Whether you suffer from a long-standing sports injury or have joint issues that flare up in the cold weather, a simple massage tool may be all it takes to ease the pain and loosen up those muscles.
We've compiled a list of weird and wonderful massage tools that may look more like torture devices, but we promise they will work wonders on those little niggles that you can't seem to shake.
Most tools are relatively small and easily portable for use at home, in the office, or on the go. Some work as a deep tissue massage, and others target pressure points to relieve stress and tension. These tools are geared towards fitness use – if you want something more soothing, head to our best massager article.
The best massage tools include foam rollers, massage guns and massage balls which can be pressed against the affected area to smooth out any knots. For a more intense massage, there are several electronic massage tools on the market that are great for a professional back, neck and shoulder massage.
Best massage tools to buy right now
This is one of the best massage tools for athletes and avid gym-goers. It’s recommended by physical therapists and coaches for avoiding sports injuries, so If you’re a cardio fiend but always forget to stretch, then the Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller is an essential piece of equipment that will ensure you don’t damage your muscles. It fits in most gym bags nicely, so there’s no excuse not to use it.
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Theragun has been dominating the percussion massager market for a couple of years now and with its latest Theragun range, the brand offers even more versatility to its customers. Of the four Theragun percussion massagers currently being sold, the Elite represents the Goldilocks-zone in terms of features and price: the high-end PRO is more expensive and aimed at professionals while the Prime lacks the OLED screen.
The Theragun Elite offers deep percussion strokes – 16 mm in amplitude, to be precise – and five speed options as default: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200 and 2400 ppm. These speed options will be more than enough for most users but in case you need some more versatility and would like to set the Elite to 1837 ppm (?), you can do that through the Therabody App.
The Elite connects to the Therabody App via Bluetooth and targeted massage sessions can be started through the app plus you can also update the firmware of your Theragun too. There are quite a few different massaging options available in the app including wellness, sleep and more. Once the Elite is connected to the app, you can control the massager via the phone, such as starting and pausing sessions.
Thanks to the ergonomic handle, the Elite is great for self-massaging and by shifting from one side of the handle to the other, most usually you can find an appropriate position to apply pressure to hard to reach areas such as the shoulder blades and the back of the thighs. The Elite might not have the most powerful motor on the market but it’s plenty good enough for most.
Massage balls are the smaller siblings of foam rollers and are an excellent tool to relieve muscle tension, especially in the lower half of your body. Sit down on the floor, legs extended, one of them resting on the Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball, and do either small circular movements or longer strokes to target leg soreness.
The Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball has a smooth, firm surface so you can apply pressure with it on the leg muscles just by placing the weight of the limb on it, no need to press down. It can also be used on the upper body, especially the front of the shoulders.
Although in theory, even the back and the neck can be massaged with the Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball, it can be quite challenging to do so, especially if you try to do it yourself. Laying on the massage ball and placing the weight of your upper body on it, it can feel quite unconformable to roll around on it.
This issue can be doctored by getting someone else to work your back with the Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball, which also makes using this simple device a social activity. On top of this, the Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball is cheap as chips and also comes with a carry bag and a little exercise guide, too.
Some may think that £25.00 for a stick is a waste of money, but as a doctor’s recommendation, this is one of the best massage tools for back and neck pain. This handy (albeit, strange-looking) tool is guaranteed to get to those hard to reach pressure points and smooth out any knots. It looks fairly intuitive but there is a knack to pinpointing particular problem areas, all of which are outlined in the instruction manual.
If you have flat feet or suffer from plantar fasciitis, then these massage balls will do wonders in reducing any pain caused when running. They’re small and can easily be kept in your gym bag or car so that you can eliminate any heel or arch pain after your workout or run.
No one sleeps well when they’re not in their own bed. If you frequently travel or even go on camping trips where there is no bed at all, you can say goodbye to a bad back or stiff neck with this portable roller massager. This is a really cheap item that can significantly improve blood circulation in those areas under pressure, with results just as good as if you’d had a professional massage.
We know £20.00 for something resembling a tennis ball may seem far-fetched, but this is one of the best massage tools for neck tension on the market. It mirrors the pressure of a thumb for the most relaxing home massage that really releases stress and tension. This can be used anywhere on the body but is recommended for targeting neck and shoulder tension.
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