The Basics on Using Massage Tools

Thomas_DuBois_CMTRecently we profiled three different massage tools found in our clinic and gym: the foam roller, the lacrosse ball, and the stick. In each we discussed what muscle groups they work best on, and a few techniques to prevent causing pain by using the tool incorrectly.  If you haven’t taken a look at the articles, we encourage you to check them out now.

We asked our certified massage therapist, Thomas DuBois, a couple of frequently asked questions about massage tools in general, to add to the resources available.

Which tool allows you to stretch with the heaviest pressure?

Using these tools is not stretching. It is myofascial release to break up adhesions and scar tissue. The foam roller and lacrosse ball probably allow the deepest pressure because you can put the weight of your body on top of them.

Which tool allows you to stretch with the lightest pressure?

The stick will probably allow the lightest pressure and will get as deep as the roller or lacrosse ball because force is generated by your arms as opposed to putting your body weight onto the object.

What are good sources to learn proper stretching techniques?

Our trainers and the rest of us are great resources for someone looking to learn how to properly use the foam roller, lacrosse ball or stick. I am a great source for learning proper stretching techniques. I specialize in a technique called Active Isolated Stretching which is the most effective form of stretching that I know of. Depending on the area of the body, I will work with people for 30, 60 or 90 minutes to find out which muscles are the tightest and develop a “specific to them” home stretching routine.

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