Men's Health / Composite
When it comes to recovery tools It feels like foam rollers are getting credit but there are another tool that deserves the attention of every athlete: muscle roller sticks.
Muscle reel sticks are just what they sound like: they are rods that allow you to roll tight muscles and in various lengths and materials. Some muscle roller sticks even have ridges to reach deeper muscle tissue. Both muscle roller sticks and foam rollers provide a means of self myofascial release. However, the main difference between the two methods is the way the pressure is applied. Foam Rolls use your own body weight to roll out tight spots while you apply pressure with a muscle roll bar with your hands.
By using either option after exercise, you can increase the range of motion of the joints in the short term. This can help reduce the soreness that usually occurs after strenuous exercise, says Jennifer Gallinaro, D.P.T., a physiotherapist at the Langone Sports Performance Center NYU.
It's not surprising that short-term minimization of muscle soreness increases workout performance only in the long term: "If you have less pain and pain fewer days after an intense workout, you can reach your previous training level slightly earlier," says Gallinaro.
It may be easier to use a foam roller for larger muscle groups such as quads, glutes, and hamstrings, and a muscle roller for smaller muscle groups such as calves or other areas where you have problems. Or if you're traveling and need a portable recovery tool, a muscle roll bar will probably fit better in your pocket than a chunky foam roll.
When using a muscle roller bar, be sure to apply a lighter pressure – at least start. You can deepen the pressure as soon as you get the hang of it. "You may feel a little uncomfortable, but it should not be painful," says Gallinaro. And avoid rolling the stick over bony areas (ouch!).
Are you ready to add a muscle roll bar to your arsenal of recovery tools? We have put together 10 of our favorites for you.
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The Stick Travel Stick
A classic muscle roll bar in a travel-friendly size. The Travel Stick is made of flexible plastic from space and has spindles that move independently over the target muscles. Put them in your sports bag or wear them so that you can roll out your tense muscles everywhere.
Type A + Special Edition Roller
This roller features soft-density massage gears that connect with muscles and fascia and expertly loosen unpleasant knots. According to the manufacturer, the A + Roller offers a softer feel to your massage. Use this massager for both the upper and lower body muscles.
Moji Curve Pro Massager
The Moji Curve Pro Massager features four large stainless steel balls that specifically relieve quads, hamstrings, and hips. Put the scooter in the freezer a little before rolling over the muscles to reduce pain and inflammation.
Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick
An ultra-portable foam roller for tired, achy muscles. The Tiger Tail Classic features 10-inch padded foam for a deep muscle massage and soft, ribbed rubber handles to prevent hand fatigue.
TheraBand Roller Massager +
This is the ultimate travel roll bar. This muscle rolling stick is nineteen inches long along its entire length and can be retracted to 12 inches, making it easy to stow away in your gym bag or suitcase. The stick itself has a ribbed design to better grip the muscle tissue.
Muscle Roller Stick Pro
With a stainless steel core and a smooth plastic housing, this massage stick is durable and gentle. The roller has seven spindles that roll independently to dig deep in strained muscle tissue. As an added bonus, this massager is a cheaper option than many others.
Muscle Roller Massage Stick
With this hand-held muscle roll bar you release muscle tension and increase blood circulation. It has comfortable, non-slip recessed grips and smooth rollers that precisely determine problem areas – without pulling the legs by the hair.
This lightweight, no-frills wooden massage stick is made from premium birch and maple wood. It also includes a trigger point ball on both ends for points that require special attention.
IDSON Muscle Roller Stick
This IDSON stick is made of high quality materials and features nine rollers that roll independently to relieve tissue stress. Thermoplastic and polypropylene handles provide a comfortable, ergonomic grip that helps you roll longer and harder.
TriggerPoint Performance GRID STK
From the company that brought you the foam roller. This hand roller has the same variable surface design that you love, but in the form of a portable stick. Use the handles to apply direct pressure on the target areas.
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