So, study after study has shown that massage is one of the best recovery tools after exercise. It has also been shown in study after study, that spouses seem to be against runners getting near-daily massages from local massage studios. Many products have been created/marketed to help with this conundrum – from the ever-popular foam roller, to the various forms of massage stick. I personally own one of the former, and two different types of the latter, and have found them to be a god send. I must admit to preferring a massages stick to the foam-roller, as using a foam roller is a full-body workout, which is not something I am usually aiming for after a workout.
When Seek Gains reached out to me to ask if I would be willing to do a review of their Massage Stick Roller, I was happy to do so. Having used two other types – I always enjoy trying to see if the next one will be different and/or better for me! Now, i want to make sure you understand right off – I made no guarantee of a favorable review, and they did give me the Massage Stick Roller for free, so that I could review it.
So,let’s get to the review,shall we?
So, I had mentioned that I own 2 others – it seems logical to have a comparison in there. I own the “stiff stick,” as well as the “marathon stick” made my “The Stick.” Each of them works by having many round plastic cylinders over another long cylinder.
Top: Seek Gains, The Massage Stick Roller
Middle: The Marathon Stick
Bottom: The Stiff Stick
As you can see, the Massage Stick Roller is shorter than the other two. I found that this was actually helpful in its overall use. When massaging my calf muscles, it was easier to do with the narrower grip. I also found that it was marginally easier to turn to where I needed it, than its wider counter parts. This isn’t to say that the other two didn’t work, I just found the size to be more convenient for my grip, and my kids agreed. It did mean that it fits better into my gym bag as well.
(You can see in the picture to the right, as demonstrated by my daughter – how to massage the calf muscle. She just moves her hands up and down – while pushing forward on the calf. The harder you push, the deeper the massage!)
The Massage Stick Roller by Seek Gains was quite a bit stiffer than the other two, even the “Stiff Stick.” The easiest way to demonstrate this, is by how showing how well they bend. The Massage Stick Roller is at a little bit of a disadvantage here, due to its shorter size – but I think the idea still comes across clearly.
The Stiffness works very well in assisting with trouble spots. Think of it as the toothpick to help you get RIGHT where you need, no matter how deep it is!
For me personally, this has become my ‘go-to’ stick. I have had quite a bit of problem with the front of my left hip for the last several months. I found this stick to be easier to hold due to its size, and its stiffness get really into the muscles that were keeping my hips tight and sore.
(You can see my son in the picture to the right, demonstrating how I used it for hip pain. I started on the front of the leg, moving it up and down to massage it, and slowly moved/angled it around the side while continuing to go up and down with it.)
My hip had gotten bad enough that I was limping while walking,and had asked local runners for suggestions of good physical therapists. Now, it is continuing to improve, as I continue to use the stick on it – especially after running and other workouts!
Without going in to too much personal detail about Mrs. Once and Future runner, she has had some severe muscle pain in her back, and I have been massaging her back for her. While nothing beats a nice massage using hands to hit where it needs the most, hands do get tired. I have started using the Massage Stick Roller along with a more traditional massage. This allows me to give my fingers/hands a break – while working on the broader areas of her back – while being careful to NOT run it up and down her spine (I just cannot imagine that would be helpful!) (You will notice in the picture above and to the left, that when my daughter is using it on my son’s back – she is off to the side slightly. I do this for both sides.)
My overall thoughts on this, while owning two others is that I would buy one, if I had to return this one! Between its size, and the level of stiffness – it has worked well for me. It will not make me get rid of my foam roller (Which still remains the best for really deep large areas, despite its turning massages into a workout,) but I’m honestly not sure I will use the Stiff Stick or the Marathon stick any more. If I find that there are points where the variety of stiffness or sizes helps – I will update this review.
Since Seek Gains sells this on Amazon, remember – Amazon Prime gets free shipping!