Foam rollers and massage balls are great tools for runners to release tension and prevent injury. You can use them before the gym, at home in front of the television or before or after a race.
Check out some of the best tools below to get that deep tissue release.
LuxFit Premium High Density Foam
This roller is simple but effective. A long, hard roller so you can stretch on your larger muscle groups and apply a lot of pressure. The synthetic material does not stick to your bare skin or pull out hairs as you apply pressure and roll. Although it is very hard, the LuxFit is also very light. If you get one of the shorter rollers it is great to pack in your bag if you’re travelling far away for a race, but still want to roll.
Brazyn Morph Packable Foam Roller
Better yet for travel is this packable roller. You can take out the slots of wood and fold this roller flat, to put it in your bag. Even though it breaks down, reviewers note it can still withstand a lot of force, so don’t be afraid to put your weight on it to get the most out of your foam rolling session.
Roll Recovery R8
This tool is great because you can do it while sitting and watching television without having to spread out over the floor. It clamps onto your leg and with the handles you roll it back and forth.
There are a lot of handheld rollers out there, but most of them require you to push hard to get the desired results. The R8’s springs are very stiff, so it presses on your muscles, but it takes minimal effort to run it up and down your leg.
Double Lacrosse Ball
These two balls, joined together, with a depression in the middle, allow you to massage two muscles are once. It is great to run down either side of your spine, or on your calve muscles.
They are very hard, and the smaller surface area compared to rollers means the pressure can feel quite intense, so work up to them and avoid them if you are very stiff. You can lean against a wall, with the ball between you and the wall, to ease the pressure.
For all the fancy rollers out there, sometimes a normal lacrosse ball is perfect. They are great for working specific areas, particularly on your glutes. If you have lower back pain, try a lacrosse ball on the top of your glute/hip and it could work wonders. It is also great for rolling out stiff calves.