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Self-Help Therapy Tools

Ron Jones & FootLog Therapy Tool
Behold the amazing FootLog-the Holy Grail of Foot Fixes!
This $25 "FootLog" can likely fix Plantar Fasciitis in days not months!

These are my favorite therapy tools for self help.  Some might argue they are pieces of “fitness” equipment.  True-some are indeed in the fitness equipment category, but in this application, I’m strictly using and commenting on them as therapy tools for healing purposes—or for injury prevention. 

I’m amazed at how well a simple and inexpensive therapy tool can be for healing an injury or relieving pain.  While there will always be a need for clinical health in certain situations, some of the tools below have done more to heal a person than thousands of dollars and weeks or months clinical services—not once but many times for my clients, students, and fitness friends. 

If you have insurance and can afford and need clinical help--GREAT! However, many people I know do not have health insurance, can't afford to use the insurance they have, or just are not interested in the current medical merry-go-round.  If it's appropriate for you to help yourself, I hope these tools will help you as they have helped others.  Enjoy—the simplicity of healing and health!
Coach RJ Signature

*Therapy Balls: I've tried just about every consistency of ball possible for trigger point release and myofascial work.  There are certain balls that just work better for certain applications. Two balls might both have sand centers, but the outer layer completely changes how they feel and how I apply them. Please see below for complete details and breakdowns. 

*Cost are approximate. Opinions are based on my personal experience and client feedback.

Print my Therapy Tools Handout!

 Therapy Tools

 Review Notes

Ankle Bands

Item: Ankle Bands (4 Resistance Levels)
Therapy Use:
Simple tools for increasing hip stability which can decrease knee injuries.
Comments: These have been very helpful for stepping exercises that use "hip abduction" where you pull the legs away from your center line while walking in different patterns. Many people "collapse" their legs into the center line which puts the knees under stress for ACL injuries, etc. By increasing "abduction" strength, you can potentially decrease knee stress and prevent knee injuries.

Cost: »$2.00/each
Usage Links: NA

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #6540)

Biofoam Rollers

Item: Biofoam Rollers-Soft Cell (1' & 3' Lengths)
Therapy Use:
Soft tissue regeneration and healing by rolling slowly along body areas that need Miofascial release.
Comments: Two main points 1) they work, and 2) they hurt when you first begin! I cannot deny that proper use of a roller can have some amazing results in just days; however, most people will not use them after the first trial because of the pain involved. I've been taught that the more they hurt--the more tissue damage you have, and the more you need them. After about a week or so the pain starts to go away as the tissues get healed--or that's what the experts say.  There are two basic types--the "soft cell" versions that are white and softer (less painful) or the "molded" versions that are charcoal black and harder (more painful). True-the molded ones do last longer without becoming compressed or deformed plus they won't show dirt like the white ones, but the downside to the molded versions is that they hurt more. I prefer the white soft cell versions.
Usage Links: PerformBetter, or even better, check out Mike Robertson's "Self Myofascial Release Techniques" which is the BEST resource I've seen on rollers and other soft tissue tools.
Cost: »$8 (1') »$18 (3')

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #2031)

Biofoam Roller-1/2 Roll

Item: Biofoam Roller-Molded 1/2 Round
Therapy Use: Used for placing the foot with Z-Health Toe Pull exercises.
Comments: While these are cheaper than the Cathe Fitness Balls, they tend to slide around on the floor. The sand filling in the Cathe balls make them ideal, but if you need to do group trainings, the budget 1/2 rolls will do the job.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$6

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #2070)

Body Blade

Item: Body Blade-CoreX Trainer (3'4")
Therapy Use: Shoulder stabilization and rehab
I prefer the shorter "CoreX" sport version, but they also are available in shorter and longer lengths.  They have whole workout programs with these, but the blade is fairly hard to activate for most people and a little boring. They have some decent application for rehab though. It's not one of my popular therapy tools, but for some, the Body Blade has been helpful.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$60

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #3856)

Cathe Ball

Item: Cathe Weighted Fitness Ball (2lbs.)
Therapy Use: Used for placing the foot with Z-Health Toe Pull exercises.
Comments: I embarrassed to think I'm actually recommending pink exercise balls on my site, but I think this is the ultimate Toe Pull prop! Many people cannot place their foot directly on the ground while inverted. Many props like air-filled balls or even the 1/2 roll can slide around too much. The Cathe Ball is great because it's soft, and when you place it on the ground, the sand center will flatten out a bit preventing it from rolling around. They do not have good quality control for the consistent amount of sand encased in each ball; therefore, I recommend physically taking it out of the box to make sure it is soft enough. I had to take a few back because they had so much sand that the ball was too hard. They also work great for people with hand-grip problems. People with arthritis or hand/wrist injuries often cannot grip a regular dumbbell or other iron weight.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$11

Purchase Link:
Cathe Fitness (Product #

Correct Toes

Item: Correct Toes
Therapy Use:
Increases joint mobility of toes/foot
Comments: Similar to YogaToes below but much easier to wear and use, so as with Yoga Toes, I think most people have "cramped toes" from wearing shoes too often--and the wrong shoes! Toes that cannot spread can decrease your stabilization and gait quality. I believe it is VERY important to have better base of support coming right off the ground from your toes.  If you wear narrow toe box dress shoes or western boots, etc., your toes are probably in need of some serious release!
Usage Links: Just put them in & feel the spread! J
Cost: »$70 (Pricey but easier to use)

Purchase Link:
Northwest Foot & Ankle

CrossCore 180

Item: CrossCore 180 Rotational Trainer
Therapy Use:
Like a lot of "fitness tools," the CrossCore 180 also has some nice corrective applications.  There is one exercise in particular that has worked great for my clients with shoulder problems--the "Retraction/Rotation" drill which is entirely unique to this pulley system.
Comments:  Everyone that has tried the "Retraction/Rotation" drill has liked it--even those with shoulder injury histories.  I'll post a demo video soon.
Usage Link: To Be Posted ASAP
Cost: »$250

Purchase Link: 


Item: Disc-O-Sit Cushion
Therapy Use:
Helps to correct postural deviations produced by 90 degree seat angles.  The Disc-O-Sit will get you closer to the 60 degree hip angle much like with an equestrian position.
Comments:  We are ruining our spines and postures with all this slouching and sitting!  A healthier position is going to be 60 degrees instead of 90 degrees.  Pilot projects with Iowa school children using the Disc-O-Sit (@ 3:15) show very positive results with posture improving!
Usage Links: Just sit on it with long spine! J
School Pilot Video: Jefferson County, Iowa
Cost: »$35

Purchase Link:

Ron Jones Dynamic Warm-Up

Item: Dynamic Warm-Up/Joint Mobility
Therapy Use: I'm a firm believer in performing DAILY dynamic joint mobility exercises as part of your self-help therapy--it's absolutely THE BEST preventative measure you can use to keep moving well and aging well. While not actually a "tool," if you do daily joint mobility exercises, you might not even need the tools on this page!!! Also, the proper use of kettlebells can have many corrective benefits that can decrease or eliminate the need for therapy tools as well.
Comments: There are many dynamic warm-up routines available, my Ron Jones DWU is just a very simplified version--yet very effective. My DVD has been shipped to 8 countries and over 23 states so far! For more precision and detailed joint mobility, check into the Z-Health system which can take you to the next level.

Cost: RJ DWU is $35. Z-Health DVD/Workbook packages start @ $85.
Purchase Links: Ron Jones DWU or
Z-Health Performance Solutions


Item: D-Ball STD 5" Gripper (2 lbs.)
Therapy Use: This is a specialized weighted exercise ball that is filled with sand.  I don't use it for exercise though--I use it for trigger point release in the spine areas.  It's the best ball I've found for helping back pain from trigger point release. If you need a smaller ball, use the lacrosse ball.
Comments: This is one of the most unique balls I have found for trigger point release. While both the Cathe Ball and D-Ball are sand filled, the Cathe Ball has a very soft outer lining that makes it worthless for trigger point release. The D-Ball has a fairly hard plastic outer lining that makes it much better for releasing those tight trigger points.  You can stand upright with the D-Ball behind your back while you roll it around or lay flat on the floor with it under your back or other areas.  They are pricey but worth it in my opinion because of what they can do.  One of my clients eliminated his chronic back pain just by rolling on a D-Ball while upright next to a wall--amazing!
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$33

Purchase Link:

Sea Pearls Diver Weights

Item: Diver Weights-Sea Pearls (4 lbs.)
Therapy Use: I use "Sea Pearl" soft diving weights to teach people the Turkish Get Up for rehabilitative and corrective purposes. 
The soft weight is less threatening than the kettlebell for beginners but heavy enough to provide feedback on the vertical line needed for the extended arm overhead. In my opinion, they can work better than a light KB or shoe that other people use to teach beginners.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$20

Purchase Link:
Sports Chalet (Walk In purchase only)

Flex Bars

Item: FlexBar
Therapy Use: Tennis elbow rehab
These are thick rubber cylinders that come in various resistance levels.  They are used for gripping and twisting exercises helpful for tennis elbow rehab and other related elbow conditions.  In brief, the key to fixing Tennis Elbow is finding the correct "light" resistance to slowly build up the tendon strength without causing further inflammation. The FlexBars are unique in the way they allow one to twist and load the elbows--varied resistance levels let you find the right fit for the individual. *Tip: Go "light" before getting carried away with "heavy" when it comes to Tennis Elbow because otherwise you can do more harm than good!
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$8-22

Purchase Link:


Item: FootLog
Therapy Use: Great tool for fixing Plantar Fasciitis and improving neurological function in your feet--especially for diabetics.
Comments: I've got far too many great things to say about the FootLog in this limited space! Make sure to visit my section below for details and demo video!!!
Usage Links: RJ's Plantar Fasciitis Section or Demo Video
Cost: »$25

Purchase Link:

Versatile, portable, adjustable device for bodyweight exercises.

Item: Jungle Gym XT Suspension Trainer
Therapy Use: Great for assisted strength and stabilization.  The Jungle Gym is much easier for foot/leg exercises than the similar TRX Suspension Trainer--and less expensive.
his unit is a snap to use with foot exercises compared to TRX.  I think the TRX is very awkward with foot insertions.  I also like the handles of the Jungle Gym much better because they can be wiped off and cleaned properly unlike the "spongy" handles of TRX units.
Usage Links:
Cost: »$100+

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #7826)

Indian Clubs

Item: Indian Clubs-Package (1 pair each 1lbs. & 2lbs. + DVD)
Therapy Use: Increasing wrist, elbow, shoulder mobility and strength
Comments: Ancient fitness tools yet still effective.  Works best for shoulders but also helps core and overall movement and function.
Usage Links:
Hit my friend Army Maguire @ Agelesstrength who has two DVDs available and more products on the way!
Cost: »$90

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Intro Package Item #3515) or for larger and classic wood clubs, visit Revolution Clubs

INDO Board

Item: INDO Board-Mini Original Kit
Therapy Use: Moderate ankle mobility and stability challenge when used with the air disc under the flat board, and more difficult challenge when used with the roller option.
There are many other applications for the INDO Board too, but I think they can be a great tool for ankle rehab specifically.  This is one of the BEST fitness tools I've seen in years for inspiring today's youth to be more active in school physical education!  I'll be writing more on the INDO school programs soon!
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$165

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #9181)

Russian Kettlebells

Item: Kettlebells
Therapy Use: While normally thought of a fitness tools, KBs are also great rehab and corrective tools when used properly.
Usage Links: RJ's Kettlebell Section
Cost: Varies greatly by weight & shipping destination. KBs run  »$2-4.50 per pound. Standard poundage is »18-53 pounds (8-24KG). See my KB section above for details.  Monkey NOT for sale!

Purchase Link:
Lifeline (Best Value),  or PerformBetter (Entry Level Item #3820)

Lacrosse Ball

Item: Lacrosse Ball
Therapy Use: Trigger point release
Commonly found at sporting goods stores. They are larger than a golf ball but smaller than a baseball. Great for smaller areas needing trigger point release.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$3

Purchase Link:
Easily found at most sporting goods stores.

MARV Handles

Item: MarV Handles-Shoulder Therapy Kit
Therapy Use: Elbow strength
These are specialized handles made by a physical therapist for the rehab of tennis elbow type conditions. The unique shape of the handles allow for "multiple vector" training angles. Basically--they work.  I've used them with numerous clients, and most get favorable results with elbow conditions.
Usage Links: MarVtec
Cost: »$30

Purchase Link:

Neti Pot

Item: Neti Pot-Eco Bioplastic
Therapy Use: Nasal cleanse of sinus cavities
I thought it was a ridiculous idea at first, but I have found over the years that Neti Pots are indeed valuable tools for nasal health—especially if one suffers from chronic sinus or allergy problems.  Print my Neti Pot Handout for more information.
Usage Links: Usage Video
Cost: »$14

Purchase Link:
Himalayan Institute

Physio Roll

Item: Physio Roll
Therapy Use: Stretching and strength with increased stabilization.
These are oval-shaped stability balls also called "Peanut" balls. Their oblong shape makes them more stable than round balls and thus safer for certain populations. They are difficult to find now, so I don't have an active link.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: NA

Purchase Link:
I can't find anyone that makes these anymore. If you find a source, please let me know!


Item: ProStretch
Therapy Use: Assisted stretching of calf and Achilles

Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$24

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #2276)

Slide Pad-Valslide
Slide Pad-Generic
Slide Pads-Comparison

Item: Slide Pads-Valslides & Generic
Therapy Use:
  Assisted stretching
Simple idea with awesome benefits. They allow you to "slide" into extended ranges of motion for deeper stretching. They also allow you to get into positions that you could never get into with a sliding option. These can sometimes be helpful for certain problem areas that are hard to reach with standard stretching or when working alone without anyone to help position your body. To save money, the old fashioned "furniture slides" are basically the same thing for much cheaper. You can find the cheaper versions at Lowe's, etc.  The official fitness versions are called "Valslides." 
Usage Links:
Cost: Varies from a few dollars for generic to »$29

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Valslides Item #1350) or hardware stores for generic version

Stability Ball

Item: Stability Ball
Therapy Use:
Great for spinal extension and shoulder extension.
Many of my clients lay on top of the ball "face up" the gently extend their spine backwards over the ball to stretch. You can add a shoulder stretch too by reaching arms out--they work even better for shoulders if you change arm positions like positions on a clock. The ball is unique in that it is off the floor which allows for more extension but while offering support. If the round ball is too unstable, try the peanut-shaped "Physio Roll."  I've tried different brands of resistance balls, but the best I've found to hold up over time without losing air pressure is the original Resist-A-Ball which was one of the first stability balls on the market when they first hit large distribution.  PerformBetter is a good option too.
Usage Links: RJ's Stability Ball Section

Purchase Links:
Resist-A-Ball or PerformBetter (Fitball Sport Item #9183)

Thick, Extra-Strong Bands For Heavy Duty Use

Item: Superbands
Therapy Use:
Nice assistive tools for stabilization work but can also be used for fitness in general.
I've been using bands for years.  There are many different styles for different purposes.  These are quick and easy and have some applications that cannot be performed with bands that have actual "handles" on the ends. 

Usage Links: NA

PerformBetter(Superbands Item #6535)

The Rotator

Item: The Rotater
Therapy Use: Shoulder stretch assistance
This is a unique looking manual stretch device created by two industrial mechanics. It works great to stretch your shoulder in positions impossible to reach by yourself. While a bit pricey, The Rotater can get your shoulders into positions impossible with any other tool--and it can do it safely and gently due to its unique design. The leverage generated with "minimal" pressure is amazing. Construction is quality--would you expect anything less from industrial mechanics' tools?!!! J
Usage Links: The Rotater
Cost: »$60

Purchase Link:
The Rotater

The Stick

Item: The Stick-17" Travel Stick Model
Therapy Use: "Rolling" trigger point release
Great for trigger point release and general tissue maintenance! What I like about The Stick vs. a Biofoam Roller is that it's easier to adjust the pressure you are putting into the damaged areas.  The Biofoam Rollers can hurt like hell, but with The Stick, it's easy to back off the pressure. The downside? You might not be able to get enough pressure on certain areas--but then you can go to the roller or one of the other balls I recommend.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$28

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #9718)


Item: Theracane
Therapy Use: "Pinpoint" trigger point release
Another odd looking tool that works great for reaching areas previously impossible to get to by yourself. You can reach ANY spot on your body for precise and deep trigger point release--low back, mid back, between shoulder blades, glutes, or anywhere else.  The leverage design makes it possible to apply significant pressure with very little force--all with excellent precision.
Usage Links: Theracane
Cost: »$30

Purchase Link:

TRX Rip Trainer

Item: TRX-Rip Trainer
Therapy Use: Dynamic stability in 3-D patterns or isometric holds.  Great for core and WHOLE body applications.
Comments: Often used for fitness training, the TRX Rip Trainer is great for stabilization, rotational patterns, anti-rotation stability, and more--plus it can be a great fitness training tool too.  From a corporate and injury prevention position, I think this is one of the best tools I've seen in a long time because it can easily be adapted and used for everyone from a detrained senior to advanced athletic training.  I've been VERY impressed with it so far!
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$190

Purchase Link:

TRX Suspension Trainer

Item: TRX-Suspension Training Pro Pack
Therapy Use: Assisted stretching through dynamic movements.
Comments: Another "fitness tool" that I'm listing here for therapy.  Using simple body weight and straps, you can do a great job moving through various shoulder and spine positions.  I prefer to use "dynamic" stretching where you sort of "pry" in and out of ranges of motion, but it is possible to static stretch as well.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$190

Purchase Link:
PerformBetter (Item #2030)

Vibram Five Fingers

Item: Vibram Five Fingers
Therapy Use: Increases strength and improves neurological function of feet
Comments: I'm all about the Foot Fitness!
There is a lot more to foot fitness than shoes, but in short, VFFs can help fix your weak feet by making them STRONG.  Visit my "Foot Fitness" for all my foot info and other comments on VFFs.
Usage Links: Just start walking! J
Cost: Varies by model from »$85-125+

Purchase Link: Vibram
or local retailers. Sport Chalet now carries VFFs at many locations in California.

Yoga Strap

Stretch Strap

Item: Yoga Strap or Stretch Strap
Therapy Use: Assisted stretching
Comments: Not something I use a lot, but they work well for groin opening exercises, etc. I like the official "yoga" versions that are canvas because they are more comfortable to hold, but the "official" stretching strap is nice too because there are looped handles along the strap that might make it easier for some to hold on.
Usage Links: NA
Cost: »$17

Purchase Link:
Hit up your local Yoga studio for the official canvas strap or PerformBetter (Stretch Strap Item #9251)

Yoga Toes

Item: Yoga Toes-Original
Therapy Use: Increases joint mobility of toes/foot
Comments: I think most people have "cramped toes" from wearing shoes too often--and the wrong shoes! Toes that cannot spread can decrease your stabilization and gait quality. I believe it is VERY important to have better base of support coming right off the ground from your toes.  While these are one of the most "odd" therapy tools I recommend, they can do wonders to help your feet. If you wear narrow toe box dress shoes or western boots, etc., your toes are probably in need of some serious release!
Usage Links: Just put them in & feel the spread! J
Cost: »$40

Purchase Link:

Reviews by Coach RJ:

 Move Better! Perform my Dynamic Warm-Up exercises at “beginning” of workout
for maximum benefit and improvement.
Pick a safe level; never be unsafe or exceed your capacity to “control” your body!

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(Updated 6.12.13)

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