In this article we are going to look at several of my favourite stretching accessories, each of which can add great value to your warm up and indeed your post workout warm down routine.
One of the areas where many people fall down in their gym workouts is in their warmups. This is an essential part which when done correctly will greatly reduce the risk of injury, improve flexibility and mobility and allowing you a greater range of movement. This becomes increasingly critical as you get older.
This article is not to show you your weaknesses in warming up but to help you warmup more efficiently and allow you to identify the right tools for you.
My first product is the highly popular foam roller which uses body weight to apply pressure evenly to the major muscle groups in the form of a massage to loosen and warm up the muscles.
Work on the areas that are particularly stiff. Muscle rollers will have varying forms of resistance, so for tougher muscles such as hamstrings or back you may prefer the hard rumble style roller. Quads and lats are two other areas that often need a bit of loosening. The good old foam foller is not longer the latest fad but rather the gym staple as it used by all types of sports people.
My next recommended accessory is the lacrosse peanut ball, which serves a similar function to the massage roller but hit the isolated spots such as upper back, shoulders and the soles of the feet. Maybe not essential for every warm up, but definitely one to have in the gear bag to call upon when required.
Thirdly my latest recommended stretching aid is the power resistance bands. These great for stretching all core muscle groups. Definitely and under rated item and one to have with you not just for warming up, but for any core workout.