Whether it’s pre or post-exercise, the right leg-care can optimize the results of all your hard work. Get ready, set and GO, with these gym bag heroes and top tips from our resident massage expert, Katie Light.
Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel (£25)
“It’s packed full of soothing rosemary, ginger and black pepper essential oils,” says Katie, “Massage it into the legs until it has soaked in, which will take about a minute.”
Legology Lymph Lite Leg Brush (£12)
“Body Brushing is a great way of getting the circulation moving. Use it upwards along your legs in quick strokes for approximately 5-7 minutes.”
Better You Magnesium Oil Original Spray (£12.20)
“Apply this to any tight muscles or tense areas, pre-exercise, to prevent toxin build up.”
PS: Keen to find more pre-workout leg aids? Katie advises to check the label for ingredients like ginger, black pepper or rosemary as these all help to get the circulation going. “Also, lavender – it calms any already achy muscles.”
THE WARM UP
“Stretches before any form of exercise are essential to help prepare the muscles and avoid any build up of lactic acid/toxins or possible injury,” Katie explains. “They are especially important if you are exercising in the morning, to get your body from sleep-mode to active-mode.”
- • Leg Stretches: “Bending the leg back towards the buttocks, supporting the ankle with one hand, breath into the stretch for 10 seconds and then stretch a bit further.”
- • Calf and hamstring stretch: “Sitting on the floor, legs straight, bend from the hips over the legs, touching your toes if possible or as close as you can get. You can also do this stretch with your legs apart.”
THE INNER PREP
(Because it’s not just your legs that need a pep-talk before exercising.)
1. DRINK: “Make yourself some hot water with lemon and ginger first thing in the morning to help to cleanse your body and kick-start your digestion, pre-workout,” Katie says.
2. INHALE: “Lemon and citrus fruits uplift the senses and peppermint to helps the digestive system and clears the mind.”
3. EAT: “Pink Grapefruit cleanses and detoxes when eaten first thing in the morning.”
THE WARM DOWN
“Repeat your warm up stretches only this time, make them longer as the muscles will be more flexible,” says Katie. Anything else? “Knee bends up to the stomach or chest and ankle circles to release the joints.”
- 1. SOAK: “Magnesium promotes the health and relaxation of muscles and joints,” Katie explains. Sprinkle BOD 20 Min Body Boost Bath Prep (£9.99, Boots) into your bath while the water’s running then bathe in their goodness.
- 2. PAMPER: “After twenty minutes, add in a few drops of lavender bath oil to help soothe and de-stress the muscles and prevent toxin build up.” Jo Malone Amber & Lavender Bath Oil (£42) is a real treat.”
- 3. SLATHER: “Once you’re dry, apply Legology Air Lite (£60) to help drain toxins, reduce tightness and dissolve aches and pains.”
- 4. SPRAY: We’ve all heard of warming muscle gels but Deep Heat Pain Relief Spray (£3.50) is a total miracle worker for when you’re on-the-go. Take it everywhere with you for instant respite.
5.DRINK: “A protein based smoothie or green juice with peanut butter.”