I am sure everyone can check off the usual list of PE equipment that is resting in our storage closets at this very moment. You know, whistles, cones of all shapes and sizes, every type of ball known to man, and the list goes on and on.
The following is a list of equipment that all PE teachers should try to get into those closets, even if it means begging your school’s business manager! Or if you are fortunate enough, you will secure a grant, to really load your arsenal!
5 PE Essentials for High School Physical Education
1. Tracking Devices
There are two different types that I would recommend, and both have their advantages and disadvantages and price is one of the biggest.
The first is Pedometers. My closet contains a very large quantity of pedometers and my students are wearing one for the majority of the school year.
- I recommend a pedometer that not only counts steps but also tracks moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). I also recommend pedometers that are downloadable. The FITstep Pro and FITstep Stream pedometers are great! The only difference between the two is that FITstep Stream pedometers can be uploaded wirelessly and FITstep Pro pedometers need a data reader.
Check out Gopher’s line of FITstep Pedometers that track steps, activity time, MVPA, and upload in less than 2 seconds per student!
Next, are Heart Rate Monitors. These are another great tool and can provide a tremendous amount of data and feedback for students and teachers. I do not have heart rate monitors at this time for a couple of reasons, but know several teachers who do amazing things with them.
The Optic Plus Heart Rate Monitor uses a wristwatch to track heart rate data. You can monitor heart rate, time in target zones, total exercise time, and calories. Live data can then be projected on the wall and reports can be emailed at the end of each class using the Gopher AssessTech Group Fitness App.
2. Fitness Testing Equipment
Electronic fitness testing equipment can help ensure proper form and accurate results. There are many tools out there including flexibility testers, push-up, pull-up testers, and curl-up testers. Gopher’s AssessPro Rep-Addition Push-Up Tester is comfortable for students and can be adjusted to make sure students are dropping down to the recommended height. Every time their chest hits the console, it beeps and counts the rep on the display. At my school, we do the pacer test, push-up test, and curl-up test with students.
This is a game that I saw at a conference and was very skeptical about, but decided to try anyway.
- If I could, I would put Tchoukball in every PE teacher’s closet because it is a great cardio game that is non-contact and non-stop.
- My students were a little unsure of Tchoukball in the first 5 minutes and now beg to play all of the time. This game incorporates a tremendous amount of teamwork and a lot of running and movement. There are other cardio games out there that you could get in your closet too, but in my opinion this is a must have and won’t disappoint!
Check out this 1-minute video on Tchoukball!
4. Fitness or Resistance Bands
Fitness bands are another piece of equipment that I think everyone should have in their closet. Bands are an extremely versatile piece of equipment that you can do a wide variety of exercises with. There are tons of advantages to bands, but my favorite two are that they work the muscle through the full range of motion on both the contraction and relaxation of the muscle, and that they are small and easy to store and transport.
- You can also create a full body workout or circuit using just one band, so if you have a large class, they can all being doing a strength workout at the same time!
- I will also recommend that you get a strength band that has a covering, like the UltraFit™ ProTex™ Tubing. These resistance tubes are great because they are covered in a ballistic-strength nylon sheathing that protects the tubing from small nicks and cuts that will eventually cause the band to snap!
The last piece of equipment you should get in your closet would be a projector. While I know this is not a true piece of PE equipment, it is a great thing to have for a lot of reasons.
- We all lose our gyms for some reason during the year, whether it is the school prom or a school assembly, so having a projector allows you to use another space and get the entire classing moving by using fitness videos.
- If you had a chance to read Maria Corte’s blog post, Incorporating Fitness Trends into Physical Education, she talks about introducing your students to a variety of fitness products that are out there for use at home. By having the projector and a couple of these videos you can get the entire class moving and also show your students different fitness videos that they can purchase and do at home.
These are the five must-haves in my closet and I know that many of you have must-haves of your own!
Make sure to share some of your favorites below because I am always looking to add equipment to my closet and I am sure others are too!