The Stick vs A Rolling Pin
The Stick or a Tiger Tail are great for rolling out your shins and calves and they both look a lot like a rolling pin, so use your rolling pin! You miss out on some of the Stick/Tiger Tail flexibility but a rolling pin will get the job done until someone reads your Christmas or Birthday list!
Side Note: A Stick/Tiger Tail/rolling pin is also great for rolling out tight shoulders if you can't talk a friend into a back massage!
Tennis Ball & Baseball
One of the most painful [and beneficial] ways to help sore muscles recover is by rolling them out. You could invest in a foam roller or you could borrow a tennis ball from your dog or baseball from your children. Use your body weight to roll the ball under tight muscles, when you find a spot that's painfully tight keep the ball there and adjust your body weight so you're massaging the muscle.
The tennis ball works best on muscles while a baseball is fantastic for rolling out the bottom of your feet. If you're struggling with tight tendons on the bottom of your feet rolling a baseball under your foot can help self-massage and stretch the tendons out.
Side Note: You can also use a tennis or baseball to roll out knots in your back, simply lay down on the ball and roll it about to massage tight muscles!
Frozen Bottle Roller
Another great recovery tool for tight tendons in your feet is a sports drink bottle or water bottle that you fill with water and freeze. The knobby texture of the bottle will massage your feet while the chill of the ice will help ease the pain. Technically this iced bottle can also be used on other muscles but it is much more solid than a tennis ball making it a more painful [and possibly less beneficial] option.
Make Your Own Ice Pack
You can also make your own ice packs, which can save a lot of money! By mixing two parts water and one part rubbing alcohol in a resealable bag you create a gel-like ice pack that is pliable enough to fit well over any muscle or joint. You can also put a wet washcloth into a resealable bag and freeze it to the shape you need — this works best if you need to ice your shins because it's easy to freeze a washcloth bag over a bottle to get the U-shape of your shin!
And now you're ready to go out exploring AND fully recover once you return home! What hacks have we missed? Have you created any DIY recovery tools? And are there any recovery tools you really love, hacked or not?
For a video version of these recovery hacks, click here: VIDEO