If you are a runner and looking for a handy massage tool check out this article about the best massage tools for runners to help you ease the muscle tension and soreness that you get from running or doing other exercise activities.
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These massage tools are perfect to bring even at work or on your travels especially when you have a marathon and you need a small handy gadget to support your recovery.
The purpose of this article is to give general information on different massage tools available especially if you are a runner. As a runner, I also own these tools and therefore sharing with you my experience in using them.
If you are still encountering pain or muscle soreness despite using any of these massage tools it is still important to seek advice from professionals.
What Is Muscle Sore?
Muscle soreness is a result of when your body did a physical activity that exerted an effort, usually running or another exercise. As you increase and get used to your physical activity eventually your body and muscles will still feel sore.
According to Healthline muscle aches can be classified into two categories:
- Immediate muscle soreness (IMS)
- Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
Just like its name immediate, this type of muscle sore can be felt immediately after an activity. While delayed onset muscle soreness can take a few hours or the following day to be felt.
Being a runner and as I build up my mileage from running half marathons to marathons and ultra I am not excused for getting muscle aches especially for my legs.
Doing different running workouts can also result in muscle pain especially hill running workouts.
Tips to prevent muscle sore
- Proper warm-up
- Proper cool down
- Getting enough rest and sleep
- Correct running form
- RICE – rest, ice, compress, exercise
I will detail these tips in another article but meanwhile, let’s focus on the best massage tools for runners to help with muscle aches and keep up the performance.
Best Massage Tools For Runners
This ball can also be used to ease pain in the different parts of your body like shoulders, foot, buttocks, calves, or back by simply standing against the wall, putting it in the triggered area, and gently rolling upward, downward, and even sidewards.
You can sit down on the floor or yoga mat, place the ball under the tensioned area like your calf, and roll upwards, downwards, and sidewards for a few minutes.
Also if you have plantar fasciitis, massage balls can be very useful to ease the pain and with your recovery.
Tip: If you do not want to spend money on a massage ball simply ask a friend if they have a golf ball or even a tennis ball and start with it.
Even if you are not a runner but someone who walks a lot and stands a lot the whole day at work this massage ball can help you ease the muscle pain.
Note: While this can be a super handy tool for everyone, it is important to try it out first when buying, especially for beginners because if it’s too hard it can cause more pain rather than give you ease and comfort.
Bigger than a massage ball but still super portable and can fit in your luggage. A massage roller stick is great to use for calves and shin.
When using it I feel that the pressure is not too much or painful compared to a foam roller especially when using it in the calves because there is not much pressure being put on your legs.
You can use it while you are seated down on the floor and place the massage roller behind your legs and roll upward and downward targeting the tension area and calves.
Massage sticks are easy to use and can have different variations and can be also adjusted depending on the design or model. You can use it right after your run to release any muscle pain build-up.
Note: Massage stick is a great companion for your overseas marathon or races. It is ideal for beginners as well since the pressure is not too much and can vary with the help of your hands. Be sure to put it in your check in luggage and not in the hand-carry bag.
Another common and popular massage tool for runners and most likely every athlete has this in their room. Although it is bigger than the massage ball and massage stick the foam roller is a very useful tool to massage different spots around the body.
It is easy to use and comes in different sizes, firmness, and textures. There are smooth foam rollers that are advisable for beginners and foam rollers with spikes for more advanced users.
Did you know that you can also use foam rollers not only after your run but also before your runs which can help you to warm up as well.
With so many tutorial videos available on youtube on how to properly use a foam roller, it will greatly help you with using it.
Note: Spikey foam rollers can be painful to use for beginners because it uses the weight of your body for pressure.
Portable Massage Guns
If you have the extra budget portable massage guns can be good investments especially if you are really keen to try and do more self-myofascial release.
I’ve been contemplating this one and wanted to own it. While I don’t have this tool yet, I love looking around and therefore wanted to share with you the tools I’m keen on having, especially that this can help me save trips to physio or physical therapist.
Massage guns have been around for quite a while now and the prices really vary. Let’s talk about what it can do first.
Just like how we use foam rollers or massage balls, massage guns also help to release and ease muscle tension thus increasing blood flow.
It is only not made for athletes but also for everyone whether you work in the office and always seats a lot or you wanted to gift to your elderly parents, this is a great tool.
But there are things that we need to consider, after doing research here are my top 5 concerns:
It is possible that the more expensive a massage gun is, the more reliable and good quality it is therefore sound or noise won’t be a concern as well as the battery life.
But also a super cheap and inexpensive one means you have to deal with the noise and make sure the battery life is enough especially on times you want to use it.
But please do note no one product can give you all the best attributes so this is really a tough call. It’s still best to visit a physical store and try a few or ask your physical therapist for recommendations.
I hope I was able to give you insights on the best massage tools for runners and don’t worry even if you do not run you can still own any of these massage tools and you will enjoy using them to have a good relief when it comes to muscle tensions.
Enjoy and Happy Running!
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Healthline | Runnersworld | Very Well Fit | Wiki How
I am not a runner but the foam roller and the ball are my favorite and easy to use.
I have rolled out muscle soreness before. It surely hurts in the best possible way! Thanks for sharing the tools you recommend!!
I can see many of these being good options for my husband. Although he isn’t a runner, he does heavy workouts. I will be looking into each one. Thanks!
these massage tools are ideal for lifters too. thanks
Not a runner, but I could definitely use these! lol Thanks for the list!
happy to help, thanks
Foam rolling has been a game-changer for me. It’s a little hard at the beginning but it’s so helpful. Thank you for the great article 🙂
I agree, at first, it’s like torture but in a good way. Thanks.
Wow I need some of these massage tools. I dont run but I lift weights and get pretty sore. Some of these I never even heard of! Thanks for sharing!
Happy to help, thank you!
Great information! Thank you for sharing. I’ll definitely be using some of these tools!
I might to put some of these on my wish list !
Awesome! I hope you get them, thank you.
Having traveled to many half-marathons and marathons, these are all fantastic ideas!
My brother is a runner, these would make great Christmas gifts!
that is great! thank you
This is a great list with a ton of ideas I can get for my running brother for Christmas! Thanks for sharing the best massage tools for runners!
That will be great! Thank you.
I wish I had some of these right now! I am soooo sore. Thanks talking about them <3
Good information and clearly explained