Now every trainer has their bag of tricks that they carry around with them or use every day. Here are my essential needs that help me continue to train hard each day.
Notebook + Pen
If you can’t tell already, I am HOOGE on mobility work! What is mobility? Coming from my own mouth without sourcing it… it is the ability to move freely and easily within a normal range of motion without pain or injury. So when we build muscle, we are basically creating minor tears in our muscle fibers in order to allow growth. This causes soreness and muscle tension, also due to the build up of lactic acid. It’s important to stretch and release the tension and build up so you can perform your best for the next training session and to prevent injury. Okay so enough of the exercise physiology session…
The foam roller, the stick, and lacrosse ball all serve the same purpose but are used for different areas of the body. Imagine your tense muscles as a big rubber band ball. Now imagine the foam roller as a rolling pin, rolling over all the tension and as you continue to roll the tension slowly releases. The big tight rubber band ball slowly loosens up and stretches out, then miraculously you’re able to have a little bit more range of motion than you did previously. The foam roller covers the big areas of your body: the back, glutes, quads, IT band, and hamstrings. The Stick is more for traveling if you don’t want to shove a foam roller in your bag. It can be used for smaller areas such as you calves or outside of your quads where you can more easily apply as much pressure as you need or don’t need. The lacrosse ball hits your harder to get areas such as your rhomboids, ankles, foot, etc.
Having a notebook is important so you can write down your goals, the workouts you did, if you hit any PR’s (personal records), or even a hot person’s phone number at the gym… okay, just kidding about that last one, maybe. Anyways, it’s cool to write down your weights, reps, and time to see the progress you’ve made from all the hard work you put in. Seeing progress can help motivate you to keep going and ultimately to achieve your goal.
The monster band can come in various sizes and resistances. It can be used for adductor/abductor exercises, hip/knee/ankle rehab, and even stretching. I tend to wake up with tight a achilles tendon due to repetitive strain and injury so when it gets that bad where it hurts to walk, I typically wrap the band around my foot and plantarflex (press foot forward) and dorsiflex (bring foot back) with it.
Aqua… do I really need to state why having water readily available is important?? Hydrate people!! It’s good for you!
Last but not least, my good old trusty Bengay. Sometimes stretching isn’t enough and utilizing creams like this can temporarily help soothe out any aches and pains. The ability for it to provide heat to your muscles will help it to relax and bring more blood flow to the area. And in all honesty, it just feels damn good right before going to bed!
Well, that’s about it, nothing too fancy or out of the ordinary. If you’re reading this and are interested in trying some out but don’t know where to start, feel free to hit me up, I’ll be glad to help!