Self massage is a very useful tool in keeping your body healthy and free from pain. Massage can keep your muscles loose and help prevent injuries.
If you’re feeling stiff or have tight muscles I highly recommend self-massage for releasing those tight structures in your body. I’ve been using self massage tools for several years to release my muscles and get all the benefits of massage without paying $60-$100 per hour. I started with foam rollers at the gym and then eventually moved on to using smaller and more effective tools like lacrosse balls for self massage.
Below are some of the self-massage tools I use and love for releasing muscle tightness.
If you’re an active person then you’ve probably already heard of and used a foam roller for your muscles. If not, they are simply a cylindrical piece of foam that is used to roll your body on top of a particular area. Foam rollers come in various sizes and shapes and some have surface grooves where others are completely smooth.
- TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Instructional Videos
- LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller
- Exercise Foam Roller – Professional Grade
Did you know people buy and use lacrosse balls for massage? These small, hard balls gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts as a self massage tool because the smaller size allows you to target more specific parts of the body. The lacrosse ball works in the same way as the foam roller but hits more specific spots on the body to let those muscles to be released from tension and tightness.
- WODFitters Mobility Lacrosse Balls Set
- #1 Premium Massage Lacrosse Balls
- Champion Sports NCAA NFHS Certified Lacrosse Ball
Just like the lacrosse ball, these specially designed balls are used for self massage to target a very specific muscle with tightness. Massage balls generally have additional features like specifically designed surfaces with either grooves or spikes to help aid in the self massage process. Personally my massage ball has spikes which makes it look like a torture device but it works like magic! These balls are all firm and provide a solid massage when you use them.
- High Density Spiky Massage Ball
- Pro-Tec Athletics The Orb Deep Tissue High Density Massage Ball
- Due North Foot Rubz Foot Hand and Back Massage Ball
These back massage tools like the Body Back Buddy allow you to pin-point specific areas on your back to release your muscles. These tools allow you to self massage without using your body weight to apply pressure. It is very helpful to get tricky spots on your back that are hard to reach or hard to use the other self massage tools. These back massage tools are great for use in areas like your shoulder blade muscles.
More About Self Massage / Foam Rolling
Self massage or self-myofascial release is usually known as foam rolling. Whereas it was previously only used by professional athletes and physical therapists, it’s now something people like me and people at all fitness levels use thanks to the products above. The inexpensive options have opened up a world of exciting training and recovery methods for us all.
Self massage is intended to release muscles tightness through releasing trigger points, or the knots that form in tight muscles. You can do it with any of the tools listed above from a foam roller to lacrosse ball to even your own hands.
You apply pressure with the self massage tools to the specific point on your body where you feel tightness or pain. Releasing these trigger points helps you get back to proper movement free from pain. Since stretching isn’t always enough to release muscle tightness foam rollers are necessary to fully release muscles and break up muscles knots.
This allows you to release pressure and aid in muscle recovery which will return the muscle to normal function and normal blood flow and better feeling. Self massage helps your muscles go from tight and painful to elastic, healthy, and ready to perform!
Do Self Massage Tools Hurt?
If you’ve ever had a deep tissue massage then you know that it can be painful to work out the knots in your muscles. It can be uncomfortable and painful but in the end you always feel better and your muscles are much better off. Self massage is the same but gives you the ability to control the pressure and the overall healing and recovery process.
Self massage can be painful so you should be aware that you might feel some uncomfortable feelings while using any self massage tools. However, you should always consult with a physician or physical therapist before you start with self-myofascial release and especially if you feel any sharp pain.