Dani Hill (Bunch), a 2017 USA Team member is an 8x All American and one of the U.S.’s top shot put talents. She pretty much broke the record boards at Purdue University and the Big Ten Conference. She produced a huge 2ft PR at 2017 USA Championships to place second and secured her status as one of the most relevant women shot putters today. Rodhe Sport is excited to share what equipment Dani holds most important to her performance.
Garden of Life Organic Protein Powder:
Garden of Life is USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified Supplement Company. Most importantly they are Informed-Choice Certified. Meaning the products they supply are clean and guaranteed not to contain any illegal or banned substances. Since the fall of 2016 Garden of Life has been a proud sponsor of USATF. Personally I have been an ambassador for GOL since 2016 and have had the opportunity to try many of their products. The product I feature in my video clip is Raw Organic Fit Protein Powder in a Coffee Flavor. I use this coffee blend in the morning to get a jump start on my protein intake for the day. I mix the powder with 10 oz. of Almond Milk and 7 oz of Starbucks cold brew.
Benefits: The shake offers 28 grams of protein, 5 grams of naturally occurring Branched Amino-Acid Chains, and is only 180 calories!! The RAW Organic line can be taken as a pre- or post-workout shake!!
Where to buy, price?: Normally this specific product cost $47.99, but with the holidays it is on sale for $38.39!!
Bevelled Foam Roller
Most athletes will recognize this item, and probably cringe. The foam roller is most commonly used to work out knots and lactic acid in the quads and hamstrings. I regularly use a foam roller to loosen up my hip flexors and hamstrings before a throwing session. In my video I illustrate some very common stretches, while utilizing a foam roller. I begin by placing the foam roller under my hips. This increases my range of motion while doing the stretches. First, is a simple knee to chest motion. Grabbing behind the knee I pull my leg to my chest, while keeping the other leg extended. By being elevated on the foam roller, I am able to stretch two muscle groups at the same time. I work on pulling my extended leg down towards the ground, which creates a long hip flexor stretch, while at the same time I am stretching the gluteus on the bent leg. For the second motion I do a simple hamstring stretch. Once again the elevation created by the foam roller allows me to stretch my hip flexor on the extended leg while stretching the hamstring group. I simply grab my ankle and extend the leg as far back towards my head as possible, while trying to extend the other down and towards the ground. Finally, my favorite motion is leg circles. Still with the foam roller under my hips I alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise circles with my legs. This gives my hip flexors more of an active stretch and really gets my hips ready for a throwing session.
Benefits: Using a bevelled foam roller during stretches gives you an increase range of motion while performing those stretches. The foam roller placed under the hips also provides more comfort for athletes with back issues or pain, while placing an appropriate amount of release pressure on the low back.
Where to buy, price?: Amazon: $17.99
Cramer Elbow Brace
I use the Cramer Elbow Brace and a compression tool. It follows the same idea as taping your throwing wrist or wearing a belt in the weight room. The extra compression provided by the brace, gives my something to push against when I am completing my throw. In the video there is a clip from my 2017 Diamond League Meet in Italy, where you can see the elbow brace on my throwing arm. Most people assume I have elbow problems but I do not. I just like the extra force I feel the brace provides me in the throw.
Benefits: The elbow brace can also be used a prevention tool for athletes new to throwing heavier weights, or those simply worried about hurting their arm.
Where to buy, price?: Amazon $10.00
I typically use the NormaTec Recovery following a hard lift. The boots are easy to slid into and the hose hookup to the pump is very simple. Once you select the time you’d like for treatment, and the amount of pressure, you just sit back and let the system work. The boots are divided into 5 zones that fill up with air, and run through a massage pulse pattern. The air pressure not only massages the legs but also pushes lactic acid away from the lower extremities, which in turn prevents soreness and cramping following the workout.
Benefits: The NormaTec Recovery Unit allows me to train hard and recover quicker. The greatest benefit I’ve found with the NormaTec is being able to travel overseas on a 12 hour flight and be able to use the Unit to quickly bounce back.
Where to buy, price?: Rogue Fitness $1,395.00
Nike Romaleos 2 Lifting Shoe
As expected, this shoe is used for weight lifting.
Benefits: The shoe features an inclined thermoplastic heel wedge, which gives the athlete maximum stability when executing lifts with serious amounts of weight. Compared to other weight lifting shoes I have tried, the Romaleos line is also light weight.
Where to buy, price?: AthletePS $199.00
Nike Zoom Rival SD 2 (Rotational Shoe)
This rotational shoe is the one I specifically train with, it can also be used for hammer, and discus.
Benefits: The shoe is lightweight and the carbon rubber sole provides just enough traction to push off into throwing positions without getting stuck in the ring in both wet and dry conditions.
Where to buy, price?: Definitely shop around for best price. Road Runner offers this shoe for $64,95
Cramer Gym Chalk
I use chalk to get an overall better grip, whether that be my shots or in the weight room.
Benefits: In the weight room you don’t have to waste energy worrying about changing your grip or constantly pausing between reps to reset because the bar is slipping. With the shot, chalk provides a tackier surface to push against and lessens the chances of “losing” the implement. Chalk seems like a trivial thing but it keeps my practices and training sessions moving at a productive speed.
Where to buy, price?: Dick’s Sporting Goods Store $7.99
I use the lacrosse ball for self-massage and myofascial release in my hamstrings. In my video I do a quick demo with the lacrosse ball. In a seated position you simply place the ball on the hamstring just above the knee. Shift your body weight onto the ball. The pressure will start to trigger a muscle release in the hamstring. For added release I use and active release technique and do a leg extension while sitting on the lacrosse ball. Once you feel as though that portion of the hamstring has released, move the lacrosse ball up and inch or so towards the glute and repeat. Do this motion until you have reached the glute.
Benefits: This is a super affordable means for self massage and practicing the active release techniques. Adding this technique to a pre-work out routine greatly increases your range of motion and flexibility in the hamstrings as well as gives relief to low back for individuals with Posterior Pelvic Tilt issues.
Where to buy, price?: Amazon $5.96
Nocken Ball (Javelin Ball)
The intended use is for javelin throwers to be able to recreate the feel of throwing a javelin when indoors. However I have been using it differently for the last three years. I tend to have very tight hip flexors, which contributes to an anterior pelvic tilt. That in turn causes some serious low back pain. In the clip you can see that I lay on my stomach and locate my hip flexor, which is very obvious for me because it is so tight. Taking the notch portion of the ball, I place it directly into the meat of the hip flexor, roll over and put my body weight onto it. You can see that I move my hip and leg in circles. In doing so I can dig into the hip flexor deeper. Once I feel a slight release, I bend the leg at the knee and create a circle motion. This is another active release technique. As my heel moves in circles the hip flexor is contracting against the nocken ball. Forcing it to release with each circle.
Benefits: The benefit to this stretch is greatly seen in the athletes overall hip mobility. This stretch allows athletes to maintain good posture and positions in training. Specifically for the weight room, greater hip mobility produces stronger and cleaner lifts. (ie. squat, cleans, pulls, etc.)
Where to buy, price?: Gill Athletics $26.00
Elite FTS Thick Black Band
The Elite FTS series of gym bands have many practical uses for the modern day athlete. Most notably the bands are used in conjunction with a weight room workout, adding resistance as well aiding in the motion or lift. I myself incorporate bands regularly in my lifts. In my video I use the Pro Strength band to do inverted hip mobility. The set-up is fairly simple, just place the band around a bar at head height (some athletes prefer to set the bar higher). Step into the band, place it as close to your belt line as possible and propel yourself down to the floor. Once on the ground you can reposition the band to make sure it at your belt line, applying pressure to your hips. There are a series of motions to work on once you are inverted. First, place your feet on the rack, work on doing hip hikes. This is a very subtle motion, where your rock your hips up towards the ceiling This allows the band to apply rotating pressure to your IT band as well as your piriformis. The second motion is the butterfly. Place your feet heel to heel, resting on the bands, and simply drive your knees apart, flapping like a butterfly. From that position, drop one leg down to the floor, creating a hip flexor stretch. If you don’t feel a big stretch you can pull your heel in close to your butt, and just hold the stretch. You can stay inverted as long as you desire, but once you propel back to an upright position you will immediately notice a relaxation in your upper glutes, low back and hips.
Where to buy, price?: Elite FTS normally $29.10 on sale now for $17.46