Whether you hit the pavement for a morning run before work and then sit all day at your desk or push your body in the gym after work and then want to relax your muscles before bed, chances are your busy lifestyle and crunched workout routine result in muscle tightness, soreness, and compromised mobility in your joints. Although we’d all love to have the means to keep a private masseuse at our beck and call, that’s an impractical luxury for most people. Fortunately, there are a range of self-massage tools for nearly every part of your body that can serve as affordable but still effective alternatives.
Using recovery tools like foam rollers, massage balls, Theraguns, and other great massage guns and massage sticks, can help loosen tight muscles and stiff joints. Using the right massage tool helps increase range of motion, and ease muscle soreness and pain after a workout. That said, it can be difficult to know which self-massage tool to use when and where on your body. To help you maximize workout recovery, loosen your muscles, and ease your aches and pains, we’ve shared our favorite massage tools and their best uses below.
Though most self-massage tools pale in comparison to a professional massage, the aptly named Theragun Pro may be the sole exception. The Theragun Pro gives you the power, versatility, and precision of a trained masseuse with tireless hands. Compared to the Theragun Elite, the Theragun Pro is capable of producing 33% more torque, making it a great massage tool for those who like a strong massage. The shaft is also fully adjustable, so you can change the angle to precisely target every ache, whether in your feet, calves, quads, glutes, back, shoulders, or neck. With six attachment heads, including a super soft tip, the Theragun Pro is the uncontested winner in terms of versatility, performance, and effectiveness in the world of massage tools.
The Theragun Elite is a powerful massage gun able to deliver very specific, professional-quality vibrating massage to encourage blood flow, aid tissue recovery, and ease pain. It has a proprietary, brushless QX65 motor designed to be extremely quiet yet powerful. There are five preset speed intensities, ranging from 1,750-2,400 PPM, with further customization in the free companion app, allowing you to create the exact massage experience you need. Additionally, there are five different foam attachment tips (standard ball, dampener, cone, wedge, and thumb), with each different tip designed to provide a unique massage experience.
The Theragun Elite can be used to massage any part of your body, including your back, neck, shoulders, legs, and feet. At just 2.2 pounds and with a small, ergonomic design and compact travel case, the Theragun Elite is portable, sleek, and easy to travel with or store. It runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, capable of powering the device for a full 120 minutes on a single charge.
The Theragun Mini is a small but mighty massage gun. The standard ball attachment and easy maneuverability makes it an especially ideal massage tool for the neck and feet, two often difficult areas to safely, easily, and effectively massage without the help of a professional masseuse or a bulky, expensive massage tool designed solely for the feet or solely for the neck. With three different speeds, 150 minutes of battery life per charge, and a whisper-quiet motor, the Theragun Mini is a high-performing, reliable, versatile massage tool.
TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller
Foam rollers can improve flexibility and mobility in a muscle, fascia, or joint by decreasing muscle tension or tone, and by increasing blood flow in the treated area. The TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller is exceptionally well constructed, durable, and dense. It holds up to endless hours of myofascial release rolling, and the textured ribbing helps work through knots and adhesions in your tissue. It’s ideal for massaging your calves, quads, hamstrings, IT bands, back, and shoulders.
Body Back Buddy Elite
The Body Back Buddy Elite is a trigger point back massager with 11 numbered knobs deliberately located to address specific pain points notes in the included Trigger Point by Numbers user manual. Using the non-slip grip handles, you can press various knobs on the Body Back Buddy Elite into tight and tense back muscles, painful knots, and sore regions. The two hooks and design shape give you excellent leverage for massaging your back, and there are three different knob shapes: Acorns for deep tissue work, round for gliding over larger muscles, and nubs for your lower back.
Posture Magic Massage Ball Set
The Posture Magic Massage Ball Set for Myofascial Trigger Point Release contains six massage balls to work through stiffness, trigger points, and fascial adhesions anywhere in your body. The spiky ball is great for the feet, while the lacrosse ball works wonders on tight glutes. There’s a ball for every body part, and a handy exercise booklet to help guide you through the process.
Doeplex Muscle Roller Massage Stick
You can use the Doeplex Muscle Roller Massage Stick to help work out knots and ease tension along your quads, IT bands, calves, and shins. The gear-shaped disks independently spin 360 degrees as you press on the handles and roll the massage stick up and down your tissue, providing a deep tissue massage and increasing blood flow.
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