Nothing beats a good sports massage the day-of or day after a strenuous event. Unfortunately, the cost of a professional massage makes it prohibitively expensive for most of us to get regular massages. It can also be difficult to schedule a massage, not to mention the time it takes driving to and from the appointment.

In my daily down time, I’ll typically use my two favorite massage tools to work out my sore and tired muscles. They are “The Stick” and the “Deep Tissue Massager Pillow“.

The Stick

The Stick doesn’t look like much. It’s a rigid plastic rod with some circular beads that move independently of one another. It’s also an amazing tool for the traveling cyclist. When I’m traveling to and from a race, it goes with me in my carry on. At home, it sits in a small cabinet in the living room. I use it to roll out knots in my calves, quads, and hamstrings. It can be used for many other parts of the body, as you’ll see in this video:

The Stick comes in a few different sizes. I prefer the travel Stick because while it’s still wide enough to span the widest of quads or hamstrings, it is compact enough to fit in a travel bag.

Deep Tissue Massager Pillow

Don’t let the name mislead you. Aside from a slight resemblance in appearance, there is nothing “pillow-like” about this massager at all. In fact, this thing hurts… in a good way. It consists of two leather straps that extend out from the main unit. Each strap has a loop on the end so that you can stick your arm or hand through for additional leverage. But unless you prefer a ruthless massage, you might not need that extra leverage. The only negative reviews on this massage tool is that it is too strong. The center section of the tool has two large balls (think billiards) and two to four smaller ones. I don’t know how it achieves this, but the balls rotate in different patterns and allow each one to reach a slightly different area at a different depth. See the Amazon listing for a lot more photos, reviews, and usage tips: