The bare necessities

 

Self Myofascial Release! Or as it is more commonly known "rubbing yourself up against things & making people feel uncomfortable".  This is something that was introduced by Baloo the bear in 1967, but don't quote me on this as I might be telling fibs... The IDEA is very much there though! If you've got an itch, scratch it! Can't reach it? Find something that can! 

This concept works in very much the same with with tight muscles! Obviously there's nothing better than a good sports massage from a vindictive individual that's very mad at the world & wants to take out their frustrations on you.  Plus if you're ever what we would call "bad sore" meaning joint pain/head falling off ALWAYS seek professional advice! But if it's just the general "good sore" from exercise & you can't afford an appointment or need some in between maintenance, there are twelfty hundred million wee tricks you can do. 

The simple doorframe! Or IS IT?? It's always great if you can find a pointy one or even the corner of a wall. Once you find a good one...ITS ON! Get your back into that bad boy & start rubbing! Arch about in different ways so you can really relax those traps. For a lovely shoulder stretch you can place a hand on each side of the doorframe then let yourself sag through slowly too! Try your hands at different heights, the doorframe is a fantastic tool for squat fixes too! (More on this later) 

The squishy foam roller! This white coloured, massive wotsit is a must have piece of equipment for home & the gym.  Basically you can get a relatively good massage out of this by using your own bodyweight to apply pressure to rub out any fascial restrictions you may have. If you find any lumps or bumps, hang out there & smash them! Never roll over your knees or elbows, just the muscle around, you can check out lots of great videos & techniques on Coach YouTube, just be sure to experiment! REMEMBER, no one knows what way you feel something better than you do! Same for stretching. If you don't squeal like two cats fighting in a biscuit tin the first time you do your IT bands, you're a bigger man than me. 

The lacrosse ball... This little sh1t is EVIL! But when you're talking about getting into all your little nooks & crannies nothing compares, I stood too close to one once & it hurt me... But it felt SO good afterwards! It's like a foam roller on steroids & it's far better at pinpointing specific areas especially shoulders, chest, hamstrings & butt! (Sorry gluteus maximus "apparently").  If you find that you're a little girl that can't take the "giggle pain" - when something is so sore you laugh like a maniac, then you can try starting on a tennis ball or something with a bit of give in it. Again, lots of great videos online.

Rubber bands, now strapping yourself up like a gimp at Christmas might not seem like the most sane idea but hey! Try anything once right? You basically attach one body part to the band & tie it to something solid then run away from it till you have a good bit of resistance. The bands can really enhance certain stretches plus you can also partake in the wonderfully named "flossing", which is using the band to massage the little creases you can't normally pay to get massaged (if you know what I mean!). 

The hard, not so foam... Roller, deceivingly shaped like it's loveable brother this device takes no prisoners & is only something you should use when you're ready for it, I would use this mainly for legs especially calves take care though as you will probably tap yourself out! You've got to relax & breathe! 

"The Stick" you can buy "The Stick" online, prices range between £25.00-£35.00. It's used to treat muscle pain, trigger points etc I've never tried one, I'm probably not giving it enough credit here & I'm sure there's some cool way it's made but I use "A stick" & I think it's pretty alright... Prices range between free to a fiver. 

It is definitely worthwhile looking into these if you don't already use them.  They are not just for people that compete or train at a high level. For injury prevention & your own physical maintenance you should know how to do some level of self massage, if you're ever in Lisburn pop into CrossFit Varangian & we'll give you some tricks to rub yourself out. I hear so much "my this hurts, my that is too sore" & my response is always "what are you doing about it?" Why do people walk around with aches & pains!? Sort it out!! Or find someone that will! You are all nuts but I love ya! :)