You might be feeling accomplished when you leave the gym after those running intervals, squats and killer ab workout you completed, but even after all that there’s one thing you probably skipped out on.
A good stretch.
While we could go on and on about why stretching is important, it’s time to cut to the chase. Stretching helps ease sore and stiff muscles, but it’s also boring and time consuming. Who has time to wait for an open spot on the ab mats at the gym?
Our staff has tested out some fun accessories you can use to shake things up while you’re stretching out. Using them is highly encouraged in the comfort of your own apartment/dorm because when first testing them out, you’re going to feel a little funny using them. It’s okay, your secret is safe with Valley.
The AccuRoller | $39.99
This accessory is going to look a little frightening at first. But not only is it good to stretch with, but it can also be used to massage your muscles! You can use it on practically any body part including your back (which is very hard to reach with your hands alone). The webbed straps make it easy to reach your toes if your flexibility is low to begin with. Take time to teach yourself how to use it – it’s comic relief disguised as a useful accessory!
The Foam Roller | $34.99
Also known as “Self-myofasical release,” foam rolling is the new up-and-coming practice to target tight muscles. Ever get that feeling like you have a “knot” in your shoulders or leg? The foam roller is specifically designed to conquer this uncomfortable pain. Applying pressure while leading proper blood flow to your tightened muscles restores the healthy tissue. The cylinder shape of the roller makes it easy to guide the accessory back and forth along your legs, hips, and back. Rock and roll, ladies!
Resistance bands | $9.99
This is probably one of the cheapest and most portable accessories. Resistance bands can be used for stretching in addition to strength training. One of the best ways to get a good stretch with this tool is by placing one of your feet inside of the handle while you are laying down, and tugging at the rubber band portion. You don’t need to be a cheerleader to do some of these stretches!
Next time you have an awesome workout, make sure to complete it with proper stretching techniques. Your muscles will thank you!