Self-maintenance is part of the fitness lifestyle. These tools can help you keep your body in tune.
By Amanda Burrill, MA
Even the best fall down sometimes, and for a driven alpha athlete, being sidelined by an injury is a damn nightmare.
If you like to go hard, you’ve probably been injured. Even if you’re that rare breed who exercises in moderation (weirdo), accidents still happen. Whether you’ve had a full knee replacement or just an irritated rotator cuff band, there is something that you can do to alleviate what ails you.
I can tell you from experience with both surgery and rehab: There are proven ways to maximize your triumphant return to being the boss that you are. Rest assured (I know you’re sick of resting), these devices will help you come back smarter, faster, and stronger than ever expected.
Where to buy: rumbleroller.com
Using this foam roller, in either the compact or original size, is like having a massage therapist work out your kinks. The flexible bumps aggressively knead your body to stretch out fascia and penetrate deep into the muscle to release knots, literally busting apart trigger points. All RumbleRoller products come with a comprehensive instruction guide teaching you techniques and positions to get the most of your economical massage.
Where to buy: Medi-Dyne.com
ProStretch, with its patented rocker design, is an original gangster go-to of physical therapists, athletic trainers, and athletes worldwide. A problem anywhere in the lower body can set of a vicious chain reaction of injuries, often leaving the calf and Achilles vulnerable to tightness, which can translate to injury. Maintaining flexibility and strength throughout this important and sensitive area will set you up for success, and ProStretch’s three versions have been proven more effective than conventional methods, for example, leaning against a wall. Use it to address plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tendonitis, and general tightness.
Where to buy: ice-sox.com
No more bags of frozen peas! We all know RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) calms swelling, aches, and pains. Studies show the magical “ice and compression combo” cuts down recovery time, and these socks makes the combo easy to address in the legs, shins, ankles, and feet. The socks were designed by a doctor-athlete as a two-in-one: Wear as-is for compression, as I do on flights, or slip ice (or hot) gel packs into the built-in pockets for additional relief. These are amazing for shin splints, which is not just a runner’s affliction. Prone to edema? Change elevation often? Add these to your arsenal.
Where to buy: Acumobility.com
These cuties are mobility and stability powerhouses. Think of them as an updated version of the lacrosse or tennis ball—those require you to roll over the muscle, but the non-slip base and patent-pending flexion point on the ACUMOBILITY Ball allow the ball to isolate and maintain pressure on a specific spot without all that rolling. That’s fancy talk for lay down with a knot or trigger point on the curved surface of this ball and start to apply pressure. The amount of control lets you fire and release the muscle to neurologically retrain it. Benefits include enhanced range of motion and muscle elasticity. Level 1 is firm enough for most deep pressure release, and level 2 is significantly firmer for deeper access. Two balls can be used for perfect spacing along the spine or stability exercises.
Where to buy: Zamst.com
I love a product that’s oozing with scientific backing. Zamst’s smart-exoskeleton products are designed from decades of expertise in orthopedics and sports performance, and their athlete Z Team roster is a who’s who of awesomeness. Umm, I’ll have what Von Miller and Steph Curry are having. Known as a leader in product technology and injury prevention, Zamst provides comfortable and lightweight reinforcement that allows for range of motion and anatomical fit. Recovering from rotator cuff drama, to lower back ice and compression, to squat rack knee support, Zamst offers varying levels of support.
Training Mask 2.0
Where to buy: TrainingMask.com
This Bane-looking thing mimics high-altitude training by controlling the flow of air delivered into your body. What’s that good for? Increased lung capacity, anaerobic threshold, oxygen efficiency, and physical stamina. That’s all. And do you like efficiency? Cardio can be whittled from 60 to 20 minutes. When elite athletes want to improve their performance they go to high altitude levels to train. When they come back to sea level they perform much stronger, faster, and with increased endurance. Your lungs will eventually take deeper breaths and use oxygen more efficiently. What’s there to lose? IM.