Personal Maintenance: 4 Things Every Athlete Should Be Doing

1)  Tissue Work

Daily body maintenance with a focus on preventative care is key.  Most overuse injuries are the result of what were originally smaller aches and paints that manifest overtime into common weightlifting ailments (ex. Patelar Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Elbow Tendonitis).  While the world's most elite athletes may have access and funding to include massage therapy in their daily routine, the rest of us need to find the next best alternative.  You should try to schedule deep tissue massage work at minimum once every few months however below are two easy and cost efficient alternative methods of breaking up muscle adhesions and freeing locked-down ligaments that you can do yourself.

Lacrosse ball - The once best kept secret is quickly becoming a must-have for the serious athlete. To use apply pressure to trouble spots by leveraging your body against the lacrosse ball. These trouble spots will quickly identify themselves in the form of causing discomfort which is normal.  It is important to maintain a relaxed face, allowing your body to release tension on the targeted muscle.  

Bonus tip: The bottom of your feet are often neglected and can quickly become locked down; sit down and work your foot on top of the lacrosse ball after workouts.

Foam Roller - No secret at all as most gyms are familiar with foam rollers and you should be too.  While they cannot completely take the place of deep tissue work, foam rollers are included in the daily warm-up routine of almost every California Strength lifter.

2)  Electric Stem

Here at California Strength, we often employ the use of Compex Electric Muscle Stimulators to alleviate muscle spasms and help drive muscle activation and blood flow to injured areas.  It is also useful when utilizing "Strength" options to continue strengthening muscle groups that would otherwise be difficult to target when an athlete is injured.

3)  Normatec Recovery

Hooking up to a Normatec pre- or post- workout can help to flush your legs after a heavy leg workout.  Set the timer for 20 minutes or at least 4 complete cycles. 

4)  Ice Bath

Add ice and jump in at 55 degrees or colder for 10 to 15 minutes, at least one time per week while heavy training.  Cold therapy has been shown to help calm inflammation and increase natural Testosterone levels.