Holiday season is upon us with it’s seemingly never ending amount of delicious foods, fancy lights on houses, ugly sweaters, and gifts galore. What’s not to like?
Look, reindeer in a conga line. So festive!
Chances are if you’re reading this, you or someone you know takes an interest in their health and fitness routine. Well, with the holidays approaching, now is the perfect time to get them a gift that will help take their training to the next level. Or you could get them a box of assorted meats and cheeses. Your call.
Here are some things that will make perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for that fitness enthusiast in your life.
- The Tiger Tail
I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a pretty big fan of including some type of soft tissue work in your training routine. It helps improve your mobility, increase flexibility, improve blood flow to muscles, boost recovery, and help reduce the minor aches and pains that can occur from time to time.
Foam rolling is usually my go-to method for soft tissue work for a majority of clients, but sometimes hauling around a huge foam roller just isn’t convenient, or worse, even doable.
Enter The Tiger Tail.
The Tiger Tail is essentially a compact and portable foam roller with handles. It has less give than the regular ‘stick’, so it will really allow you to work any knots out of your muscles with extreme prejudice if needed. This is perfect for someone who has been foam rolling for a while and may just need a bit more firmness to truly get the desired result from their soft tissue work. GET YOU ONE. $25.
I flat out love minibands. I probably have 10-15 of them with varying resistances. I use them in all of my clients’ warmups and will add them to things like squats, hip thrusts, and weighted carry variations to name a few.
During every movement, the muscles at your hips are responsible for helping stabilize your pelvis and femur, or thigh bone. If these muscles aren’t firing correctly or strong enough to prevent unwanted movement (like knees caving in during squats or cutting/planting movements), you’re setting yourself up for crappy results, crappy movement, and an increased risk for injury. By adding these mini bands into your routine, you’ll help fix these problems and without a doubt boost your performance during your training sessions. In my humble opinion, these don’t even fall into the category of an awesome stocking stuffer. They should be a staple in every training program. Definitely pick these up. $1.50 – $28
These are a unique tool to add into any fitness enthusiast’s arsenal. I was first introduced to these at a conference in Louisville where companies were parading their products trying to generate awareness. One of them was these sandbags, and at first glance, they didn’t look like much. Big deal. A bag filled with sand.
OH WELL YOU’RE JUST THE MAN HUH CHRIS? NO BIG DEAL?
LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION. YOU LIKE SWEETS?
BECAUSE TODAY’S SPECIAL IS HUMBLE PIE BITCH. AND YOU LOOK HUNGRY.
I went through a sample training session with the sandbags and needless to say, I am now a fan of them. With the multiple handles attached at various points on the bag, it really offers you a ton of versatility to vary exercises like squats, swings, deadlifts, cleans, snatches, lunges, you name it. Plus, because the bag is filled with sand, there is the component of unpredictability and instability of the constantly shifting contents. 5 reps of a hang clean might result in 5 different feeling cleans, forcing you to work just a little harder. It also allows you to transition between exercises pretty seamlessly, something that might not be possible with other tools. Deadlifts to hang cleans to a fireman’s carry with a barbell? Don’t think so. Try it out. $57 – $130.
Basically a really big version of the previously mentioned minibands. And they’re just as awesome. Super portable and easy to use, these super bands allow you the ability to do just about every exercise out there, including squats, deadlifts, rows, and pushups.
Another huge advantage of these is that they can actually serve as assistance to a lot of exercises, meaning it can make certain exercises easier. The best example for this is chin-ups. Set up a super band on a pullup bar to serve as a makeshift bungee to help pull yourself up.
Plus, you can use these super bands for things like resisted sprints, shuffles, and bear crawls. Perfect for speed work or even a killer conditioning session. Can’t do that with a dumbbell! Get them here. $6 – $52.
Aside from a dumbbell, barbell, or kettlebell, the TRX gets my vote as one of the most versatile and awesome pieces of equipment you can own, especially in a home gym type setting. All you really need for a solid TRX training session is your bodyweight and a spot to set the TRX up. Aaaaand that’s it. And I don’t even mean, “Hey good job you elevated your heart rate a little bit” type of session. I’m talking about “Wow, it feels like I just went to the gym and lifted weights” type of workout. That’s the beauty of the TRX. Simple, convenient, portable, and extremely easy to use. What else could you ask for? This is a must for anyone who claims to be serious about their health and fitness. $199.
6. The Shake Weight
This is it. The ULTIMATE training tool for men and women alike.
If you like looking like an idiot while training, this is the product for you.
If you are impressed by phrases like ‘Dynamic Inertia Technology’ (wtf is that?), this is the product for you.
If you enjoy looking like you’re aggressively partaking in the act of male self stimulation while you train, THEN THIS IS THE PRODUCT FOR YOU.
Nothing will get you that sick beach body pump quite like this can, bro. I used it once, and like, IMMEDIATELY, all the ladies were coming up to me. They were all like, “Ooooh myyyy gaaawd Chris your arms are so muscular, please date me and take me to all the movies with Channing Tatum in them.”
This is the best investment you’ll ever make. DO IT. $15.
For those of you with no sense of humor, I am joking about the shake weight. A shake weight should only ever be purchased as a gag gift. Purchasing of a shake weight with the intent of actually using it in your training program will result in me kindly asking to never visit this site again. Buy some coloring books, and go sit in the corner until you’ve realized your wrongdoings.