This might not all be in my daily bag, but if I go to a month-long training camp, here is what I bring. (I got this idea from Matt Mullenweg “What’s in my Bag” posts).
(For Nike Recommendations, see this post!)
- Looped Strap – for assisted stretching. I like this one especially because the sewn loops allow you to anchor it down, or have options for hand/foot holds
- Bands – I don’t know if these are specifically the Theraband brand. I think I was given them by a PT.
- Loop Bands – same here.
- Ball – This thing is gold! It has such heft. Something about the weight and firmness makes it my favorite tool for rolling. The only issue: it always seems to set off TSA alerts. (I take it out of my carry-on preemptively now, and that seems to solve the problem).
- Small Spiky Ball – This is another one that is just perfect for it’s purpose. It’s small enough to get in between the metatarsals and under the ball of the foot. And I prefer the spikes to the flat surface of a golfball.
- Foot Roller – To be honest, I use the small spiky more. Sometimes I like this one for stretching my toes, or rolling my plantar.
- Tape* – I don’t use KT Tape religiously, but I do like a stripe under my foot and up the inside of my calf if that flares up at the start of track work.
- Cups – These are the best thing I’ve found for self-treatment if I’m away from a Physio for a while. You put lotion on the problem area, then suction yourself up. I find them most effective when I move around with the cup on there (stretch out the muscle).
- I’m told this is forcing the fascia to move more fluidly around the muscle. I have no idea if that’s true, or what the science is behind the mechanism. Fascia seems like this magical organ that is at the root of so many body problems. I just know that releasing fascia is my best found method of keeping injury-free… and this is the easiest way to do it by myself.
- Gua Sha – Graston and Astym tools are expensive. One of these is less than $10 on Amazon. The back of a butter knife or spoon from your kitchen is free…
- HR Monitor* – I am currently using the Apple Watch for heart rate variability, but I’m still figuring it out.