These days, it is impossible to talk about strength and conditioning without hearing the words mobility or “prehab.” While there are countless reasons for you to train mobility, figuring out how, when, or what to do can be overwhelming. The fitness industry exacerbates this frustration by constantly hawking overpriced, unneeded mobility gadgets. Why spend $40 on a “Self-myofascial release ball” when a $4 lacrosse ball can be just as effective?
Don’t fall for these expensive gimmicks! You can address injuries, improve your mobility, and bulletproof your body with these 3 inexpensive items that you probably already own!
Tennis, Golf, Lacrosse, or Baseballs are all extremely useful for trigger point therapy and self-massage. Applying pressure to the soft tissues with a ball can increase blood flow, flush out cellular debris, and relieve tension in the muscle. This helps decrease feelings of soreness post-workout, and can improve flexibility both acutely and over time.
Any broom handle, stick, or PVC pipe can be a great addition to a stretch or mobility drill. The added leverage of using a stick can isolate and emphasize certain stretches. You can also use it for support when performing challenging mobility drills such as deep squats or ankle stretches. .
Similar to using a tennis ball, a Nalgene or other hard plastic bottle can be an effective substitute for a foam roller. Use a bottle to roll through the large muscle groups. Instead of blindly rolling back and forth, search for the points in your muscle that feel tender or uncomfortable, and apply pressure. Go for 8-10 passes and only target the muscles that need the work.