Feeling the strain from being hunched up at your makeshift desk? Try this equipment to loosen up.
Whether you’re working from your sofa or throwing yourself into a new online exercise routine, it’s likely that lockdown is taking a toll on your body as well as your mind. With spas and massage therapists off-limits for now, it’s worth investing in a few at-home massage tools that can help you treat your own aches, knots and sprains.
Tools designed for athletes, or that provide a very targeted massage, like the foam roller or the spiky ball, are best used shortly after exercise or on your rest day. For tools more geared towards general wellbeing, like the acupressure mats and pillows, try scheduling a little pocket of time for self-care whenever that’s feasible – after an online yoga class or first thing in the morning, for example.
This unassuming spiky (yet squishy) ball uses the same principles as an acupressure mat to give you a targeted, fairly powerful foot massage. It is a real treat for runners or walkers who suffer from plantar fasciitis – an ache in the fascia under the arch that can be hard to treat – and feels glorious when your feet are tired: just roll it around under your feet while sitting comfortably. You can use it to target other knotted areas too.
Love them or hate them, foam rollers are perhaps the most effective self massage device available to athletes. Our reviewer has long running ITB problems (tightness in a band of tissue, known as the iliotibial band, that runs from the glutes down to the outside of your lower leg) and has used more than her fair share of rollers, and this is her favourite. Because it’s split into grids that have a tiny bit of give, it’s easier to bear than a solid roller – handy if it is your ITB that you plan to target. This is not the tool to use if you’re looking for a relaxing, stress-relieving massage, but it is essential if you’re running or cycling more as your exercise during lockdown, or if you’re recovering from any kind of injury.
This handheld percussive massage device is unbelievably good at treating knots and tight shoulders. If you like your massages high pressure, you’ll love this: when you glide it onto a particularly gnarly knot, the feeling is almost religious. Excellent for athletes – the high-pressure massage reduces recovery time – it’s also a must if you’re suffering aches and pains from working at home.
Perform Better have a wide range of recovery products available online HERE