Archives for posts with tag: things you need
Trigger Point Grid Roller

Roll it, gyal!

‘Rolling out’  isn’t just something Ludacris does; it’s actually kind of important. Now that I’m in training mode again and still do not have a live-in masseuse, the foam roller has become my friend again.

The whole point of a foam roller is to massage, and ease tension and aches. They help increase flexibility and range of motion. Which is great for me, because during my recent Sexy In The City bootcamp sessions, trainer Phil told me that it didn’t matter how much I stretched; if I didn’t ease out the knots in my muscles, I wouldn’t become more flexible. Let me tell ya: having tight hips is not as sexy as it sounds.

You can use a regular foam roller, but I decided to buy a fancy one. Why? Because that’s just how I roll.  (Don’t look at me like that.)

The Trigger Point Grid Roller isn’t just pretty, though. The fancy flats and nubs are designed to mimic fingertips, fingers and palms. It doesn’t yield much to cuddles, though. Just so you know.

Warning: You’ll look really odd when using one in the gym (although they’re great for getting random guys talking to you – top tip for being cruised, so don’t say I never gave you useful advice!).

It’s worth it, though. When you give your IT (iliotial) band, which runs down the the outside of your thigh, a good going-over, you’ll be glad you did. No, actually, you won’t (but you will).  OK, I’ll be honest – it hurts like a bitch, but ultimately makes your post-run stretch even more effective – this page will give you a lot of useful info detailing the benefits. I can’t remember half of them; I just feel them.

I roll my inner forearms on it, to stretch them out and help stave off repetitive strain injury from the endless writing that I do; a couple of weeks ago, when one of my calf muscles was threatening me with divorce after a run, I rolled it out before giving it a cold blast in the shower.  Job done. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have two very tender thighs from yesterday’s 8-miler to see to…

How to use a foam roller – exercise videos on YouTube

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Nike+ Sportband

buy one NOW NOW NOW

This, a humble sports watch, is the single most revolutionary piece of running kit I own since, like, my feet.

I’ve logged over 150 miles todate. I didn’t know I’d ever run that much in my lifetime, never mind in 3 or 4 months. That kind of thing is useful to know when you’re in need of motivation.

It’s simple to use – set it up, strap it on, make sure your sensor is tucked away in your shoe (Nike+ shoes have a handy groove under the left insole). Get a Nike+ account and race other people, play tag (using the iPhone/iPod touch GPS app), or join challenges and set goals.

If you’re not ready for a hardcore Garmin but want to track your progress, I can’t recommend this highly enough. Sometimes it’s the only reason I’m out of bed and hitting the road – when you know you can achieve a tangible goal and beat total strangers for time and distance, what’s not to love?

Find me on Nike+ as Ruby_A

Nike+ Store

Shock Absorber B5044 Run Bra

Avoid chafing, excessive movement, and the 'long-titty' look.

Women, listen up. I shall say this only once: YOU NEED A SPORTS BRA WHEN YOU WORK OUT.

I see women in the gym running in their regular bras – stop it! You’re lucky I don’t get off the treadmill to come and slap you. I mean, do you like having saggy tits? Do you like having stretch marks? Do you?

It’s been shown that the breasts move in a figure-of-8 motion, and this can make the Cooper’s Ligaments in them stretch. Boobs are not made of muscle; they are made of fat and ligaments. These ligaments stretch one way, and one way only: DOWNWARDS. To help protect against this you need a good bra to strap those puppies down, so they don’t become spaniel’s ears.

I’ve been lucky, as a Team Bangs On The Run member, to receive a Run bra direct from Shock Absorber themselves – it’s nice when a company pledges their support to us girls and they actually, you know, support our girls! However, I’ve been a massive fan of their bras from day one. They’re comfy, well-made, and with varying degrees of support, have a firm place in my gym wardrobe whether I’m running, rowing, or doing yoga.

Toe Stretchers

Essential for tight toes - seriouslyI know, I know. They sound completely ridiculous - but you'll have to prise these from my cold, dead hands, for they are amazing.

I know, I know. They sound completely ridiculous. Here’s the thing, though: I don’t know about you, but I’m the opposite of what’s called ‘mobile’.

This means I struggle, despite years of yoga and Pilates, to touch my toes. I can’t even point my toes without going into spasm; people who are hypermobile go on to become contortionists, and people who are hypomobile go on about how difficult it is to touch their toes.

Not many people seem to understand this. Take, for example, the yoga instructor who wanted to know if there was ‘a good reason’ why I couldn’t perform a simple stretch with the same ease as everyone else. I gave her my best ‘because it’s physically fucking impossible, bitch!’ look, which took special effort as I was doing Bikram yoga at the time, and everyone’s faces look like that to some degree.

And speaking of Pilates, I’ve come to love doing it on the Reformer (the discerning bougie twat’s torture rack). Doing standing exercises on the frame, (e.g. with one foot on the foot rest, the other one on the moveable carriage) or exercises with my feet in the straps, cause my feet to go ‘oh, HELL no’, and into painful spasm.

My feet are incredibly inflexible, and the toe stretchers have helped open them up massively. They’re satisfyingly thick and rubbery little things, which slide on around your toes, like the ones you’d get to help your toenails dry afetr a pedicure – but much more effective. You wet them, slide them on, and then you, you know, just chill. Cotch. Jam. Whatever. You can wear them in the bath or shower, and I like to slip them on after a run.

I’ll talk more about being hypomobile, and why this isn’t a bad thing for running necessarily, another time…

Get a pair of Toe Stretchers here.