by Linda Copeland
If you work out, you probably get sore. If you don’t work out, you probably get sore, too. (It comes with the territory of being human.) So what can you do?
Here are 5 of my favorite tools for rolling out the muscles. I recommend these because I like them, and none of these companies are paying me to plug their products. For more information, click the product name and Voila! You’ll be miraculously transported to the product web site.
You can use these before your workout, after your workout, or any time in between. Listen to your body, trust its wisdom, try these, and hopefully experience… relief!
Tight hamstrings? The GRID roller might become your new best friend. It’s actually nice to roll-out any body area, but particularly the legs. I have the 13″ version of this roller, and I love using it on my hamstrings, hips, and calves. The textured grid pattern consists of sections that mimic fingertips, fingers, and the palm of the hand. Cool colors, too.
A client favorite! This 8″ firm foam ball is great for rolling out the lower and mid back. All you have to do is place it against a wall behind your back and roll around. (Just think of a bear scratching his back against a tree.) It comes in black (really a charcoal gray) and the blue shown here. I like the 8″ size, but a smaller 6″ one is also available.
This ridged roller has handles, which makes it perfect for rolling out the legs after a run or the back of your neck after a long computer session. I picked up two at a fitness conference: the regular one (shown) for my husband, and a travel one with clever telescoping handles for myself. These are versatile and a great buy.
I look forward to visiting Balanced Body’s conference booth every year for my free pinky ball. This 2.5″ pink rubber ball is meant for rolling out your feet– but I like it for getting into the knots in my upper back after working on the computer. It’s small, firm, and if you’re buying one, dirt cheap.
If you’re looking for a more traditional foam roller, this one from Power Systems is durable and reasonably priced. These have a bit more “give” than the Grid roller, so they’re more comfortable for beginners to use. Self massage, also known as self myofascial release, can be a bit uncomfortable if you’re not used to it– just like regular massage– so you may have to work up to using a firmer roller.