Christmas Gifts for Athletes, Runners, Yogis & More!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be racking your brain trying to figure out Christmas gifts for the athletes and fitness fanatics in your life. It can be challenging to find a gift that is useful to different lifestyles and workout routines. However, you don't need to buy fancy and expensive gym equipment to get them a gift they'll really appreciate.

While big-ticket items may be welcomed, the most important aspects of giving fitness and wellness gifts are the quality and practicality of the gift. You want to give them a gift they'll actually use regularly. Whether they are into running, yoga, or just athletic activities in general, there are a ton of options out there that will fit into their workout routines. We'll go over our top suggestions for quality fitness gifts, like foam rollers and resistance bands, that will work well with their goals and workouts.

What are Foam Rollers?

If you've never used them before, you may be wondering what their purpose is in fitness. Rollga's specially designed foam roller works to stabilize the hips, align the back, and increase range of motion. Most foam rollers are smooth, but our designs are contoured to target hard-to-reach places and fit your body comfortably.

Foam rollers are used to restore damaged tissue by introducing more circulation into affected areas. By doing this, you can increase your mobility, promote flexibility, improve joint health, and much more–making foam rollers excellent Christmas gifts for athletes, yogis, and runners during the holiday season. 

For Yogis 

Yoga can be a great exercise that encourages flexibility and strength. During yoga, you can also benefit from myofascial release. Myofascial refers to muscles and the connective tissue that make up your body. A yoga practice that encourages the release of fascia tissue and tight muscles can also be supplemented with a foam roller for the best results. Foam rollers are the perfect Christmas gifts for yogis as they are compact and adaptable for everyone's body and workout. They're well worth giving a try.

If you are unsure if your recipients have used a foam roller before, we recommend this option. It's the softest foam roller that will work well in providing adequate pressure while also avoiding bruising or trauma. However, if you're gifting someone who already has their foam rolling technique down and could use one with a higher density to hit trigger points and tight muscles, then this medium-density roller is a great choice.

Foam Rolling Benefits in Yoga

Why would someone want to use a foam roller during yoga? There are many benefits to incorporating foam rolling myofascial massage into your yoga practice. Myofascial release using a foam roller can:

  • Increases your flexibility and furthers your range of motion
  • Increases blood flow to particular areas of your body
  • Effectively manages pain and stiffness
  • Helps with overall relaxation
  • Improves circulation
  • Aids in your body's natural recovery process
  • Relieves stress

Tissue can easily become inflamed or injured as you go about your daily life. A sedentary lifestyle, for instance, can negatively affect tissue–sitting at a desk all day or not getting enough exercise really takes a toll. A lot of repetitive movement in sports, work, cycling, or other activities can also lead to tissue becoming thickened or inflamed. The best way to target deep tissue is to use a combination of yoga and foam rolling. 

How to Use Effectively

Using a foam roller effectively is relatively easy, even for beginners, which makes them perfect Christmas gifts for yogis. However, there are some tips and tricks for using one effectively that you can communicate when you give your gift. 

When incorporating a foam roller into a yoga practice, it's best to use it after you've warmed up your muscles a bit. So, you can either choose to do a warm-up first and then get out the roller or you can wait till the end of your practice to touch it. Regardless, utilizing the roller before you start the routine can improve flexibility and range of motion, meaning that you'll be able to get much deeper into poses.

Also, try to retain your mental focus and breathing pattern while you're using the roller that matches the rest of your yoga routine. You want to stay relaxed during this time, so try not to hold your breath. If your gift is going to someone who would like to improve joint health, then we recommend using the foam roller with the IT band stretch, as it's been shown to improve joint health in the knees and hips. If you're looking to find more information on specific stretches to include in a yoga routine, here are five exercises that work well.

For Runners

Are you searching for great gifts for runners? Runners are always on the lookout for aids in the recovery process, especially as they progress to longer distances. Like all the benefits of foam rolling with yoga, myofascial massages really help with joint health and mobility for runners. If you're thinking about gifts for runners, then foam rollers are an excellent way to show you care about them this holiday season. Give this option as gifts for the runners in your life, as it has a high density that's perfect for hitting target points that may be the cause of soreness or pain. 

Foam Rolling Benefits for Runners

There can be a lot of muscle strain and joint stiffness that comes with running. When you need to recover from an intense workout or injury, foam rollers can act as a deep tissue massage to help your body feel better faster. Much like yoga, there are many benefits for runners when using foam rollers. It will help runners in the recovery process, aid with overall health, and help to feel great while running. 

When to Use a Foam Roller

Foam rollers are not great to use before beginning an important race or practice. Some muscles should have tension and not be too relaxed before beginning a run. Ideally, it's best to use the foam roller immediately before or after a workout is completed. Adding it to a cool down is perfect so as to start readying the body for recovery. It can be done every day or just after big runs or workouts. 

How to Use Effectively

There are a few tips to keep in mind for runners as they use foam rollers. Though there aren't a ton of risks involved, it's best to avoid any injuries. Using rollers on already damaged and inflamed muscles or tissues will only compound the issue. Don't use it on these areas of the body until they are healed properly. 

It's also important not to be overly aggressive when using the rollers. It is often uncomfortable when reaching deep tissue, but it shouldn't be incredibly painful. If the pain is severe, then the pressure needs to be eased immediately. It's best to start with light pressure and gradually increase as your muscles and pain tolerance develops more. In fact, we always think it better to start slow with a light-density roller with minimal amounts of pressure if a person has never used a foam roller before. They can increase the pressure or even switch to a harder roller when they feel ready to do so.

To make your routine especially effective, you'll want to ensure you spend enough time on it. Rolling too quickly or too long will not get the right results. It's best to spend about one to two minutes on each muscle using slow and deliberate movements. 

There are a few different muscles that runners may want to target with a foam roller to enhance their athletic performance. For example, the glutes can become tightened from running. When you reduce the tightness in your glutes, your running performance will improve. Or, if a runner is looking for recovery exercises, foam rolling the calves is a good strategy for preventing tightness that can lead to running injuries.

For Athletes

Athletes of all levels and sports can utilize the benefits of foam rollers. Rollers provide a kind of self-directed massage, which is a great tool as most people don't have a massage therapist on hand. If you're looking at gifts for gym rats and athletes, then this set of foam rollers is perfect for getting a deep tissue massage. Due to the variety of densities, an athlete will be able to tackle specific issues. A set of foam rollers are also great to have around a team, as there are more options available for team members' different needs. 

Gifts for gym rats can be intimidating to pick out. If you aren't a gym rat yourself (or even if you are), finding the perfect piece is tricky. That's why going with a big bundle, like this option, is perfect since you'll find a wide variety to choose from. This bundle comes with rollers as well as resistance bands to activate muscles, help with recovery, and improve flexibility and mobility. 

Foaming Rolling Benefits for Athletes

Like the benefits mentioned above for runners and yogis, athletes can use foam rollers in the recovery process, which means preventing injuries and relieving pain. Though they may be uncomfortable during foam rolling, the process should leave athletes feeling better than when they started. Most athletes know the benefits of soft tissue massage, so getting a foam roller as a gift will be a welcome surprise and something they can use often.

When to Use a Foam Roller

Athletes can use a foam roller before or after their workouts to prevent injury and improve performance. If it helps relieve pain, athletes can even use it before and after workouts. Some athletes will use it several times a day as it can be helpful to overall health and performance.

How to Use Effectively

As previously mentioned, athletes should avoid using foam rollers on injured areas to ensure they don't hurt themselves further. It helps to be aware of the discomfort one will feel when effectively using a roller in contrast to pain that will cause injury. In general, heavily muscled (denser) athletes will need to use a denser foam roller to really get results. Younger and smaller athletes with less muscle will need a soft roller so as not to experience pain or bruising.

Application techniques are pretty simple as athletes should be able to judge for themselves the level of pressure that is working for their bodies. Some of the best tips for techniques include:

  • Keeping the session short but not too short
  • Spending one to two minutes on muscles is the right amount of time
  • Trying long strokes when working on the long muscles like the calves, quadriceps, and adductors.

For smaller muscles where long sweeping strokes are not an option (like the hip rotators and glute medius), short strokes focused on these areas will work the best.

Foam rollers can be used almost anywhere on the body, but we find they work best on muscle tissue with a lot of density. As the upper body doesn't have a ton of tissue like that, it's usually best to concentrate on the muscles of the lower half of the body as they are the ones most likely to get strained. If your recipients are looking for ways to mitigate common muscle strains like in the hamstrings or hip flexors, then foam rollers are perfect Christmas gifts for athletes to add to their pre-workout to prevent soreness or injury.

Finding Christmas gifts for athletes doesn't have to be so hard. Whether they are gym rats or they prefer to practice their yoga routines in the comfort of their own home, a foam roller is a compact, useful, and beneficial gift for all people who value and prioritize their fitness. There are many benefits from incorporating a foam roller into a daily workout routine, such as helping with recovery, preventing injuries, promoting flexibility and mobility, and managing pain and stiffness. Your loved one, as an athlete, is likely always pushing themselves to perform better. Gifting them a tool that can help with their performance and overall health is an excellent way to show them that you care. You can find a full range of our products to pick out the best option for the person (or people) in your life.