The Living Room Recovery Kit

We’ve all heard it and we all know it to be true: preventative care is of vital importance for any athlete. Stretching, rolling, massaging, you name it…it’s the key to preventing injury and prolonging our athletic dreams.

Yet for some strange reason, as much as it has been harped on over and over again by every magazine and blogger out there, somehow we find ourselves brushing it off and I completely understand why. We only have a limited amount of hours in the day and if I have to choose an hour of running, or 45 minutes of running and 15 minutes of stretching, my endorphin-junkie mind carelessly picks the hour of running every time.

But then you’ll find yourself just sitting on the couch, catching up on Bob’s Burgers because somehow your husband’s TV-taste has rubbed off on you and you think, “I should be rolling right now.” Somehow your ass in glued in place and you just can’t be bothered to get up, walk to the next room and grab the punishment pieces needed to take preventative care/rehab seriously. Yup, that’s me. But fear not young one, I come bearing a solution!

Enter: The Living Room Recovery Kit!


I know, I know, the true originality of this is mind-blowing and my interior decorating skills are something to be rivaled. But this simple trick has helped me stick with my rolling routine. Here’s how it works:

1) Get a basket.
2) Fill it with preventative care goodies (details below).
3) Put it in a highly visible spot in a regularly trafficked room.
4) Watch it stare at you, taunting you, as you sit there doing everything but rolling.
5) Let the guilt magic set in and finally use the contents of said kit, shake your fist in the air and proclaim, “Damn you, foam roller. Daaaaaaamn you!”

It’s that easy! Now, for the contents of my living room recovery kit:

1) A Yoga Mat, because you need one for obvious reasons. Carpet burn is never cool.

2) A Mini Pilates Ball for core and hip strengthening exercises. But you should probably inflate it more than mine.

3) A Kettle Bell. I keep this little five pounder handy for core work as it’s cheaper and smaller than a medicine ball, and I can use it for Nike Training Club app workouts.

4) A Foam Roller. Go with the trigger point for some real torture, not just the black foam. Plus, this compact size is much better for traveling (should you be so inclined) because I have no idea how you’re going to pass a three-foot foam roller as a carry on.

5) The Stick. I like the travel size for obvious, space-related reasons.

6) Foot Massage Balls. I actually won these in a Secret Santa gift exchange two years ago (thanks Katie!) and love them. I keep one at my desk at work (gross — who cares) and one in the basket. The bottom of my foot has been giving me some issues as it’s overcompensating for my ankle, and a little time with these bad boys help immensely.

7) A good ol’ fashioned Lacrosse Ball. Truth be told, Coach Paul found me this one as we were doing transition laps around the track. Get one, put your butt on it, and try and roll out the magic.

I should also give an honorable mention to the tub of Aquaphor that I keep next to my nightstand to massage my ankle. I’m not sure if Aquaphor is made for massaging, but Emily sent it to me and it works really well!

So there you have it, my living room recovery kit. Tell me, how do you ensure that you are rolling/stretching/etc.? Anything else you would add to the basket?

Happy Running!

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36 Responses to The Living Room Recovery Kit

  1. Mandi says:

    Omg, we’re Living Room Recovery Kit twins! I totally have a basket in the corner of my living room with: a yoga mat, foam roller, the stick, a foot massage ball, and a couple of 3 lb hand weights. I never roll as long as I should, so I make sure to distract/entertain myself with a favorite tv show or podcast, and then somehow rolling doesn’t seem so bad. :)

  2. Love it! You definitely have better decorating skills than I do, as my items are just left in a corner of the living room!

  3. Jessica B. says:

    haha where else would I keep my foam roller and stick. I’ve always kept them in the living room so I can roll while watching tv. I don’t have a basket for them yet but I keep them under an end table. Along with my weights and exercise bands.

  4. I have a ‘corner of my room’ recovery area where I stick my yoga mat, foam roller, stick, a baseball, and my yoga ball. And then there’s my ice pack and bars of chocolate, which need to stay in the freezer :)

  5. outside time says:

    Ha, this is a great idea! I should just buckle down and buy my own foamroller and place it right in the middle of my apartment so I have to step over it to get anywhere.

  6. Rena says:

    I seriously need to roll more. To prevent myself from completely being stiff like an old person, I do try to go to a yoga class about three times a week. But the problem with that is that I feel so good after the yoga that foam rolling at night is the last thing on my mind.

  7. This is brilliant. My foam roller lives in the living room, but is in a closed container so our puppy can’t chew on it…it definitely makes it harder for me to remember/motivate myself when it isn’t eying me down. I’m really trying to get my gym at work to get one (we just have a make-shift basement gym)…because it’s easy for me to head down for a quick 20-30 minutes stretch session. I’m debating actually bringing a yoga mat and foam roller to my’s definitely long/wide enough. Might be kind of awkward when people walk by, though…

  8. I always schedule in time for stretching/recovery right after dinner while all the boys are watching a movie. I lay out on my mat and roll and stretch. I have a yoga strap in my “basket” as well so I can get a little extra range with my stretches. :)

  9. Cate says:

    Hahah! we occasionally watch Bob’s Burgers too.
    I need to put my foam roller ON the couch so instead of sitting, I remember to roll my legs out. It’s in the closet around the corner and way too out of sight/out of mind

  10. Rachel says:

    I love this. I have various pieces of this kit strewn about my living room, office, bedroom, etc……I could definitely stand to put it in a nice-looking basket so that my house looks just a bit more presentable!

  11. My foam roller (The Grid) stares at me all the time. I have it leaning against the entertainment system. I really need to use it more. Only time I really do is after long runs. I use a tennis ball for my feet, but I’ll look into that foot roller thing. I love love yoga, but don’t nearly do enough of it as I would like :( Doing it at studio? Sure, n problem, it’s the home practice that makes it hard. Why does having to do anything at home so hard?

    I got sucked into Bob Burger’s too because of the Husband. That and Archer.

  12. Laura says:

    Love it! I keep my recovery/strength training goodies (foam roller, sets of 8 & 10lb weights, a couple of resistance bands) under my coffee table in the living room. Knock on wood, post-injury, I’ve been pretty good about using the foam roller to loosen up before runs… I keep telling myself, “No rolling, no recovery!!”

  13. Emily says:

    Yup! I have one just like that in my living room! Although I had to hide the foam roller behind the couch to keep it from the toddler – he likes to eat it, there’s huge chunks taken out of the ends.

    P.S. I looooove Bob’s Burgers! Sunday nights are the highlight of my week :)

  14. Katie says:

    haha! Right?!?! I always tell myself to foam roll and stretch after my workouts, but the second I sit down, it’s all over…or I hop in the shower…and forget…Maybe I should try your recovery basket idea. :)

  15. Steph says:

    I love Kettle Bells and I hate the foam roller – both are necessary for me :) Loved your other ideas though too.

  16. This is such a good idea! I used to keep my foam roller in my living room but I always ended up tripping over it or something so I put it away. I think I may need to get a basket to put it in!

  17. RoadBunner says:

    I have a basket in my living room with all my recovery crap, too!! I actually need a bigger one as the current is overflowing. I am going to use your aquaphor tip!

  18. Amy says:

    New follower here – love the setup.! I keep my foam roller and stick (most amazing thing, ever) in the living room as well – I wouldn’t use them otherwise!

  19. Naomi says:

    I have a spot for everything in my TV armoire, where the DVD’s are supposed to go, but 99.9% of the time I just leave them on the living room floor so I’m forced to use them. I have pretty much the same stuff as you do, but I also have a yoga strap and a theracane (highly recommend this). I also use Yoga Tuneup balls vs a lacrosse ball – but it does the same thing!

  20. Good idea with the basket. I am not that organized! My yoga mat is under the couch. My foam roller is by the DVD player (which I use religiously). I use a softball to roll my feet on and it just rolls around the living room floor!

  21. Meggie says:

    I like the basket and highly trafficked area idea. In my tiny dorm, my foam roller resides at the foot of my bed, btu a bit hidden from you. Will make the sucker more visible. Decor?

  22. Kelly says:

    Brilliant! I love this – what a great idea. Thanks for sharing! :)

  23. Nina says:

    Great idea! I just got the trigger point foam roller and am now looking for some advice on how to use it properly. Any good youtube videos/ blog post/ internet sides you could recommend?

  24. Vanessa says:

    Love this idea!!!

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