Used by runners, athletes, and pretty much anyone who’s feeling stiff in spots (hello, entire world), massage rollers target tight, overworked muscles though a process called myofascial release: a type of soft tissue therapy that relaxes contracted muscles, improves blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulates the stretch reflex. The sensation is often compared to a deep-tissue massage of the hurts-so-good caliber, and regular use can help prevent further injury, as well as improve performance through increased flexibility. #winwin
Recent sports medicine research shows that not only are muscle rollers easing soreness, improving range of motion, and enhancing recovery, but they’re also providing users with a sense of mental calm and control, which can reduce cortisol levels (our stress-related hormone). In turn, these positive mental states have a direct effect on performance. Think of it this way: When we feel better, we do better—and when we do better, we feel better. Now there’s a train we can all hop aboard.