FITNESS FOCUS Brought to you by the American College of Sports Medicine www.acsm.org Tools of The Trade: Size Matters by Grace T. DeSimone, B.A. INTRODUCTION Step Platforms can be used for a myriad of exercises. The most common use is to step up and down in succession. For hether you are in the gym or working at home, there stepping, a standard step height can be varied from 4 to are times you wonder, “How do I know if this equip- 10 inches. It is possible to increase the step height based on what ment is the right size for me?” A simple rule to fol- type of exercise you are performing. Regardless of fitness level or low is one size does not fit all. Yes, size matters. Keep in mind skill, participants should not exercise on a platform height that the two factors that will help you select equipment size are causes the knee joint to flex deeper than 90 degrees when the 1) What will you be doing with the equipment? and 2) What is knee is fully loaded (when the body weight is on the leg that is your training objective? Here is a list of the most common fitness stepping up). equipment that you will find in a gym or that you might pur- Resistance Tube/Bands come with different resistance chase for home. (tension) levels. Each manufacturer uses a different color coding Stability balls come in a variety of sizes. For general use, system, so it is not universal. You will need different bands for choose a ball size that allows you to sit in the middle of the ball different exercises, and they should feel comfortable during with your feet flat on the floor. Your thighs should be parallel to use. If you are just starting out, try the long tube with padded the floor and your hips and knees should be at 90 degree angles. handles; these are the most user friendly. The weight limit for most stability balls is 250 to 300 lbs. There Battle Ropes typically range from 1 to 2 inches in diameter are several manufacturers that offer burst-resistant models capa- and are approximately 30 to 50 ft in length. The rope is typically ble of supporting greater weights; these products feature two threaded through a single fixed anchor point, so a 50-ft battle weight limits: one for static weight (the user’s body weight when rope means the exerciser has 25 ft of rope per arm. The size not in motion) and another for body weight (how much weight you should choose depends on your fitness goals and the amount the ball can support when the user is moving without exceed- of space available. Thick ropes carry more weight and require ing the limits of the ball’s burst resistance). A quality exercise bigger hands and greater grip strength. For general use in a car- ball should support the weight of the exerciser in motion, retain dio or boot camp workout, the 1.5-inch diameter will suit most air, and deflate slowly if punctured. needs. Shorter ropes don’t allow for fluidity of motion, but they Keep in mind that if you are using the ball to stretch your are great for smaller spaces. The most popular size rope is the back, a larger ball will provide more support, and if you are 50-foot length and 1.5-inch diameter. aiming to challenge your stability and core strength, you could As with all equipment selections, safety is paramount. Avoid work on a smaller ball once you have mastered the basics. The using equipment that is frayed, cut, torn, deflated, warped, or following are general guidelines for ball size based on height: punctured. Consult with an ACSM certified professional for 45 cm if 4’8" to 5’5" tall. more specific instructions and directions. Have a great workout! 55 cm if 5’6" to 6’0" tall. 65 cm if 6’0" to 6’5" tall. 75 cm for those more than 6’5" tall. Grace T. DeSimone, B.A., is the national group fitness director for 85 cm ball for heavier or long-legged exercisers. Optum. She and her group fitness teams manage group exercise classes Jump Ropes come in a variety of lengths and weights. Be- in worksite wellness programs across the country. She serves on the Exec- ginners should stick with a plastic rope that allows the handles utive Council of ACSM’s Committee on Certification and Registry to turn freely. Lighter ropes and wired ropes turn much faster Boards. She also is the editor for ACSM’sResource Manual for and require some mastery. Weighted jump ropes also require Group Exercise Instructors (2011) and is the 2016 IDEA Health the user to have a good foundation of skills. To measure the & Fitness Association Program Director of the Year. She holds a Bachelor rope, place both feet in the middle of the rope and raise the han- of Arts degree in Dance from Hunter College, City University of New dles. If the handles reach your armpits, that’s the correct size York, in New York, NY, and is an ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instruc- ® ® for you. tor and an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer . ©2018 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Reprint permission is granted to subscribers of ACSM’sHealth & Fitness Journal . Volume 22 | Number 2 www.acsm-healthfitness.org 3 Copyright © 2018 American College of Sports Medicine. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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