We all know that softball is a sport played competitively by young women and nostalgically by over the hill guys reliving their glory days. But did you know that the softball itself can be used as a training tool to loosen up muscle?
When you work out, your muscles are vigorously pushed and pulled in all directions, which can leave them in a state of chaos, leading to tightness, cramps or spasms. Many athletes use foam rollers to loosen up tight muscle fibers after a workout. Well, a softball can serve a similar function. Roll it around in areas around the hips and shoulders that are hard to reach with the foam roller. It will help cool down your muscles, prevent post-workout spasms and reduce soreness the day after you train.
Take a look at how The UCLA Bruins football team incorporates softballs into their post-practice cool down.
U.S. Track & Field Sprinter Rodney Martin takes softball rolling a step further by using it on his feet prior to warming up. “Everything stems from your feet,” Martin says. “Like if you have a problem in your knee, it’s probably coming from your feet . . . I use the softball to roll my feet, [and] make sure I loosen up my arches.”
Watch Martin’s simple, yet effective softball pre-warm-up routine.
For more tips on staying loose and stretching muscles, check out our exclusive training articles at STACK.com.