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Shoulder Tube: Oates’ Specialties Shoulder Tube is the perfect warm-up tool – capturing rhythmic stabilization and dynamic mobilization in one handy tool. Works perfectly before high-intensity throwing as well as a vital tool to have in any post-throwing recovery and cooldown protocol.
Foam Roller: A foam roller looks like a silly piece of equipment that you’d find in yoga studios, but it’s actually a very useful piece of equipment and one that I consider vital and necessary for my baseball clients. Using a foam roller, you can perform a lot of excellent mobility and flexibility exercises that loosens up tight muscle tissue and break up knots in your fascia. Use them on your lats, upper back (thoracic extensors), and all sides of your legs (adductors, quadriceps, peroneals, calves, etc) before and after you lift heavy weights or throw your max effort bullpen. I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better and suffer from a lot less soreness as a result! Be sure to get a full round roller that you can roll around on – not a half-round model – and getting it in high density (typically black) is very important, otherwise you risk getting a foam roller that is too soft and does very little for myofascial release.
Yoga Mat: A yoga mat is useful to have so you’re not lying on bare ground or concrete when you’re using your foam roller to break up tight muscle tissue. It also gives you a clean area to perform dynamic stretches, push-ups, and static holds to increase flexibility. This yoga kit comes with foam blocks that are useful to kneel on to perform various stretches and movements that would otherwise be very painful to do, as kneeling on concrete doesn’t tend to be very comfortable! Ships free from Amazon and costs about the same as a yoga mat from your local sporting goods store!
Knee Sleeves: Occasionally as a result of playing sports or lifting heavy weights, we tweak a muscle or a joint. These things happen when competing, and while we shouldn’t sit down and do nothing, we also shouldn’t blindly train through the pain or discomfort. Wearing knee sleeves as you rehab your knees is a great way to improve blood flow and give some stability to the knee joint during squats, deadlifts, and lunges. They’re also great to have in colder climates if you lift in your garage (like I do) to protect your knees and warm them up a bit!
The Stick: A great tool that we use at Driveline Baseball to improve soft tissue quality and get the knots out of tight muscles from lifting heavy weights and throwing baseballs. Great for self-use on your legs (particularly the calves), but for best results, get a partner who will roll your shoulders, forearms, and upper back.