So I got one of the “Stiff” sticks for Christmas from my darling wife and have mentioned it in many posts – yet I have never done a “formal” product review. In case you are not a daily reader of my Blog and found this site through googling “the stick product review,” let me start out by saying – I LOVE THE STICK!!! It is one of the greatest inventions in my humble opinion. (By the way, if you are not a daily reader of my blog, this is easy to remedy, just click the “Sign me up! button over there —> )
I was first introduced to it at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo. My family and I were walking around like tourists in NY city for the first time, when we went by the booth for “the stick.” The clever salesman asked me if I had any muscle issues – which those who have read my blog know my trouble spots are my calves. – and had me sit down. He started on my hamstring, as the muscle groups AROUND the trouble spot all contribute – since muscles work together. He then hit my calves.
It. Was. Heaven.
The only way I can describe it, is that it was like a personal masseuse had appeared out of nowhere and decided to massage my tight, sore, and all-too-often-pulled calf muscles. The video below shows how to use this wonderful item. I have one that is longer and stiffer than the one in the video (no sexual innuendo intended,) as I ordered the one used on me at the expo. He demonstrates wonderfully how to use it on your calf muscles – but doesn’t show the hamstrings. Luckily it is pretty much the same thing – just higher up your leg!
One would think that I would go out and order it immediately when I got home – but I didn’t. Instead I went with the “Drop lots of hints to the wife that it would be a perfect Christmas gift” method. It worked – as she did order one for me!
I have I mentioned I have the greatest wife ever?
So with this wonderful item – I have gone on long runs that I wasn’t terribly prepared for – and wasn’t crippled as I used the stick after running. The following day when I expected to not be able to move, I was fine! For example, I ran a 15k race at a pace (Well for the first 7 miles) I had no business running at, when I hadn’t run further than 7 miles int he previous month. I used it judiciously on all parts of my legs when i got home – and was able to run a comfortable slow 5 mile run the next day.
When I attended the Injury Free Running Clinic put on by Mathew Nark of Plaza Fitness – he stressed the importance of soft tissue preparation and activation. The stick is wonderful for this when used before a run, or even every morning – as often as you would use your tooth-brush! The Foam roller works for a general preparation, while The Stick – helps you get really into those trouble spots, or work different angles that are harder to get while laying down and rolling around on the ground.
In short – I think this is a “must have” for any distance runner. Hmm. Wonder if they will sponsor a giveaway..