Best Weights for Your PT Practice


Weight training is an important part of physical therapy as it helps recovering patients to strengthen and recondition their muscles to regain mobility, flexibility and balance. Different stages of rehabilitation require different types of weights. Individuals in recovery programs must consider how much weight and how often they can lift when selecting physical therapy weights. Other factors to consider are how many sets and repetitions are required and intervals between weight training sessions. The best weights for physical therapy offer varying loads/resistances. This feature allows individuals in recovery to select the best weight workout for their current fitness level and increase/reduce the weights as needed.

Wrist and Ankle Weights and Weighted Vests

Wearable weights increase resistance and improve cardio conditioning while exercising. The best body weight to choose is an increased load that prompts the muscles to work harder during movement. Moving against resistance builds muscle strength and improves endurance during physical therapy. Wearable weights are also ideal for exercises targeting specific muscle groups.

The best ankle weights for physical therapy strengthen leg and hip muscles, while wrist weights target arm and shoulder muscles. Wrist weights are especially useful for individuals in recovery who can't grip or lift free weights. Weighted vests help develop core muscles and, by putting pressure on the bones, may stimulate bone cell growth.

Besides offering variable resistances, these weights make excellent weight training tools because they're convenient to use. Individuals recovering from injuries and managing chronic pain can use them outside of physical therapy sessions. This is one of the kinds of physical therapy exercise equipment you can wear to perform passive exercises while managing everyday tasks.

It's important to use wearable weights for physical rehabilitation properly in order to avoid getting injured. For example, people with back and neck pain should avoid using weight vests for weight training. Similarly, weighted vests should not be heavier than 10 percent of the wearer's total body weight. Vests that are too heavy may affect posture and cause back pain.


Medicine Balls

Like wearable weights, medicine balls are suitable for upper and lower body workouts and weight training. With most of them weighing between 4 lbs. and 20 lbs., you can use these relatively lightweight exercise tools anywhere. The weighted balls can be used for a wide range of exercises to condition muscles. In addition to lifting them like regular weights, users can also slam, throw, rotate and catch them during workouts.

Medicine balls are excellent for physical therapy for other reasons. They don't overload people in recovery yet still provide enough challenge for strengthening muscles during rehabilitation. They can provide the best body weight training for injured athletes in recovery. Activities performed with these balls, such as tossing, slamming and passing, approximate body movements performed in different sports.

To enjoy the best weight workout using medicine balls, use them to stretch and warm up before exercises and incorporate them into crunches, curls, push-ups, lunges and squats. It's possible to combine them with inflatable exercise balls for balance training. Find both types of balls among CanDo® products for physical therapy available at CeilBlue™. For improved flexibility during physical therapy sessions, consider adding medicine balls with one or two handles to your weight training regimen. Handles make heavier balls easier to lift and hold.

Weight Bars

Weight or body bars offer less intense challenges than free weights but weigh more than medicine balls. These bars are available in weights ranging from 3 lbs. to 40 lbs. Use them for strength and weight training programs incorporating squats, curls and lunges. They're also ideal for increasing physical therapy challenges through shoulder and chest presses.

The best weight workout exercises in physical therapy regimens use body bars as an introduction to heavier free weights. They ease recovering individuals into lifting more demanding weights as they regain their muscle strength during rehabilitation. They also help to strengthen hand grip. Consider hand strengtheners and exercisers to improve hand strength along with muscle strength. The best body weights in this category have long nonslip sections that make them easier to grip.

Like other weights recommended for physical therapy, it's possible to use body bars at home too. Choose mid-range bars for clients to use at home for weight training. These weigh between 10 lbs. and 20 lbs. Keep sessions requiring heavier bars at the physical therapy clinic where trained professionals can supervise rehabilitative exercises.



Dumbbells provide the next challenge in weight training courses for physical therapy. Like other free weights, they improve balance by requiring users to use their stabilizer muscles while bearing loads. Depending on their fitness levels, individuals in physical therapy can lift one or two dumbbells. Lifting a pair makes a familiar exercise routine more demanding for those ready for greater challenges.

The best weight workout regimens using dumbbells are for strengthening core and arm muscles. There are three major types of free weights. Fixed-weight dumbbells are the most affordable and have non-adjustable preset weights. Adjustable dumbbells have removable weight plates for varying their loads. Selectorized dumbbells also present variable weights. To adjust them, move the weight selector pins or turn the dials instead of taking off and adding plates.

Adjustable and selectorized dumbbells are the best body weights in this category for a physical therapy practice. The ability to adjust the weights makes it possible to use them for multiple clients in different stages of rehabilitation.


Add kettlebells to a physical therapy routine when looking for a weight training plan that also improves grip and endurance. Kettlebells are ideal free weights for individuals well into their rehabilitation programs. These exercise tools are best for building muscle strength. They're especially effective at strengthening the muscles of the legs, shoulders and lower back.

The best weight workout with kettlebells exercises the whole body and combines movements such as pulling, snatching, jerking and swinging. These weights are ideal for squats, lunges and presses. It's also possible to work out with a pair of kettlebells. For example, push-ups performed with two kettlebells are more demanding than regular push-ups. Note that such advanced exercises are best reserved for late-stage weight training sessions. It may be necessary to follow kettlebell training sessions with massage therapy to quicken muscle recovery.

A kettlebell is one of the best body weights for physical therapy to use for cardio workouts. By working more muscles than dumbbells and body bars, kettlebells provide something close to an aerobic workout and can be adapted for high-intensity interval training.


Resistance Bands

While they're not weights, resistance bands do provide many of the same benefits of free weights without the load. Due to their variable resistances, lightweight bands should be part of the best weight workout plans for individuals just starting physical therapy. They're suitable for all stages of physical therapy rehabilitation and can contribute to post-recovery fitness.

Like the best body weights, exercise bands are useful in physical therapy for squats, curls, lunges, rows and push-ups. They're ideal for lower body and arm exercises as well as core, chest, shoulder and back exercises. Resistance bands can be used to introduce crunches and glute bridge exercises to physical therapy workouts.

Unlike weights, physical therapy resistance bands work muscles both while stretching and relaxing them. When used in weight training, they improve balance and flexibility while helping individuals in recovery with limited mobility to get some cardio workout. These inexpensive bands make some exercises easier to perform. Use them during pull-ups to take some of the body weight and assist with lifting.

Use weight training to rebuild strength and stamina during recovery. Start with wearable weights and medicine balls before moving to free weights as rehabilitation progresses. Find the best body weights needed to return to peak performance in the wide selection of physical therapy supplies at CeilBlue.