'Tis the season for holiday gift shopping! Not sure what to get your favorite strength & mobility loving friend or family member? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a holiday gift guide that’s jam packed with goodies I personally use on the regular. And no, unfortunately I don’t get money for giving them my personal stamp of approval, although one can hope (shoutout Garmin!).
Grab your credit card and let’s get ready to shop!
NEW BALANCE MINIMUS SHOES
For the last 6 years I’ve been a die-hard New Balance Minimus wearer. If you spend all day on your feet like I do, then I highly recommend spending it in minimal footwear, meaning the least amount of cushion and heel lift possible. Shoe companies have been giving us these giant cushioned heel shoes with narrow toe boxes promising comfort and support, when really, they simply destroy your feet.
I love these because they allow me be as close to barefoot as humanly possible. If i’m not in these shoes, then I’m literally walking around barefoot. They’re a great shoe that allows the foot, ankle and knee to function the way they were intended to.
FOOT MASSAGE ROLLER
Speaking of feet, everyone should be rolling their feet every single day. This foot massage roller works really well, and in my opinion is slightly more effective than a lacrosse ball. Because most people wear horrible shoes, our feet tend to take a beating. Give your arches a little love either first thing in the morning or after a long day. I like to say, roll your feet while you brush your teeth!
This roller’s on my list because it doesn’t slip around like a lacrosse ball does. Plus, the way the roller is angled allows you to really get in those arches.
I swear I don’t have a foot fetish and I promise this is the last foot associated gift idea! I was given a pair of toe spacers earlier this year and they are simply a game changer! Years of baseball cleats and basketball shoes smushed my poor toes together. I love these because I simply put them on at work or home and spend between 1-2 hours in them to get some quality toe work in with no effort at all. By spending a little time in these every single day, my lil piggies are starting to acquire more space, which equals better toe function.
GARMIN SPORTS WATCH
Earlier this year, I took the plunge and bought a Fenix 5x Garmin Watch to start tracking all of my workouts, sleep, and HRV (heart rate variability). The first thing it did was show me how horrible my cardiovascular system was. Secondly, it’s made me super accountable to all my variations of training. It’s that little extra motivation I need to get my workout in when I really don’t feel like doing it.
Syncing a Garmin heart rate strap has given me the ability to always know what heart rate zone I’m training in which tends to make you work just a little bit harder. If you’re not tracking data from your workouts, how do you know if you’re getting better?
I bought a pair of Fat Gripz a long time ago back in my powerlifting days because of my desire to have the strongest grip humanly possible. They worked then, so just recently I decided to break them back out to have some fun. Using them for mobility training (hello irradiation), farmer's walks, and pushing & pulling exercises, has provided a little more variety for me and my clients. I love using my Fat Gripz because it allows me to train my grip with less load on my spine. My body gets enough wear and tear because of my physical job so less load with more gains is what I need.
DIGITAL ELECTRIC SMOKER
To put it simply, I LOVE FOOD and this digital electric smoker gift idea is Chef Pippin approved. A couple of years ago I purchased an electric smoker and I’ve been obsessed ever since. There’s nothing better than marinating meat all night and then smoking it all day to have the best damn food you’ve ever tasted. Whether it’s pulled pork, brisket, sausages, vegetables (yes veggies are awesome smoked), to my personal favorite…chicken wings…smoked food just tastes better. I love my smoker because it’s an idiot proof way to smoke your own meats. It takes all of the guess work out and all you have to do is put the wood chips in periodically. Like i said, idiot proof!
SLOW COOKER OR INSTANT POT
If you cook your own food, there’s no excuse not to have a slow cooker or one of these new instant pots. I’m not very familiar with the instant pot but I know it’s very similar to a slow cooker. I use my slow cooker a couple times a week (yeah, we cook a ton of food at my house). I love my slow cooker because I can make some amazing food with the least amount of work possible. Win win!
My personal favorites are making hummus (get my personal recipe HERE), chicken thighs, soups, and homemade bone broth. You literally just have to put a bunch of stuff in it and come back 4-8 hours later and bam…awesome homemade food.
COLD PRESS JUICER
A couple of months ago, my wife persuaded me to purchase a cold pressed juicer and we haven’t been disappointed. The cold pressed juicers don’t heat all of the vitamins and minerals out of the juice like conventional juicers do. Not only are you getting as much veggie goodness as possible (which can be a struggle), in my experience, the juice that lasts a little longer in the fridge (24 hours) than your traditional juicer.
Clean up is pretty easy and there is nothing healthier for you then some fresh veggie/fruit juice. Our go-to blend is celery, cucumber, spinach, lemon, ginger, parsley, and green apples to sweeten it all up.
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Last up is my favorite gift for the holiday year and in my opinion is the gift that keeps on giving. If you have friends or family members who enjoy being active but nagging aches, pains and injury keeps slowing them down, you have to check out Mobility Matters by Pippin Performance. There’s nothing better to give the ones you love than the ability to live the pain-free active life that all of us deserve. This program has not only changed me and my wife’s lives but has already helped so many others. Our next 5-week guided program starts on February 11th. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and get a special bonus!
If you’re stuck in a rut with your training, try some of these ideas out and let me know how it goes. And remember guys, be strong (isometrically), be mobile!
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified