There’s nothing like finishing your race and knowing that your massage ball is happily awaiting you in your car!
So I debated for quite some time with myself about my favorite post-race recovery tool. My first choice was actually BEER! I guess you can say that the mental side of me enjoys the beer. My sore physical body actually prefers the recovery offered by a simple massage ball for runners. There are lots of knockoff brands that I’ve tried, however, my original TriggerPoint massage ball has been with me since day 1 of running.
I’ve used my 2.5-inch TriggerPoint massage ball so much that the label has completely rubbed off.
Before I found the TriggerPoint massage ball I used a tennis ball. A tennis ball on the wall or on the ground can work wonders for getting kinks and knots out of your legs and other parts of your body. If a tennis ball didn’t do the trick I would use a golf ball. The golf ball offers no flexibility when rubbing it into your sore spots on your legs. With a golf ball, you need to be careful not to press too hard. If you want to go one step lighter than a tennis ball you can try a racquetball (usually blue in color) which is extremely flexible.
Where the TriggerPoint wins
The TriggerPoint foam massage ball’s outer layer is a little bit more firm than a tennis ball. The inside core of the TriggerPoint ball feels almost like a smaller sized golf ball. When you first start to use the TriggerPoint ball you can control how much pressure you want to apply. Less pressure will get some of the facial tissue and blood to start flowing again to those sore areas. When you apply more pressure you can put pressure on extremely small localized areas with the inner core pressing deep into the muscles.
Traveling with the TriggerPoint
The smallest version of the TriggerPoint is just 2.5 inches which is a bit smaller than a tennis ball 6.54–6.86 cm (2.5 to 2.7 inches). This little guy is easily packable into your purse, carryon luggage, or luggage. Quite often I will bring this guy on the plane with me. I can work out some muscles while sitting on the airplane. Especially the lower hip and upper gluteus maximus muscles on either side. If parts of your back are bothering you you can place the ball into between your seat and your back.
The smaller TriggerPoint ball is great for smaller areas that need to be rolled out. This size is also traveler-friendly instead of lugging around a much larger foam roller in your suitcase. The price is also well worth it for the years of durability you can get with this little guy.
small TriggerPoint Massage Ball
weight 5.8 ounces
TriggerPoint large massage ball (5 inches)
Expect the same quality as the smaller version of the 2.5-inch TriggerPoint massage ball. The key difference between the two other than the size is that fact that the 5-inch model allows you to attack entire groups of muscles instead of isolating a specific spot
large TriggerPoint Massage Ball
weight 5.8 ounces
TriggerPoint extra-firm small massage ball (2.5 inches)
The extra-firm version only comes in a smaller size. When it says extra-firm it means EXTRA-FIRM. This is as close as getting to a golf ball with a tiny bit of padding on the outside. If you have extremely tight areas, then give this one a try, however, you might be able to get the same benefit as using a golf ball in a sock.
small extra-firm TriggerPoint
weight 1.2 ounces
TriggerPoint Foam Roller great for groups of tight muscles
If you still want to look into a foam roller, TriggerPoint has a decent foam roller that offers a flat, high & firm, and tubular-shaped packed into one roller. This foam roller is great at relieving tightness and increasing blood flow back and circulation. This also comes with access to a free online instructional video library from TirggerPoint experts. Although the price is a little higher than other brands, this is built with rugged materials just like the TriggerPoint small massage ball.
Cheap way to get the same benefit as a foam roller or massage ball
So, if you want to spend as little money as possible, try one of these two methods. Stuff about 6 golf balls in a long tube sock and then tie of the end to make them stack neatly in the sock. You can also put about 3 tennis balls inside of one long tube sock and tie of the end to make it tight. This is great to place on the ground or on the wall to get out soreness and tightness. I’ve tried all of the methods above and still, my favorite is the 2.5-inch massage ball by TriggerPoint for the price I bought three. One stays at work, one stays at home, and one stays in the car. If you’re looking for durability you can’t go wrong with a TriggerPoint massage ball for runners.,Scott Morton is the author of, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury free race finishers. He recently completed his 10 half marathon race. He is also an RRCA certified coach.
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