Runners hit the proverbial wall. We fall and scrape knees, palms and hips on the asphalt, trail, concrete and ice. These are the obvious pains.
The not so obvious ones? We overtrain and under cross-train. We don’t always listen to our bodies and rest when they need it. We don’t keep up with our strength and core exercises. Sometimes we do it all and still get niggles which can lead to injury.
We have tight IT bands and our <insert body part here> hurt. We persevere because we’re runners and that’s what we do. We want to run.
Most of us have our collections of torture devices to allow us to continue to run.
They help break down trigger points or knots, relax muscles, and allow more blood to flow into those tired, sore muscles. These torture devices allow us to continue on with training through the tight and sore mucles.
Here’s what Kelly and I have at home:
I use a foam roller most frequently out of all the tools. While training for Ironman Canada in 2012 I was coming off the worst of a knee injury. I could barely use our soft roller on my IT bands without wincing. Now I use our hardest one and it feels ok.
I most often use a foam roller for my IT bands and quads.
Visit The Stick website for info on suggested use.
I like that it is small enough to easily take with on a trip. At home, I like using it on my hamstrings and calves the best.
Trigger Wheel – made by The Stick
This is great for small or difficult places that traditional devices won’t reach. Personally, I like to use it when it’s just not appropriate or feasible to pull out a foam roller and start rolling like at work or on a road trip. I actually used to keep it in my purse to pull out whenever I needed! And it works wonder on the neck and arms.
Trigger point ball, tennis ball, baseball, etc.
Balls are my saving grace when my piriformis or hips are tight. They can get into those places like nothing else! I also use them to roll out the bottom of my feet.
These are just a few inexpensive ways to help out sore muscles with some of the same benefits as deep tissue massage. We have them scattered around the house. If I see them, I’m more likely to use them.
Remember that if it’s a new pain or something that hurts more than just a niggle, you should get it checked out by a professional to ensure you don’t do more damage.
What’s your favourite torture device? What’s the strangest place you’ve used them?
I used a foam roller in the middle of Cannon Beach in Oregon!