“If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
-Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike and Legendary Oregon Track Coach
As Coach Bowerman stated above, we are all athletes. One of the biggest differences between us and the professionals however is the amount of time they spend recovering and working on their bodies. Unfortunately, we don’t have a staff to assist in this, so we are stuck doing this on our own. Your daily mobility doesn’t have to take an hour every day, however. In just 15 minutes a day, you should be able to aid in recovery, injury prevention, enhance range of motion, and boost mental well being.
Below are the our Aspire Essentials for Home Mobility. See the bottom of the post to purchase these products!
The Essentials (Must Haves!)
You need a spot to do your mobility on, so the first thing you need to grab is a mat. You want something thick enough that it is comfortable to lay on the bare floor, big enough that your body fits entirely on it, and slightly textured so you don’t slide all around on it.
We love lululemon’s 5mm Reversible Mat for its size, 5mm thickness, and two surface options.
For rolling large surface areas of sore muscles, creating blood flow, and myofascial release, a foam roller is vital. You’ll want something dense – this roller needs to be able to penetrate the muscle tissue. Although this form of therapy isn’t going to be as intense, pressured, or pinpointed as the lacrosse ball, we still need it to be tough enough to make muscular change.
The Trigger Point 12” roller is great for home and travel. It is dense enough to get deep into the tissue and its hollow core allows for stuffing socks or t-shirts inside while packing into your suitcase for travel.
Nothing fancy need to be purchased here, except your regular old lacrosse ball. This dense rubber ball will be able to penetrate deep into the muscle and fascia. Using multiple techniques, lacrosse balls will make pinpointed change in the tissue leading to increased ROM, assist in preventing injuries, and enhancing recovery of tired muscles.
Nice to Have
For anyone like myself who is on a lifelong quest of awesome range of motion, but still have a long way to go, it is often nice to have a yoga block when poses get a little too deep for our flexibility.
Lululemon’s Lift and Lengthen Block provides me that extra support when needed.
Utilizing a long rubber band, we will tightly wrap extremity muscles contract/extend these muscles. By occluding blood flow temporarily and forcing movement under pressure, the floss will work to enhance proper muscle function, sliding surface tension, and enhance new blood movement.
A monster band can provide for many enhanced stretches at the gym while attached to the rig. At home however, it is often tough to get the band attached to something sturdy enough to utilize banded distraction like we do at the gym. So at home, we will primarily use this band for assistance in stretching, especially in the hamstrings and shoulders.
E-Stem or tens unitis are an excellent way to enhance recovery, stimulate blood flow, and repair damaged muscle with minimal effort on your part. Simply hook yourself up to muscle stem pads on the desired muscle groups and the unit will send gentle electrical impulses to the muscle tissue providing contraction and relaxation of the muscle fibers.
Cupping has been used for thousands of years in ancient medicine and its basic understanding is to bring blood flow to the superficial skin surface. When placed properly, it has been shown to have numerous benefits. We recommend consulting a professional for help in cupping, then looking into silicon cups if you are interested in practicing this technique on your own.
Gua Sha Scraping Tool
Just like cupping above, Gue Sha, or scraping, is a staple in ancient medicine. We aren’t experts in scraping just yet, but are active trying this technique out to see its results on ourselves and our members.
Percussive Therapy Device
Percussive therapy devices have been around for a long time, but its handheld variants, popularized by social media, have taken the fitness world by storm. Although expensive, these tools can be awesome for self-massage providing quick impulses to the tissue to create blood flow and break up knots and tightness.
In the coming weeks, look out for a video every Friday on social media and our YouTube channel that will teach you how to use these accessories to make you feel and perform better both physically and cognitively.