Keeping the body injury resistant and strong for whatever sport or activity you want to do is key to performing well and having fun. Luckily, it is more convenient than ever to do so.
The following is a list of training tools that are portable, lightweight and pack a punch when it comes to getting the most out of the time you have to commit to your body. Whether you are at home, on the road, at the gym, a workout or race, you can get the job done, and done well, in a short amount of time with these tools at your fingertips.
All together they only weigh a few pounds and fit into a medium-size gym bag. Don't leave home without them!
TRX Suspension Trainer
The TRX Suspension Trainer is a versatile and powerful full-body workout tool, yet it weighs only 2.5 pounds and fits in the palms of your hands. It harnesses your own bodyweight to create resistance as you train.
There are hundreds of exercises to choose from that challenge your strength, power, balance, flexibility and more. Hang it from a tree outdoors or from a doorway or ceiling inside your home or gym. No more excuses not to be full-body fit!
Mini-Bands are handy little elastic bands that stretch up to three times their length. Use them for a dynamic warm up, muscle activation and both upper and lower body training. They are also useful in conjunction with other exercises by helping activate the core as well as prime movers, synergists and stabilizers in the hip and shoulder area. Monster walks are a popular and useful example of how you can use mini-bands.
A tennis ball is a great tool to have on hand for self-massage and also spinal mobilization exercises. Lying on the floor and applying pressure to sore, tight areas by rolling them along the tennis ball is a great way to alleviate trigger points, knots and other potential problems.
Taping two tennis balls together and rolling them along your spine while lying on your back is a great way to loosen up the joints of the vertebrae. Also, a lacrosse ball or golf ball are great options if and when the muscles can handle more direct pressure.
Regular self-massage is a huge component to injury prevention and performance. Rolling out your muscles daily, both pre- and post-workout or to alleviate the day's stresses from your body is key. The TP Quadballer by Trigger Point Performance makes it convenient. Unlike regular foam rollers that are bigger and lose structural integrity over time, the Quadballer fits easily in a gear bag and will maintain its shape.
The Valslide took the idea of a slide board, expanded it, and made it portable. They allow you to slide your hands and feet across the floor in different movements requiring you to maintain resistance throughout an entire range of motion. They help you get the most out of your time by adding that extra bit of resistance to your typical strength exercises or incorporating new movements to your routine.
A stretch rope allows you to get in some much needed Active Isolated Stretching post-workout in a short amount of time. There is no reason not to have one handy. Your body will love you for it.
Thera-Band Stability Trainer
This piece of equipment can be used for everything from stability to resistance to cushioning--as needed in your workout. The Thera-Band Stability Trainer can be used for single-leg balance exercises, to add resistance to glute bridges and pull-ups, to cushion the knees during kneeling exercises, and much more.
Jessi Stensland is a professional triathlete who races all types of endurance events. She's also a video producer and an expert on the subjects of movement efficiency and true athleticism as it relates to endurance performance. Learn more about her adventures on her website, GoJessi.com.