The 5 Best Self Massage Tools for Muscle Recovery

the best self massage tools for athletes

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Using self massage tools and doing self massage therapy can provide you with even greater benefits than going to get a massage, as self massage tools are more cost efficient, and can be done regularly in your own home!

People hardly realize how easy it is to give themselves a massage that will stimulate muscle recovery with any of the various self massage tools on the market, and how consistently doing this can be beneficial .

Keep reading below learn more about the best self massage tools!

Why Should You Buy a Self Massage Tool?

Self massage is a massage carried out by yourself with any one of the various self massage tools, and it is especially useful for stimulating muscles before training and relieving tension in muscles directly after training.

Self massage is a great way to enjoy the benefits of massage when there is no one to give you a full massage, or if consistently going to a massage therapist is does’t fit your schedule or budget.

Self massage therapy provides you with the chance to enjoy the benefits of regular massage therapy, without having to get a professional to do it.

Health benefits of using the self massage tools for massage therapy include:

  • Helps to Increase Blood Flow and Oxygen Uptake to Your Tissues
  • Reduces Your Blood Pressure
  • Helps to Relax Muscles and Release Tension
  • Improves and Strengthens Your Immune System
  • Increases Flexibility
  • Alleviates Headaches
  • Releases Endorphins for Natural Pain Relief and Relieving Depression
  • Helps to Stimulate the Energy Pathways of Your Body Which Prevent or Correct Various Health Issues

How to Use Self Massage Tools Effectively

the best muscle recovery tools for athletes

If you want to use self massage tools to help you recover from your workouts or simply feel better, there are a few key tips which will help you get the most out of your massage tools.

First, while massaging yourself, you need to relax and make yourself comfortable. If you are tense, it will not be effective.

Warm muscles usually loosen up better than cold muscles, which is why self massage directly after training is an excellent way to decrease muscle soreness for your next training session.

For each muscle you are going to massage, find a position where the muscle is relaxed before you go to massage it because you do not want your muscles to be contracted in any way while doing this.

One of the best ways to lengthen and relax your muscles is by stretching. Simply hold static stretches for 30 seconds to lengthen each muscle group. Follow this static stretching directly with self massage. The combination is excellent for your muscles.

Better yet, if you have the time, perform 30 to 45 minutes of yoga, then go in to your self massage routine.

Along with that, to get the most out of your self massage tool, find the most mechanically advantaged position to massage your muscles. As I will discuss below, this is why I love the Roll Recovery R8 or the Theragun. Having proper leverage is crucial to being able to deeply massage your muscles.

Additionally, while massaging your body, focus on trigger points. They are the “knots” in the muscle tissue, which feel harder and more tender than your normal muscles. When you massage these areas, it will drastically reduce pain you have when moving.

The Best Self Massage Tools

There are many different self massage tools that can help you release those tight and sore areas of your body.

With the use of self massage tools, you will be able to achieve the necessary pressure on your body, for a longer period; when compared to massage done with your hands alone. Take a look at some of the best self-massage tools on the market!

TheraGun G4 Pro

If you are looking to buy the absolute best self massage tool for muscle recovery possible, you are going to have to invest in the TheraGun G4 Pro. I have not included any other percussive therapy devices (such as the HyperVolt) on my list, or even other versions of the TheraGun. In my opinion, you should either purchase the TheraGun G4 Pro, or just use one of the significantly cheaper muscle recovery tools that I have listed below.

The HyperVolt and cheaper versions of the TheraGun are certainly effective, but the TheraGun G4 Pro completely blows them out of the water for strength and effectiveness. I have used multiple of these devices, so I am confident in what I am saying.

Benefits of the Theragun G4 Pro include:

  • Provides a level of “self massage” that is often better than even a massage therapist can provide.
  • The TheraGun G4 Pro has a long battery life, and it travels very easily.
  • It is extremely easy to use and you can use it on nearly all of your muscles on your own.

Purchasing the TheraGun G3 Pro was one of the best investments I made into my body ever, and the new Theragun G4 pro is even better than the one I currently own!

You can check out my Theragun G4 Pro Review to learn more about it as well.

The Still Point Inducer

The Still Point Inducer is a great tool for self-massage that can help to release tight neck, and tension headaches. It can also help you to get centered and unwind.

To use the Still Point, lay on your back while placing the Still Point under your neck at the base of your skull, lining your cervical spine in the crease between the two protrusions.

You must lay there for a period of five minutes and relax; it is even better when you put a foam roller under your knees in order to keep them bent. This will help your spine to be more relaxed overall

Benefits of the Still Point Inducer include:

  • A small study that was carried out found that the combination of the Still Point Inducer with soothing music provided pain relief that is equivalent to a 10-minute massage.
  • The Still Point Inducer is simple to use at home for self-massage.
  • According to physical therapist Mariann Sisco, patients find it helpful in preventing migraines, and it helps to improve sleep quality.

The Theracane

Most times, when the massage therapist presses their thumb or elbow into a specific point and hold it until it releases the tension, it gives you huge relief despite the fact that it is painful. The Theracane will help you get a deep tissue massage in this manner.

You will need to generate the pressure yourself to dig in, or likewise ease off when you want to. The Theracane enables you to release tension in painful areas of your trapezius muscles, shoulders, glutes and the big erector muscles along your back.

Just make sure that you don’t ease off the pressure too much, otherwise your self massage won’t produce as big of results!

Thera Cane Massager (Blue)
5,427 Reviews

The Foam Roller

The foam roller is one of the most popular self-massage tools, and is used throughout the world. It is very effective for the thighs, and especially the hamstrings, iliotibial band and quads.

If you have a sore back, it’s probably time you invested in a solid and durable back roller. A good back roller digs into your muscles to release tension and alleviate soreness, without causing any unnecessary pain. This means that it should have a few features designed especially for your back, such as a ridge for your spine to rest on during foam rolling sessions.

If you choose the right foam rollers and exercises, it is one of the best forms of self massage therapy!

The best foam rollers are ones which are durable, effective and versatile enough to match the needs of their user.

Consider getting a spiked roller if you have permanent knots in your lower back, but do also consider other types of foam rollers such as grid rollers which have distrodensity zones to accommodate different levels of intensity and different muscle groups.

Benefits of using a foam roller include:

  • Using the foam roller engages the fascia, which is a fibrous layer of the connective tissue which surrounds all the muscles of your body.  When there is no mobility, fibers of the fascia will be cross-linked and bind to muscles and nerves; which stiffen normal motion and leads to pain.
  • Foam rolling massage will lead to increased range of motion, and it will ensure that trigger points and scar tissue are broken up within the muscle and fascia. Overall, this leads to greater flexibility, normal motion, and normal function.
  • The foam roller aids post injury tissue mobility
  • By using the foam roller, you can increase the performance capability of your muscles. The more flexible your muscles are within a normal range of motion, the more power these muscles can produce.

The Stick

The Stick provides great benefits for athletes and non-athletes. The Stick is used by athletes as a warm-up and cool-down tool, and it is used as a therapeutic device.  The stick rolls out muscles which provide myofascial release and trigger point therapy.  While using it, you can identify problem areas, and focus more on the hot spots.

Benefits of The Stick include:

  • It is used to break down trigger points, increase range of motion, and relieve pain.
  • The stick also helps to enhance the flexibility of your body, and accelerates the recovery process.
  • It is quite simple to use at home without any special equipment.

Roll Recovery R8

For its price, the roll recovery is one of the best lower body self massage tools I have found.

The Roll Recovery R8 allows you to easily have a mechanically advantaged position over the muscle which you are looking to roll out, and the design of the roller-blade like wheels are excellent at targeting trigger points.

Benefits of the Roll Recovery R8 include:

  • Outside of the TheraGun, there is no better self massage tool than the Roll Recovery R8 for your lower body, as you can easily dig into tight and stiff spots throughout your legs with the easy to use design.
  • The Roll Recovery R8 is extremely portable, and can easily travel in your gym bag.
  • The Roll Recovery R8 can target the muscles of your shin and ankle like no other. I first discovered this product when recovering from a serious ankle injury back in 2015-2016, and it was pivotal in my ability to loosen the muscles of my calf, ankle, and shin while rehabbing.
  • The Roll Recovery R8 makes self massage easier with its design, and you are more likely to need to take pressure off, than add it. The device is easy to control pressure with, and you will be able to find the same effectiveness as a massage from a professional massage therapist!

Concluding Thoughts – Best Self Massage Tools

Self massage tools are readily available for purchase online, and any one of them will make an immediate impact on how you recover between training sessions.  If you could have an hour massage every few days from a professional massage therapist, self massage would be much less important.

However, for cost effectiveness, self massage tools are excellent at decreasing recovery time, and increasing muscle function.  My personal favorite is the Roll Recovery R8, and I believe it will be your favorite too once you try it!


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