Self-Massage Tools for Runners

Massage can be a powerful therapy for runners to help with injury recovery and prevention, and to boost your performance. While massages by a professional are beneficial (and feel great!), some runners just don't have the funds or time to get massages on a regular basis. But you can still get similar benefits by using massage tools such as foam roller, sticks, and massage balls. Check out this list of some of the best self-massage tools for runners.


TriggerPoint's GRID Foam Roller

Trigger Point Foam roller
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Research has shown that regular foam rolling can help athletes with benefits such as decreased muscle and joint pain, increased circulation and flexibility, improved range-of-motion, better balance and improved gait. I've tried lots of foam rollers and TriggerPoint's GRID is one of the best on the market. I use it to roll through tight muscles, knots, and kinks, especially on my IT band and hamstrings. You'll get the benefits of a professional massage without the expense or hassle of going to an appointment.


Mandala Massage Balls

Mandala massage balls
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Mandala Massage Balls can help you eliminate muscle knots and tension through gentle massage using your own body weight. You simply place the balls in tight areas and let gravity take over. Made of durable, solid rubber, the balls provide greater support than tennis balls and more pliable massage tools. The dense rubber reaches deeper into the fascia for tension release. The balls are easy to use and are just a tad smaller than a tennis ball, making them very portable.


GoFit Foot and Hand Recovery Massage Roller

GoFit Foot Massager
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If you've ever had aches and pain in your feet (and what runner hasn't?), you might want to try GoFit's foot massage roller. It's firm and contoured for your foot, and the soft-grip rubber are excellent for bumps for deep tissue massage. This roller especially beneficial and can provide relief for those dealing with plantar fasciitis. You can easily control the intensity by varying the pressure you put on the massager.


The Marathon Stick Self-Massager

The Marathon Stick
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The Marathon Stick was specifically designed for runners to help increase flexibility, accelerate recovery time, and reduce muscle soreness, stiffness, and pain. Similar to a foam roller, you can roll the Stick on your muscles for a self-massage. The Stick is small enough to fit into a backpack or small suitcase, so you can easily take it along to workouts or races. Runners find it to be particularly effective at loosening up tight leg muscles. There are shorter and longer versions, as well as different levels of stiffness, so you can choose one best-suited for your needs.


Pro-Tec Athletics High Density Spiky Massage Ball

Pro-Tec Massage Ball
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Another excellent tool for those dealing with plantar fasciitis, this firm 3" diameter massage ball provides deep tissue massage.  The spiky outer layer offers a stimulating effect, increasing circulation. In addition to being effective at working out feet, runners also find this massage ball helpful in dealing with a tight/sore back. The ball's small size makes it especially helpful at reaching some of the smaller areas of the back, where a larger foam roller or massage stick may not be able to effectively reach.

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