Pain sucks I'm pretty sure we can all agree on that. Pain especially sucks when it keeps you from doing things you really like, which is why in any sports store you will find a super fun little section called Injury Prevention/Recovery. While I was unpacking at my parents this weekend yes I bring an assortment of rollers with me wherever I go I was unloading about half of my roller collection while my cousins looked on in confusion and I remembered that not everyone spends their take home pay on torture devices. Runners just LOVE to spend money on this stuff and the time I've spent actually running vs. the time I've spent rolling around on the floor screaming obscenities is probably an even split. I always feel guilty when I find myself shopping for another recovery tool how is it POSSIBLE that you NEED another roller but I honestly use each of these on a weekly, if not daily basis. I rationalize a lot of BS purchases but these are legit.
Get ready to make it hurt so good with my favorite torture devices!
|Obligatory I AM NOT A DOCTOR or Professional ANYTHING reminder - based off personal experience only!|
Grid STK Foam Roller This is probably the least used of my collection. I find that the grid while awesome makes it a bit awkward to roll over areas with any bone, but I will use it on my calves and quads. The BEST thing about this baby is the ends which I think they do actually sell separately. I use those suckers to dig. the. f*ck. into my hip flexors and it is epic. The length of the STK gives you a lot of leverage to wedge into these nasty tight places that nothing else really gets to.
GRID Foam Roller and Mini Foam Roller You'll be hard pressed to find a runner that does not own one of these. This is the bread and butter of my foam rolling, and if you're looking for a place to start your own torture cave - this would probably be my recommendation. Get at your calves, shins, quads, hammies, ITB, hip glute, back, it does it all. I'll also use it as a bolster for Yoga or psoas release, and sometimes as a head or footrest if I'm crashing on the floor I do that a lot.
I bought the mini size to keep at my parent's house and while it is easier to travel with, I don't find the size to be all that effective. It constantly rolls out from under me and just doesn't cover enough surface area in my opinion. BUT if you are hurting, it's better than nothing.
The BFF Meet your BFF 4eva! Out of all my torture devices, this is definitely everyone's favorite to play with. It's exactly what it looks like, a buffer for your body. When you hold it flat it just feels like a nice massage that warms up your muscles, but turn that thing sideways and you can start grinding into some really sticky areas. I use this ALOT on my calves and ITB/hip/glute - really dense areas that I feel like I can't always get to with a traditional roller. This is also great on your back and neck. If you travel with this in a carry-on TSA will stop you and give you the side eye, please like THAT'S the weirdest thing you've seen all day? The price tag on this is hefty for sure, but I fell in love at a Rock 'n' Roll expo and it was a done deal #yolo.
Ma Roller For chronic back-achers this roller really gets into that junk around your spine. I've also used it on my calves, Achilles, and foot. Use it gently though cause those grooves are serious.
Tiger Tail This was my first ever roller! I keep this guy at work to use on my legs guys my coworkers love me. You won't necessarily get a "make you cry" type pressure from this, but I love it for everyday use.
Trigger Point Massage Balls Another keep at the desk or throw in my purse fave, my feet would die without these. I generally use the spiky one since the regular ball always just ends up rolling away from me and I'm lazy AF. I grind the shit out of plantar fascitis with this and I would be lost without it. I'll put it on my desk chair and roll out my hammies, or even use it as scraper to get rid of fas
cia and tendon fuzz. So multi-dimensional and I've never even tried to heat or freeze them!
Roll 8 This is a beast! My Oiselle Volee girls got me hooked on this and holy crap it is not for the faint of heart. I have a really really high pain tolerance, especially when it comes to rolling true life I actually punctured a vein in my leg once because I was working at a calf muscle so hard. For right now this is a quad/ITB/hammie exclusive for me. I bruise really easily and I'm covered in marks from this one. But I have chronically tight legs and this gets into them like nothing else. like at all.
Now for some more unconventional but easily accessible options:
- Mail Opener - don't want to spend bucks on a muscle scraper? Metal mail opener FTW I've also heard of people using butter knives, but I get a better grip/control of the mail opener.
- Roller Chair legs - they're literally chilling there right next to your feet. I'll work out my achilles, ankle, and feet all while pretending to work or pay attention in a meeting JK I'm a totally dedicated employee...
- Kitchen Counters - people will look at you like you are a crazy person, and you kind of are. But presented with an optimal height counter lean and de-gunk those hip and glute muscles. There is nothing like it I promise!
- Fingers - especially with my feet and ankles, sometimes you are just able to find the tough spots best when you get in there yourself. Or even better pay someone to do it for you! Literally just booked a session with the Doc AND a massage because it is hot mess central up in here.
Any glaring gaps from my collection? Am I missing one of your favorites? If so you better tell me now so I can Amazon Prime that shit STAT.
Do all athletes have an obsession with this stuff or are runners just over enthusiastic about EVERYTHING?
Favorite show to roll to? Seriously though, I'm still going through House of Cards withdrawal...