Is your New Year’s resolution to get fitter, faster and stronger? Are you the type of person who loves to set yourself new challenges and to push your own limits? If so, you’re going to need some help. The world’s best athletes don’t just have the best coaches; they use the right kind of gear in their training sessions and competition. Here are five must have accessories for you to incorporate into your training regime to take your performance to the next level.
You’ve no doubt seen the skin tight suits worn by the big names in sports. So what are the benefits of compression garments? In a nutshell, they can improve your recovery and performance and reduce your risk of injury.
Muscle compression increases blood flow and oxygen availability, improves circulation and reduces lactic acid production. It also provides greater stability to muscles by reducing their vibration, which in turn, forces them to work more efficiently. This can also help to prevent stress injuries.
Compression garments also increase proprioception. The word ‘proprioception’ means “sense of self”. Proprioceptors are sensors in the limbs that provide information about the angle of joints and length and tension of muscles. This increases an athlete’s awareness of their legs and arms in space, which can help them to better gauge their limits and avoid over-extending and over-training.
So what does all of this mean for you? You can enhance your performance due to greater strength, better coordination and increased endurance. As a competitor, this can help you achieve faster times or more skilful play. Check out http://www.micksimmons.com.au for a comprehensive range of compression gear to suit your needs.
Heart rate monitor
Training better is all about training smarter. As with compression garments, heart rate monitors are based on years of research in sports science. A good quality monitor (eg. Polar), actually listens to your body and helps you to train at the right intensity, depending on your training schedule. It will tell you when to push harder or when to back off if you’re doing a recovery session. Monitors are also invaluable for helping you during interval training. There’s an old saying “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Monitors help you track and adjust your training in line with your training schedule and therefore, measure your progress. They also help you to better gauge your physical limits in order to avoid over-extending and over-training.
Finding and using the right shoes for your sport and getting the perfect fit for your feet, are an absolute must. Consult a sport shoes specialist who can accurately measure your feet, gauge where you apply the most pressure and the level of arch support you need.
If you’re training and/or competing regularly in the sun, sports sunglasses are essential. Similarly, if you are active at night, clear protective wrap-around glasses can safeguard your eyes from insects. Just like your footwear, make sure you get a perfect fit so they enhance rather than detract from your performance.
To maximise your performance in training and competition, you need to stay hydrated. Luckily, we’re now spoilt for choice in terms of the materials (eg. BPA plastic, stainless steel) used for sports water bottles and hydration packs. You may need to try a few different brands and types to find the right one for you.