You see them everywhere, Stick Hand Rollers, in your local gym, in your physical therapist’s office, or even in your friend’s apartment. If you’re a runner or athlete, you most likely have a variety of them in your home as well. Massage sticks, foam rollers, lacrosse balls and other self-massage tools are commonly found.
Many of us use these tools religiously to roll our muscles and achy body parts and lament that it “hurts so good.”
What is all the Fuss about Self-Massage?
This practice of self-massage is called self-myofascial release. Myofascial is the connective tissue network that runs through your body. It wraps around your internal organs and muscles and holds it all in place. When this system is healthy, it distributes strain evenly so that you don’t end up excessively loading one part of the body and causing injury.
If you think of myofascial like a spider web, it all comes together. If one part of the web is broken or damaged, the web doesn’t fall. Instead, strain and tension have to be distributed across the strands of the web differently to account for the weakened section. In other words, other parts of the web pick up the slack of the reduced section.
The same thing happens in your body. When there is trauma or injury to an area, it can lead to weakness or adhesions in your myofascial. This may limit your range of motion and can even compress your muscles and nerves, leading to less hydration and blood flow to those areas. This can lead to pain and injury and can impact your performance.
How Muscle Roller Sticks Work
You should press the stick firmly against a body part, like the thigh, and add pressure. You then run the stick along the selected muscle. The stick roller is usually comprised of a bar with rollers that are about 1 inch thick attached. This design allows it to glide smoothly across your body while conforming to shape slightly. It stretches the muscles and ligaments. You can use it on any relaxed muscle.
Benefits of using a Massage Body Stick Roller
1. Flexibility – The stick rolls out and stretches your muscle fibers, your tendons, and even ligaments. If you stretch the muscles while they are still warm after a workout, they are less likely to get tight, stiffen or shorten.
2. Circulation – As you apply pressure and roll the stick forward, it will create a suction in your veins. Which will help draw in more blood that is fresh and full of oxygen and nutrients.
3. Pain Reduction – You can almost pinpoint knots and sore muscles with the stick. By rolling out these sore areas your pain is relieved.
4. Sleep Improvement – Massage has been known to improve the quality and quantity of sleep a person can achieve. Relaxation is crucial for REM sleep.
5. Energy Conservation – Most stretching to warm up the muscles is done by light exercise. This means that you have to use valuable energy stores before the race. If you use a body stick to warm up your muscles, then you will have more glucose readily available in the blood. That means you will be less likely to break down your muscles to provide energy.
6. Fewer Injuries – Using a Roller Stick before exercising will allow the muscles to get warmed up and prevent any damage to your body. Think about your muscles as if they were a rubber band. Leave the band in your warm car, and it will stretch and bend very easily. Then go out on a cold morning and try yanking on it and it is most likely going to be too tight and possibly snap.
7. Muscle Growth and Repair – Greater circulation provides more nutrients to the muscles. For muscles to grow or improve they need glycogen. Blood flow can be restricted post-exercise due to trigger points and tight muscles. Fresh blood provides necessary glycogen to the muscles. You could always try taking a nutrient-dense drink 20-30 minutes before massaging to provide the most amount of nutrients possible to your muscles.
8. Lactic Acid Removal – Using a Stick Roller to roll out your muscles after exercise encourages lactic acid removal. Choosing to roll-out post workout is highly recommended. The lactic acid in your body is then sent to your liver and turned into glucose.
9. Breaks Down Soft Tissue Adhesion – When you train a lot, compete or do intense sessions sometimes it leads to the development of adhesions. This is sometimes where muscle, fascia, and other tissues stick together. Massaging and rolling out these areas can help your body correct this issue.
10. Better Mood – Let’s face it, when your body feels good you feel even better. By relieving the stress, aches, and pains, and adding in better sleep and more oxygen means you will most likely experience a much better mood, which is better for you and everyone else.
There are a great number of benefits from using a Massage Body Stick Roller.
- It’s ideal for most athletes, those with desk jobs, and people with muscular injuries.
- The stick roller is great because it is small, light, and portable. You can throw it in your car, gym bag, carry-on, or even keep it at your desk.
- And you can use it practically anywhere. The Stick Rollers usual size is only 19 inches long and 2 inches thick.
- You can roll yourself out or have someone do it for you, unlike the foam rollers.
- You can use the Stick Roller while you’re standing, crouching, kneeling, sitting, or laying down.
- It is small enough to do all of your body parts without it being awkward.
- When you’re not using the Stick Roller, it is not a huge eyesore and doesn’t take up space.
- The Stick Roller will last forever unlike Foam Rollers that tend to compress and break down after awhile. And they can start to collect dirt and sweat. You can easily wash off your stick roller if necessary.
If you want to check out the one that most commonly used, then you can find it on Amazon with our direct links.
If you want to increase your overall strength, your speed, and your endurance as an athlete, then I would highly suggest investing in a Massage Body Stick Roller for yourself. Or as a gift for anyone you know who might need it.