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2016 Running Gear Guide: Recovery

Recovery products are trending to be more travel-friendly and versatile.


The compact size, dynamically curved design and ridges of the Helix offer more possibilities for relief than traditional flat foam rollers. Designed to open up the natural curves in the lower back to allow proper extension and alignment, it’s also great on quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings. The angular ridges in its biology-inspired double helix form help release toxins and stiffness on two planes.


If you are missing your therapist’s elbow, these massage balls offered in 2.6-inch and 5-inch diameter sizes with varying densities can do the trick. The MBX, a red 2.6-inch-diameter ball that’s extra firm but light (1.4 oz.), packs a mighty punch. It’s great to use on areas of pain in isolated areas like the pecs, piriformis and calves. The 2.6-inch MB1 (not pictured) and 5-inch MB5 are slightly softer and offer varying levels of pressure.

$19 for set of 6,

These are great for runners who don’t play other reaction-heavy sports (like tennis, basketball or soccer). When the six-sided ball is thrown it bounces unpredictably, causing the athlete to make quick directional movements to get the ball. With the six little protrusions on each ball, it also functions as a great self-massage tool. A variety of drills are viewable on YouTube.


Like a giant six-fingered claw (without the nails),
this engineering masterpiece provides smooth, firm, even pressure wherever it grips. The R8 takes the work out of a self-massage with its auto-adjust tension technology to flush out different sized areas: quads, IT bands, hamstrings, calves and shins. It can be used sitting or standing: No more rolling on dirty hotel room floors or muddy fields.


What better way to address inflammation and tension than to roll them away with ice that doesn’t melt? A compact surface of six independent stainless steel spheres help relieve tired feet and plantar fasciitis pain. The nonslip base means no chasing these massage balls. It’s also great for upper trap and neck massages.


Tackle plantar fasciitis with the R3 by rolling both the origin and insertion of culprit muscles. The uneven barbell shape allows the user to reach multiple areas of the foot and calf. Compact and lightweight, this roller travels easily and is versatile to use on other parts of the body.


Need bigger hands and stronger thumbs? The flexible center and long handles of this tool give you leverage and pressure. The two adjustable balls (3 positions) grip trouble areas to simulate trigger point therapy. Great for neck, shoulder, back, upper and lower legs, and even hard-to-reach areas in the hips.


Touted as “targeted release for tight spaces,” the RAD Rounds are the perfect size and material (firm with some give) to offer relief anywhere. Provide acute massages to the smaller muscles and spaces (between bones) in the shoulder blade, hip/IT band, neck, foot, hand and even your jaw. These come in three different densities.


This 3-inch-wide elasticized band worn directly over a sports bra helps decrease breast lifting or bouncing, and prevents the Cooper’s ligament (which provides form and structure) from stretching further. Three rows of eye and hook closures on the soft breathable fabric help dial in the perfect fit. Note: don’t lean toward a smaller size, as it will restrict lung expansion.


Its ability to target multiple parts of the body at once make the Eclipse roller unique in its field. The carved-out core contains five pressure strips that vary in surface area. Both ends of the Eclipse function just like a traditional foam roller except with a lot more rigidity. Its walls wrap around muscle groups to address them three dimensionally.