Movement Improvement: Life hacks from a physical therapist for the Tahoe athlete |

Movement Improvement: Life hacks from a physical therapist for the Tahoe athlete

Whether you’ve seen all those infomercials over the years, online ads these days or things that have caught your eye in a sporting goods store, I’m sure you’ve noticed there are lots of devices and gadgets being sold to help with your fitness needs. As a physical therapist, I do agree with some of the concepts out there to help with things such as flexibility. However, why should you spend $30 on something you may already have a version of in your house?

For the average athlete here in Meyers and South Lake Tahoe, money isn’t something to just throw around, so being creative comes in handy. I have always kept this in mind with my patients, and the following are some of my life hacks for getting around the expense, but still getting the tool you need. Instead of “the stick” for massaging tight calf and other leg muscles, use a rolling pin out of the kitchen drawer or that empty wine bottle you might have laying around. For stretches that require a strap, like certain hamstring stretches, instead of buying a yoga strap, you can use your dog’s leash or a rolled up sheet / towel lengthwise. Need to self-massage bottoms of your feet, that tight hip muscle or those spots around your shoulder blades? Use a tennis ball (if that’s not enough intensity for you, try a Lacrosse ball).

One device I do recommend investing in is the foam roller. Relatively low initial investment with multiple uses for many years, for flexibility, self-massage/mobilizations and even core stability work.

Jessica Monaloy is a physical therapist in Meyers. She can be reached at 530-721-3253 or Visit her website at

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