How to Get the Most Out of This Outstanding Massage Roller

At $28, a total no-brainer

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When you’re young, you can max out on the bench press, play pick-up for a couple hours and dance the night away … before waking up to do it all again. 

These days, a half-dozen lunges can ruin your whole week. 

That’s ok. It doesn’t mean you should feel wary of running an extra mile; consistent, concerted movement is your best defense against a painful back or failing heart. It just means your warm-up and recovery needs to be afforded the same level of TLC you give your work-out. 

One of the best methods for doing so is tissue work — stretching’s intense cousin, and a perfect way to release dull knots in muscles all over the body. There’s a ton of rollers, sticks and massage tools out there to that end, but all you need is Brazyn’s Compact Massage Roller, which goes for just $28.  

roller (2 images)

Brazyn’s model combines a traditional runner’s roller stick with a ribbed foam roller, while packing down to about half the size of a standard massage tool. It doesn’t come with any new-age tech; it’s just plastic and rubber, optimized to relieve muscle pain. And at that price, it’s a total no-brainer. Below, five tips on how to use your Brazyn roller properly. 

Focus on large muscle groups
You can (and should!) use the Brazyn roller on smaller muscle groups. The photos above offer some great examples. Muscles in your neck, your arms and your feet will benefit from a roller that’s compact enough to give them that rare attention. But it’s the large muscle groups that you should target regularly throughout the week. Hold it tight against your chest to localize soreness in your pecs. Sit on it with one side of your butt (where a jean pocket would be) and tilt your other leg over; this’ll attack one glute and open up the hips. Then switch sides. Make sure to roll out your calves, your biceps, and your obliques. 

Take your time. Breathe.
While tissue work should be prioritized like a workout, it shouldn’t feel like one. Don’t push yourself to pain, don’t take labored or uneven breaths. There should also be no rush — it’s better to do a great 30 minute workout and allot 15 minutes of tissue work than to go all-out for 45 minutes and head straight to the showers. 

Deploy it at different times
This is where you have some freedom. You can fire up your muscles for a great workout by doing tissue work before exercising, or prioritize it as a cool down method. We personally like to use it on off-days. A stretching/tissue work routine on a day you’re sore as hell is a smart way to physically recover and grab a mental victory. 

Bring it on the road
Travel is hell on the body. Confined spaces that scrunch up the legs and lock the back, too many burgers, rough nights sleeping in foreign beds … not good. What’s great about the Brazyn roller is when packed down it fits easily in a backpack or duffel. Take some time each night before bed to do your routine, and you won’t come off the jet bridge walking like Frankenstein. 

Get a bonus ab workout
Get on your knees, hold on to either bar and slowly roll out, then roll back in, concentrating on stability in your core. If you’re not feeling a burn around your gut, adjust your form. Do ten of these, in three sets, mixed with three sets of 25 crunches. Good job, you can go drink a beer. 


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