This is one of the most common questions I get asked as a fitness professional. After I resist the strong urge to roll my eyes, I calmly and cheerfully provide an explanation. Generally, I have two answers to this question. Both are related, and both often surprise people. Which one I decide to use depends on how cheeky I’m feeling at the time.
My comedic (but no less true) answer is that the best piece of equipment is “the one you actually use on a regular basis”.
My typical follow-up comment is “In fact, the best fitness tool ever created is your own body. Unfortunately, few people know how to use it properly”.
When they laugh, I say…”No, SERIOUSLY!”.
People are often so caught up in trying out the latest fitness tool or gadget that they forget to master the use of their own body.
This is why I like athletic style training and typically avoid machines and isolated exercises (except in very specific and temporary situations).
I see our job as a Personal Trainer or fitness professional to move people through “The Movement Spectrum”. When we do this effectively, it provides the greatest possible positive impact on their health and longevity.
Learning to move properly doesn’t require any equipment. We simply need our body and enough space to do the movements we desire. Of course, we still have to move well, but describing all the nuances of that is different post…well, actually a full certification, but you get the point.
To help you see this from a different perspective, here’s a video on how to properly teach a squat, plus a bonus one on the biggest mistake personal trainers make when teaching lunges. Both are performed incorrectly most of the time…even by fitness professionals and personal trainers.