Call me crazy, but earlier this fall I signed up for a running clinic sponsored by Ossur and C.A.F. (Challenged Athletes Foundation). I walk with loftstrand (cuff) crutches 100% of the time, and I knew that “running” was totally out of the question for me. Why did I subject myself to a couple hours of super hard work in the hot sun? Because I knew it would help me with my gait, and I needed all the help I could get. I learned about all my bad habits, which I then brought to a gait improvement program, sponsored by Spaulding Rehab in Boston, called the Boost Program. Ahhh, I digress!

When I arrived at the running clinic, I was given a swag bag filled with lots of goodies; there were a few things in it that I never would have thought would help me with my gait. One was a tennis ball, which I have learned to use and has been very helpful with leg strength. But the one implement that stood out more than any other was the SENWENYI yoga strap. I had never seen anything like it before; the simplicity of the design is amazing. If you have one, you know what I mean, and if you don’t, go to Amazon and buy one – it is less than $10!

The Senwenyi is 43 inches long and 1 ⅜ inch wide. It is double strapped. Every 4 to 5 inches it is sewn across widthwise, each section allowing you to put your hand or foot through the opening. You can change the tensile strength of the strap depending on how close or far away you grab each opening, or “loop.” There are 9 “loops” altogether. (“loop” is a bit of a misnomer, as it lays flat when not in use; see picture below.) It weighs practically nothing and hardly takes up any room. Great for traveling. You could actually roll up T-shirts and insert them into the loops, or put pairs of socks in the loops in your travel bag, or you could lay it in the bottom or snake it around the inside edge.

SENWENYI Yoga Strap

Don’t let the name fool you.This is truly the most versatile piece of exercise equipment I have. It serves as a theraband and/or a stretch cord with handles (any resistance), hand weights, and it can be put on a doorknob for closed-door resistance. It is long enough to do straight leg stretches. You can use it on a yoga mat, in a chair, or standing. With a little practice, you can use it for all kinds of punching, ditto for stretching and core exercises. It’s actually fun to play with and figure out how to use it in different variations.. Be careful if you put your foot into a strap and pull up; make sure that the “loop” is past the ball of your foot, otherwise it will come off and recoil into your face; I speak from experience!

Senwenyi also makes other products for sports minded folks. Just go to Amazon and google Senwenyi and you’ll see the rest of their equipment line. I can’t speak for the other products, but the strap is just genius. You can throw it right into the washing machine, too – just let it air dry, and you’re good to go!

If you need an inexpensive gift for someone, or as a stocking stuffer, I can’t think of a better addition to a home gym (not for Chanukah this year, as it will be over before this is published.) Thanks to C.A.F. and Ossur for thinking of such a cool piece of equipment to put into the swag bags!

Here it is, in all its simplistic glory! Get one for yourself or for a friend or two – wouldn’t it be great for a Yankee Swap? And this is a not so subtle hint to keep on working out and being your best self for 2022!

And remember: You never know how much strength you have until you are called upon to use it.