Recommended exercise aids
Injuries can be a real set-back when it comes to exercise, and are pretty likely to happen not if you’re new to exercise or have had a long break from it. In my case the issue has been recurrent hip injuries brought on by weak glute muscles and over-training.
You really don’t need to spend a fortune on ‘gear’ to get yourself set up so you can train hard but also recover well. Below are a couple of recommended exercise and fitness aids I swear by that have been vital to my training AND injury-management.
A foam roller is exactly as described – a dense cylinder of foam that you use by placing it under particular parts of your body, then using your body weight to roll back and forth over it to loosen up sore muscles and ease pressure on joints.
In my case I use it after every training session on all parts of my legs and glutes to help loosen them up and prevent joint or muscular pain. At the moment I’m also using it on rest days as part of my homework from my Osteopath.
Here’s a Youtube demo of the foam roller in action. Sarah in the video is doing pretty much exactly the routine that I do most days.
Foam rollers can be bought inexpensively in most sports stores, or online through Amazon. I like this one because it comes with an instructional DVD. Simply click on the image below to go through to Amazon for a closer look at the product, and others like it.
In addition the foam roller it can be really to use a spiky rubber ball to work smaller areas. I use one exactly like this in my glutes and calves as these are my trouble spots. It hurts, but you get used to it and it really does make such a difference for preventing painful injuries.
Simply click on the image below and that will take you through to Amazon for a closer look at the product, and others like it.
Finally you might need to strengthen particular muscles to ensure they support you the way they’re supposed to and that’s where a set of rubber band resistance bands like these can be really useful. Simply click on the image below and that will take you through to Amazon for a closer look at the product, and others like it.
The different colours represent different levels of resistance and you can work up from easiest to hardest as your muscle strength improves.
Here’s a Youtube video giving you an idea of how the resistance bands can be used to strengthen glutes.