My most fundamental belief in exercise programming is to get the best possible base assessment prior to making any exercise recommendations. If I have assessed a client myself, taking his/her history into account and talked to a physical therapist, as applicable, I should not have to guess at all with the exercises.
Yes, I do find myself in situations when, after having done all of the above, I am still nost sure where imbalances are originating. Carefully selected unilateral exercises with minimal resistance usually help narrow down the problem.
Which modality I apply after that depends entirely on the client’s needs and goals. Some clients wish to work out mainly on their own and do not wish to purchase much equipment. In that case, I find the best solution given the restrictions imposed on me. If clients choose to see me for all their exercising, I have more comprehensive programs. It ultimately comes down to the needs of the client, and in the end, no two exercise programs are alike.
This approach to exercise programming has worked very well for me.
However, I have a different interpretation on the ‘favorite equipment to use with clients’. I may be partial to a specific type of equipment, and if it is appropriate for the client, I may use it more frequently instead of another comparable modality. That does not mean I use it on every client regardless of efficacy.