We use our bodies in all sorts of different ways, every day. Whether it’s a big day out on the slopes or on the trail, a sweat-soaking gym session, or sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen–over time and against gravity, our bodies can get stuck in certain patterns. Using the Addaday Type A2 Ultra Roller is a proactive way to get muscles and tendons unstuck, promoting faster recovery, better alignment, and improved performance.

As an “on again, off again” runner I’ve always been plagued by chronic, low-grade shin splints and plantar fasciitis pain because I have low arches and pronate. I’ve adapted over the years, wearing better shoes and orthotics, and selecting trails and treadmills over concrete. I’ve also embraced the many benefits of various types of bodywork, like deep tissue massage and rolfing, as well as  “self” bodywork, such as yoga and stretching. I know that if I don’t stretch my calves well, my arches will start to hurt on a long run or big day in the mountains. If my IT band is super bound up, I’ll feel it in my knees and shins. So, I try to take care of myself after and between workouts. In addition to bodywork, I sometimes use a big foam roller to release my leg muscles.

Enter the Addaday Type A2 Ultra Roller. It’s a self massage stick that’s about two feet long, with five round massaging “gears” set in between rubberized plastic grips on either end. The gears spin freely, and are spaced with an intentional gap of about a half inch to bridge muscle groups and accommodate body parts like vertebrae. The gears are scientifically designed to feel like the fingers and elbows of a body worker, for self-applying massaging pressure to sore and tight muscles and tendons, and thereby, increasing blood flow and releasing adhesions (a.k.a. getting unstuck) through cross-fiber friction.

I used a few different strategies to tackle my legs with the Addaday Type A2 Ultra Roller to counteract the effects of the downhill and cross-country ski season. I got both sides of my anterior tibia with two of the gears, releasing my shin muscles and tendons with that satisfyingly painful feeling that comes from kneading out scar tissue. I rolled out my upper and lower calves in an upward motion from a seated position. I set the roller on the ground to work out the muscles and fascia in my feet. I even got my quads and my IT band. It’s been a much-needed therapy that feels very beneficial, during and after. Compared to my foam roller, it provides much more precise, targeted, and massage-like pressure, and is less painful on super tight muscles and tendons because I can control the pressure with my hands.

Whenever I take the time to use the Addaday Type A2 Ultra Roller, I come away feeling like I just shot a bunch of circulation and healing energy into a my body and cleared up knots and tightness. I find that it’s user-friendly too because it’s small enough to keep handy in the living room near the couch. If it’s in sight and in mind, I can use it while watching Netflix or talking on the phone. In addition to working on my legs, I’ve used it to roll out the back of my neck, my psoas, and lower back.

The Addaday Type A2 Ultra Roller has four hard gears and one “Surface Skin Technology” gear with a more soft, tactile feel. I preferred the soft gear for places that were super tight and sore, and the hard gear for everything else, so it was nice to have a combination. There are a several different kinds of Addaday stick rollers to choose from, with different configurations of gears to suit personal preference and target areas, including the Pro Massage Roller, Type C Roller, Type A, A2, and A+ Ultra Rollers. Explore the whole Addaday Collection for even more options, and check out the Addaday website for tutorial videos on self massage techniques to prevent and recover from common sports injuries like a pro.

Bottom Line: Roll out muscle and tendon tightness with this handy self-massaging stick to stay limber between adventures.

Manufacturer’s Site: www.addaday.com

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