So in my last post (which was a while ago, Thank goodness finals are over!) I discussed the importance myofascial release (or as it is colloquially called, rolling out) in flexibility training and muscle recovery. This week we are going to discuss some of the great tools you can use to get that training.
Now you can buy many of these products at running stores or online, but you could also make many of these yourself if you’re more of the thrifty, DIY kind of health nut (don’t worry, you’re in good company.) So let’s get started!
First thing we are going to cover is something called a peanut. This can be used for rolling out your spine and to hit some knots in your legs. This one is nice to get a good back pop when nothing else will.
The version of this that is on the market is about $20. You can buy it here on Amazon.
There is a cheaper option though that is actually pretty simple to make. Take two tennis balls and wrap them up in duct tape! And voila! You have yourself a nice little back massager! Almost everyone has had a stiff back at some point, so this is a go to for just about anyone!
Next up is the handheld muscle roller, affectionately known as “The Stick.” This is a great tool, especially if you have someone who can help roll out the backs of your legs. This tool is best used for runners and other people who workout frequently.
This Pro-Tec roller is my favorite; I have not liked any other rollers as much as this one. It is sturdy so you can press hard whereas many of the other ones feel like they are going to snap.
There is a great instructables article on how to make your own stick using only PVC pipe and a hack saw. That being said, if you don’t want to go to the trouble, just get a cheap rolling pin from a thrift store and it will do the job just fine.
Foam rollers are the main way that people roll out at home. It’s easy to do and fairly gentle on your muscles while still increasing flexibility and decreasing muscle soreness. Foam rollers are as unique and varied as the people who use them. You can get small ones (great for travel), big ones (great for back and neck pain), and knobby ones (great for working out tough knots with pressure points).
If you consider yourself an advanced roller, you may want to make your own that is a little
bit harder than the foam rollers. All you need is thick a PVC pipe (the best kind is a DWV pipe). I got mine from Lowes, but you can get them here from Amazon. Here is a picture of my roller. I spray painted mine with some of my favourite colors to make it a little prettier, but leaving it black is just fine.
Another simpler way that you can roll out your sore muscles is with balls of different densities. You can buy these ones specifically made for rolling out, but I really don’t think it’s necessary. You can use tennis balls, racquetballs, and lacrosse balls to get the same effect. You can even use golf balls for more pin pointed pressure on areas like your feet.
Another awesome tool for rolling out is the Jack Rabbit. While
this is significantly out of many people’s price ranges, the tool is second to none allowing you to roll out very well by yourself. You pry open the sides of it to place the wheels on your legs. This will provide more pressure to the muscles that need it. If anyone figures out an easy DIY version of this contraption, please by all means let me know!
If you want a workout routine designed personally for you, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for visiting!