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In my examination, I look for compensations and substitutions in the squat test, lunge test, hurdle step, push-up test, active straight-leg test, arm-raise test, and many more. I have gotten good at observing movement patterns by having clients do squats or lunges before I even put my hands on them. This allows me to understand their patterns of movement and use the right equipment to help them properly compensate. One of my favorite assessment tools is the body-composition analysis device. It tells me body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, hydration, phase angle and more.

You can have a very successful exercise practice with resistance bands (especially the ones with handles), a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, a sturdy inclining exercise bench, a Swiss ball, a rocker or a wobble board, or a balance trainer. Other tools to purchase include: stacking step risers, which allows for adjustable heights to perform step ups. Bands and tubing offer unlimited options for rehab. These allow for adjusting intensity and speed of movement during resistance training. I especially like bands with handles because they provide smooth, consistent resistance. Gloves that attach to bands make working out with open palms possible and are great for PNF drills. Weighted sticks, also known as aerobic bars or body bars, are great for sit-ups, squats, lunges, presses and more. Stability balls help develop balance.

All rehab exercises can be done on the floor but if you have older and/or obese patients who can't easily get up and down off of the floor, you will need some type of adjustable workout bench. These could cost between $330 and $700. Something else to consider might be a multifunction exercise platform that can be used as a balance challenge, band-strength device and stability ball station.

Abdominal dollies and wheels are fun for clients to use instead of the old-fashioned sit ups on the floor. Mini bands loops are great for lateral walks, "monster walks," and other leg work and shoulder work. The cost of these loops is only a few dollars and these can be given to clients as a low-cost take home exercise device.

Balance boards help improve posture, body awareness, coordination, balance and strength of the stabilizer muscles. Balance training needs to be done at the beginning of a session so clients can come right into the rehab area and begin the session on an rocker board, wobble board or disc. Medicine balls come in various sizes. I have a 2-pound, 4-pound and an 8-pound medicine ball. These are used to practice overhead throws, chest passes, rotatory throws, chops and partner throws or tosses.

Whether you offer personal one-on-training or small group exercise classes, you will provide greater customer service with the proper equipment. In today's economy, we need to make our exercise training services more accessible to clients and know that we are creating a higher income for ourselves. We can make training more fun and challenging when we include people in groups to make it social and entertaining. In a group exercise class, each client pays less than they would for a private exercise session, but the total income per hour can be substantially higher. Group classes can target specific populations, like those with osteoporosis, bad backs, or weight loss. Most chiropractors that take rehab seriously can deliver results with the same effectiveness as a physical therapist.

The demand for rehab services has never been higher. I suggest you learn to incorporate individualized, one to two simple exercise progressions into a longer workout for clients to perform on their own at home. Stay dedicated to helping others change their lives.

Click here for more information about Jeffrey Tucker, DC, DACRB.

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