[Disclosure: I was given an Addaday stick as a part of my relationship with BibRave as a BibRave Pro. As always, I only talk about the products and services that I have tried and enjoyed]
We’re all familiar with the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”- in fact, that’s the very reasoning I use to justify slathering a small apple in spoons and spoons of homemade peanut butter. But for runners, foam and stick rolling is way more crucial than an apple. By rolling out your muscles regularly, you get all sorts of benefits, including speedy muscle recovery and increased range of motion.
I was first turned on to foam rolling while marathon training. When I began training, my approach to foam rolling was pretty lackadaisical, and suffice to say that the seasoned runners around me were horrified. And after my first 16-miler without foam rolling, I understood why. My body HURT. Everywhere. My recovery from that run took longer than normal, so after my 18 miler the following weekend, I made a point of rolling out my legs for 15 minutes post-run. My soreness the next day was definitely diminished, but I still wasn’t in love with foam rolling. It required me to put a lot of pressure on one area, and it was pretty uncomfortable to sustain for 15 minutes. I decided that sticks were probably a better option for me, and just as I started to research which stick I should buy, BibRave swooped in to save the day (and my wallet) with an Addaday stick roller!
I opted to receive the Addaday Ultra Roller Plus Series Pro (pictured above, from Addaday’s website). This model has four massaging balls on its stick (get your mind out of the gutter) that vary in firmness so that whether you need a softer touch or a dig-in deep massage, you’re set. The balls, or “gears,” are rounded so that they can massage like fingers would. The Pro also has a tiny red precision knob for even more pressure on hard to reach spots. The stick’s handles are comfortable to grip, and it’s easy to clean the entire stick with disinfecting wipes or soap and water.
While my running has decreased definitively since my marathon training, I have gotten the chance to roll out my muscles after various fitness classes and my occasional run. What I’ve found is that I MUCH prefer a stick roller like Addaday’s to a dense foam roller; it’s lightweight, easy to grip, and the targeted pressure is amazing on sore muscles.
I also give credit to the Addaday for saving my fitness life last week. I woke up one morning with a knot the size of my fist in my calf, for no apparent reason. The best way I can think of to describe it is that it felt like I had gotten a charley horse in my sleep and somehow not woken up during it, which seems impossible, but considering that I hadn’t pulled a muscle or anything the day before, that’s the only explanation I can come up with.
But, I digress.
The point is, I had a huge, painful knot in my calf and workouts to keep. That night, I dedicated myself to punishing myself with the stick like I never have before. My calf was rolled from every angle, with every gear, and during every commercial break of The Newsroom. It hurt, but hurt so good. The next day, my calf’s tightness was HUGELY diminished. It was still there, but I was no longer limping like an old grandma every time I got up from my desk chair. I repeated my rolling method that night, and the next day, my phantom charley horse was gone. Lifesaver, I tell you.
The only downside is that the Pro is not available online; instead, hop on Addaday’s website and see where it’s sold locally. And while you’re there, check out the rest of their products- I have my eye on the Ultra Roller Plus Universal Roller (Type D+) and the Ultra Roller Plus Junior. And if you’re new to foam rolling, Addaday has a ton of instructional videos to get you started. Stop, drop and roll indeed.