How to Pick Your Recovery Tool




So, it’s almost 2020 and learning about recovery will certainly not be a new trend next year. Fitness trends come and go all the time, but foam rolling is here to stay. With all of this information and different studies about different recovery tools, it can be trickier than that last set that did you in to figure out what you need in your recovery toolbox (especially if you’re a newbie, no hate. It’s never too late to start). 


For newbies and experts, recovery is usually in the format of some form of foam rolling. It’s the unique opportunity to let you do your own deep-tissue massage, also known as “self-administered myofascial release” (SMR). This process involves utilizing your own body weight to stimulate and relax your muscles in a controlled fashion. Massaging the knots out can definitely cause you to have a love/hate relationship with the process. Don’t worry, you’re definitely not the only one. But you’ll thank yourself later when you see signs of improved blood flow, increased range of motion, and less grip of those tight muscles. 


When shopping for the right tool for you, it is important to remember: 

Your main recovery needs and daily routine: it is crucial to know yourself, what’s realistic, and what it is that you’re looking for your body and mind to gain from recovery. 


Then, it is important to focus on: density, surface texture, shape and size. If foam rolling is a new addition to your routine, it may be best to start with a smooth foam roller to help break up surface level knots. 

If you went heavy for all of your lifts this week, it may be a good idea to get a textured foam roller. The more textured the foam roller, the more intensity it will have. Get ready for some deep breathing during this next recovery session, but followed by a lot of relief, too. Recovery doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all category tied with a bow. The longer foam rollers that we use for our legs and our back may not be conducive towards healing our shoulder blade, forearm, or perhaps hip. There are peanut and ball foam rollers that are able to fit the needs of your smaller muscles. Remember, less is more with the pain. You don’t need to be bruised in order to get the job done. 


If your muscles are really screaming, it may be beneficial to find a foam roller with vibration therapy or a percussive massager. They are more expensive and may not be in the cards for everyone, but if you are able to, let yourself into this magical world. Don’t forget there are also foam roller sticks, too. They are beneficial for providing precise pressure (usually legs or neck/shoulder area).  


Your muscles will thank you. 


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