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Best Sports Training Equipment Choices

Best Exercise Equipment and Products for Athletes

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Updated June 01, 2011

Here are the top picks for exercise equipment and products to help athletes get into top shape, maintain fitness, and recover quickly.

Weighted Vest

Weight Vest
photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
Working out with a weighted vest is an excellent way to increase overall strength, power and cardiovascular fitness. Buy a weight vest with adjustable weight pockets and make sure you have a snug, but comfortable fit.
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Pull Up Bar

Pull Up Bar
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The doorway pull-up bar is a must have for any home gym. The pull up exercise is a core exercise for developing upper body strength. Combine this with pushups and you have a solid upper body routine.

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Kettlebells

Kettlebells
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Kettlebells can be used for a variety of strength training workouts that engage multiple muscle groups, including the core, as well as the upper body. Cast iron kettlebells are a great addition to any home gym.

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Jump Rope

Home Exercise Jump Rope
Scott Thomas/Getty Images

Jumping rope is a high-intensity cardiovascular workout that requires balance, strength and agility. You can use it nearly anytime and anywhere as a complete workout or for quick intervals between weight training sets or circuit training stations. Pack one in your suitcase and you never will miss another workout due to your travel schedule.

Also See - How To Use a Jump Rope

Plyometric Boxes

Plyometric jump box
photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
Done properly, plyometric exercises can help develop quickness, speed and power. Always start with a small box and build up over time to avoid overuse or traumatic injuries. Read more: What are Plyometric Exercises?
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Free Weights

Barbell Squats
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Including free weights in your home gym isn't for everyone, but free weights and a solid weight rack allow you do one of the most important exercises for strength -- the full squat. Multi-station gyms may be a good substitute for many people, but if you have the experience and space, free weights are the way to go.

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Medicine Balls

Medicine Balls
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

Medicine balls provide a great training aid for athletes who play any field, court or team sports. Using medicine balls with a partner or team can improve hand eye coordination, core strength and stability, agility, and balance. Start with a lighter weight and increase as you progress.

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Trigger Point Massage Balls

Massage Ball
photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

A massage ball can be used to release stubborn trigger points and muscle spasms by positioning the ball near the painful area and slowly applying pressure to the point for 10-15 seconds. Position the ball between your body and the floor, a wall, or another hard surface, and gently roll the ball in small circles until the muscle releases. Apply pressure with the ball by using the floor, wall or any hard surface to stabilize movement of the ball.

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Foam Roller

Foam Roller
photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Using a foam roller before and after your workout to perform a self-massage can improve myofascial health, break up trigger points, and soothe muscle tension while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

Also see: Common Foam Roller Exercises

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Balance Trainers

Balance equipment is an excellent, inexpensive addition to any home gym. Balance exercises will improve your core strength, agility and coordination in all sports and greatly reduce your risk of injury.

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