Self myofascial release tools, such as foam rollers, trigger point balls, and massage sticks, have become some of the most popular tools used for corrective exercises, fitness, and sports performance. In fact, performing self myofascial release has become almost a uniform component in the majority of fitness and sports performance programs.
You can certainly argue the exact physiological benefit of performing self myofascial release. Ironically we are likely not really “releasing” fascia.
However, it’s hard to argue the benefits of self myofascial release.
Two recent studies in International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy have been published that analyzed the current state of research and conclude that self myofascial release:
- Increases mobility and joint range of motion
- Reduces post-workout soreness and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Allows for greater workout performance in future workouts
- May lead to improved vascular function and parasympathetic nervous system function
“Simply put, self myofascial release has been proven to help you feel and move better.” [click to tweet]
In order to get started, I wanted to share my years of experience with self myofascial release tools. There are so many foam rollers, trigger point tools, and massage sticks out there these days.
I’ve tried nearly all of them and these are what I consider the best self myofascial release tools.
Best Self Myofascial Release Tools
Over the years I have tried a ridiculous amount of different self myofascial release tools, some great, some awful, and some just a rip off. Luckily, new products emerge all the time and continue to improve.
I’ve learned a couple of things that are important:
- There are different types of self myofascial release tools for different needs, body parts, and intensities. Building your own “kit” is probably going to be the most effective. Trying to use just a foam roller on everything is going to not work well.
- You tend to build up a tolerance to self myofascial release and want to upgrade to more advanced foam rollers, trigger point balls, and massage sticks. Start with the basics and advance overtime.
Best Foam Rollers
Best Massage Roller Stick
While foam rollers are the primary self myofascial release tool for most needs, there are body parts that simply don’t do as well and need a massage stick tool. The next tool you should add to your self myofascial release tool kit is a massager stick roller. There are a few popular massage sticks on the market, and as it is with most things, I actually don’t prefer the two most popular massage sticks.
Best Trigger Point Release Tools
In addition to foam rollers and massage sticks. Trigger point release tools are another must have addition to your self myofascial release tool kit. Essentially, these just tend to be smaller self myofascial release tools that can get into tighter areas.
Create Your Own Self Myofascial Release Tool Kit
All of the above options are great choices. I would recommend getting one of each of the foam rollers, massage sticks, and trigger point tools. Together, these cover pretty much all of your self myofascial release needs.
If you are interested, I also have an Inner Circle webinar on how I perform self myofascial release.