Merry Christmas! Hard to believe it’s here, isn’t it? While you’re out doing your Christmas shopping, admit it, occasionally you buy your gifts with an ulterior motive. Sometimes you buy your husband a gift certificate to Netflix, a restaurant or the movies…because you know you will benefit from it, too. Well, fitness gifts can have that reputation, too. In fact, if you gave a person you love a gift certificate for personal training, even though they say they want to get in shape, isn’t it usually given to the spouse or loved one that you really wish would get healthy/lose fat/insert ulterior motive here? Of course you do!
Whether you have ulterior motives, you are looking for good gifts to help the ones you love feel better, or you’re just looking for a good deal for yourself for the Christmas and heck, why not treat yourself? Isn’t one of the best gifts you can give your spouse is taking care of your health? That said, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 fitness gifts for this year.
From Lee Burton, PhD, ATC, CSCS
“Using sticks and foam rolls can be a great way to prepare your body for a more dynamic warm-up or movement prep activity. These can provide an increase in blood flow or create more extensibility in the tissue which will allow for more effective mobility and flexibility work. These two pieces of equipment also play an integral role in recovery after a workout to help alleviate soreness, trigger points, or tightness in tissue. Sticks will provide more isolated pressure over a specific area of a muscle which may be sore due to a trigger point. Foam rolls provide general pressure which will help increase blood flow, assisting in alleviating generalized soreness after a workout. Both are self-help techniques which should be part of a both the warm-up and recovery phases of training.”
The only self-care therapy tool specifically designed for relieving a range of problems in the entire arm including hands and elbows. Fundamentally, the Armaid is a lever that lets you effectively apply the trigger point therapy technique. It can help you prevent and recover from maladies such as Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, Tendinitis, and De Quervain’s syndrome.
So, how does it work? The Armaid has three basic parts: A non-skid base, a large arm with a stationary permanent roller, and an adjustable small arm that holds the interchangeable therapy roller attachments. The non-skid base stabilizes the tool, usually on your leg, but could be on a tabletop, wall, or any flat surface. The large arm comfortably supports the muscle you are working on during therapy. The smaller, adjustable arm holds the therapy roller, which is the real workhorse for applying trigger point therapy.
With the Armaid you’ll be building a committed relationship to recovery. So don’t rush your therapy – start slow and listen for feedback from your body.
The Musician’s Essential Exercises (ebook)
Musicians are athletes, but we’re different – you don’t want a workout for just everyone, and how do you know what’s appropriate to you?
This ebook covers the Basics!
- What equipment you really need
- Proper form
- Corrective exercises to prevent injury
- The exercises you MOST need as a musician
- 3 full workouts putting it all together
- How to pick a foam roller and how to use it
- The best way to release tight neck, forearm and upper body muscles
- What your core muscles are and how to effectively strengthen them for increased playing longevity
- The Stretches you really need before, during and after a playing or workout session
- 3 workouts to do pre-post playing and in the gym using only your body weight
- Tour bus/on the road routine
Gymboss Interval Timer
- Makes workouts easier to plan and execute with more consistency
- Auto mode repeats intervals; manual mode acts as a countdown timer.
- 1 or 2 different time intervals can range from 2 seconds to 99 minutes
- Alarm beeps, vibrates or both in durations of 1, 5 or 10 seconds.
Jawku Muscle Blaster
Mini Bands,JC Travel Bands and Super Bands
These bands, in my opinion, are indispensable for several different reasons. First off, bands are the easiest and most portable workout equipment you can use.They fold up into just about any suitcase, backpack, gig bag, you name it and can you say that about a dumbbell? Even if you don’t belong to a gym or are travelling and can’t get in your normal workout, you can come pretty close to it with bands. Here are my favorites for what to do with each:
- Mini bands:
wrap around ankles for lateral band walks for glute activation, place around knees when squatting or pressing as tactile cue to keep knees out
- JC Travel Bands: just as good as the full-length version but smaller and easier to take when traveling. Favorite feature? The loop in the middle with the knot at the end. Perfect for shutting in a door or wrapping around a door knob to do rows, pull downs, face pulls, even bicep curls.
- Super bands:
Best way to improve your pullups: band-assisted pullups. Also great for x-band walks, partner rows, band-resisted squats, RDL’s and even pushups.
- Ability to play your instrument longer without pain and soreness
- Increased endurance and stamina on stage
- Increased breathing capacity and breath endurance
- Lowered resting heart rate / increased cardiovascular health
- Increased lean body mass
- Increased confidence
- Increased creativity
- Bolstered mood and positive outlook
- Deeper quality sleep
- Less inflammation
- Increased energy