumbbells. Either way you need some sort of dumbbell set if you want to continuously improve in the gym. It is a great way to challenge your stabilizer muscles more than a barbell because you have to control them independently. 

Here’s an example…Barbell bench press and Dumbbell Bench press..which is harder? Most people choose the barbell because they think they can load it up more but if you can bench press 200 pounds then I bet you it will be harder or you won’t even be able to do it with 100 pound dumbbells. The reason is you have to stabilize the weight with each arm instead of your whole upper body. 

Example: https://youtu.be/V4t6Y0CcKFc

Resistance Bands

As golfers and human beings this is something we should all have. There are so many things you can do with resistance bands that they might be the best thing to start with if you’re looking to build a home gym. One thing that is different from weights compared to bands is that you can change the angle or direction of force depending on where you anchor the band. This is a great way to stress your muscles in different ways 

I recommend getting 3-5 bands. Varying in sizes and tension. A couple mini bands and a few regular sized resistance bands is the best option. These pieces are the easiest way to challenge rotation and anti-rotation! Both great for developing an efficient, powerful and explosive swing. 

Example: https://youtu.be/fykIoHM1COI

Kettlebells

A kettlebell is very similar to a dumbbell but it is better for a lot of exercises such as Swings, Single Arm Deadlift, Turkish get up and more. The handprint is the same as a dumbbell but the kettlebell challenges your grip a lot more. Every gym needs a few kettlebells in my opinion.  

Example: https://youtu.be/8whBSUkxub8

ViPR PRO

I have been an advocate of ViPR, now ViPR PRO, for a long time. They are by far the most versatile training tool I’ve ever used and I recommend them to everyone I work with, especially golfers.

You don’t have to buy a whole set either. My advice is to buy a 6 kg VIPR Pro to start with and you can always buy bigger if you feel you need it. I use the 6 kg ViPR PRO more than any other weight and so do most of my clients. When training rotation we don’t need a ton of load or resistance to be effective. You won’t see these in a lot of gyms but they should be on every golfer’s wish list for their home gym. I’ll even go as far as saying it should be the 15th club in your bag…

Example: https://youtu.be/9jfjgUbewqE

TRX / TRX RIP Trainer 

The TRX will really help you develop your body weight strength. You can add resistance with the TRX but most people don’t. It’s great for rotations too! I also love them because they are so easy to travel with. I brought one to the Dominican one year and used it most days. You can anchor them to a door with one of the attachments. They used to be a lot more popular but so many people have made their own versions now that a lot of the time you see different brands. The RIP Trainer is also great for golfers! Not as easy to travel with but all you need is a pole to anchor it and you can start to really develop rotational power. One of the most popular pieces of equipment on the PGA tour right now is the Golf Forever Swing Trainer and it is very similar to the TRX RIP Trainer.

Golf Forever Swing Trainer Website

Example: https://youtu.be/gikrNKs78WA

WhatsThatStrap 

This is a newer product that is very popular in the golfing world and it’s fairly cheap compared to most of the other products on this list. You will need an additional resistance band or a cable system to attach the WhatsThatStrap too but that should be higher on the priority list anyways.

There are tons of great anti – rotation, anti – flexion and anti – extension drills that I like to do with a lot of my athletes and the Whatsthatstrap. It’s way better than resistance bands alone because the strap is thicker and it doesn’t pull on your skin as much.

Example: https://youtu.be/y0No1fZdBho

Gray Cook Band  

Another specific kind of resistance band that is great for many exercises but mostly correctives. Gray Cook, the creator of the FMS Screen and a Board Member on TPI, developed these to help fix his clients who took the FMS Screen. He is a genius in my field and someone I’ve looked up to for many years. If you don’t know who he is I suggest looking him up.

Like the Whatsthatstrap there are so many drills you can do with these bands and their design helps to facilitate certain types of movements. I’ve done a ton of squat and lunge variations challenging the body through different planes of motion. I would have to say that I love chops and lifts the most with the FMT tubing but they are great for any drill that needs resistance applied to it!

Example: https://youtu.be/QubXak3PrF0

Equalizer

Equalizers are a great body weight tool that can really challenge your training. These are perfect for your home gym and you will see them at most big box gyms now too. I actually know the creator Marc Lebert! He comes to an event run by the college I work for every year. I’ve had the chance to train with him before and he’s a great guy. A ton of energy! 

Example: https://youtu.be/5n_2pRJfi8s

STICK Mobility 

Stick Mobility! This is another newer product that is everywhere in the golfing world right now. I bought a set a year ago and I really like them. They help you with mobility and flexibility primarily but they can be used for strength and endurance exercises too. I use them a lot but only for a few mobility drills. If you have the space and resources then I highly recommend them. 

Example: https://youtu.be/DGdtroPUhoc

Trigger Point GRID

Trigger Point GRID! This is a piece of equipment that was introduced to me very early in my fitness journey and I hope you will use it like I have and still do! Basically, this little roller helps to keep you healthy by: 

  • Reducing soreness 
  • Reduce inflammation during muscle repair
  • Helps with muscle recovery 
  • Injury prevention by maintaining muscle length 

This alone should make you want to get a GRID but another great benefit is how relaxing and good it will make you feel. Don’t believe me? Try it out! 

Example: https://youtu.be/voUwbyIVrNU

Theragun 

Theragun! This is a great device that I recently discovered in the last few years and it has definitely changed my life for the better. I recover so much quicker and it preps my body better than anything I’ve ever used before. So what does it actually do? Using percussion technology helps to increase blood flow to the area you’re working on which provides numerous benefits to your muscles immediately and in the future. 

Example: https://www.youtube.com/c/Therabody

In conclusion, there are many pieces of exercise equipment that can enhance your workouts and improve your fitness levels. All of the equipment discussed will do just that but you also need to understand how to use them in order to receive the most benefits. Again, they’re just tools, not miracle workers! Take a look at my website for training options or contact me at markcormier0@gmail.com if you have any questions about working with me.

From Average to Elite.

Stop misusing your time doing the same thing in the gym expecting a different result! Let me develop a personalized plan to maximize your potential and start living the life you deserve. We will identify your limitations and turn them into your strengths! Take your athletic ability, game, body and LIFE to the next level! Don’t waste another minute. LETS GO!

Check out the ways I can help you go From Average to Elite:

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Thanks for reading! Until the next one……

Mark

CSC Performance Coaching

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