A must have for runners that you too should use in your daily routine is the Marathon Stick.
My sweet hubby put it in my stocking last Christmas and I am finally now starting to use it after every run. What is the stick? It is a very simple and easy-to-use self-massaging tool that helps work out knots in muscles that are bound, at some point, to become stiff, sore, or tight with running. The Stick basically take care of your muscles. It essentially allows you to focus on a direct and consistent pressure as you roll over the muscle. It’s a great way to keep your body healthy during a lot of hard training. There is actually a variety of different Sticks that vary in length and firmness depending on one’s size and pressure preference. However, the Marathon Stick was the perfect one for us endurance athletes. In fact, measuring 20 inches with 10 (1-inch) spindles, this model was made popular by world-class distance runners as it is more flexible than the small models, and it is preferred for those with lean muscle mass. The great thing about the Stick is that is very light and portable, allowing you to bring it with you while traveling for a race, a vacation or a business trip. If you are still not sure why you should use the Stick read along.
- In getting rid of those annoying knots in your muscles that you sometimes get after a race or hard workout.
- It targets those trigger points in your muscles
- Removes excess lactic acid build-up
- Reduces pain all through this self-massage process.
- It eliminates tightness
- Allows blood and nutrients to flow properly throughout your body
- Stretches and heals the muscles faster, increasing your overall performance by delaying the time needed to rest because of unwanted soreness.
What does actually do…
It has 2 major actions.
- It increases blood flow into and out of the tissues. This warms up the muscles, making them less susceptible to injury before any sport or activity. And because it does this with a minimal amount of energy, it is the perfect warm-up tool for athletes since they can save their energy for the event. But it’s also perfect for after an activity or workout because the stiffness and soreness you experience after an athletic workout is caused by the build-up of toxins like lactic acid in the tissues. And when you roll The Stick over the muscles it flushes that lactic acid out! So you can work harder without getting stiff. And recover faster to go at it again!
- The second major action is on the muscle fibers themselves. Picture your muscles as a bundle of elastic bands. Every time you injure or strain a muscle it’s like tying a knot in some of those elastic bands; that knot is called a Trigger Point. For every knot you have, there ‘s pain, decreased blood flow, and less flexibility in the muscle. Basically, the muscle tissue around the trigger point doesn’t function properly. And the more trigger points you have, the less effectively the muscle performs and the pain and stiffness around those trigger points affects your ability to perform at your best. Rolling The Stick over muscles it releases those trigger points easily, to redirect blood flow to the area so you get the blood flow, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to help repair and to help recover the muscle.
When to use it…
Before your workout
- Increases blood flow into the muscles
- Shortens your warm-up time
- Decreases the chance of injury
- Helps to get rid of myofascial trigger points and break down any stiffness, improving muscle function and performance
After your workout :
- Helps spread out the lactic acid
- Shortens recovery time
My favorite muscles to use it on have been my quads/hamstrings and glutes, but essentially, the Marathon Stick can be used on all parts of your body including:
General Tips for Use
- Keep muscles relaxed during rollout.
- Use on skin or through light clothing.
- The Stick is waterproof and designed to bend without fear of breaking.
- A typical warm-up for healthy muscle tissue is about 20 progressively deeper passes over each muscle group (about 30 seconds per area).
- Discomfort or pain is experienced when the spindles locate a bump or tender knot in the muscle – this is known as a trigger point.
To see exactly how to use it on each muscle group go on The Stick website.
Researches on The Stick…
If you like researches, here is what they found in a research done on the Stick:
- In a study done at Florida State University, people who used The Stick for 2 weeks showed a 64% increase in flexibility, a 10% increase in power, and a 5% increase in sprint speed.
- And thermography tests in 2000 showed clear evidence that using The Stick increases blood flow into tissue.
- Double Blind Study at Indiana State on Muscle Strength, Power and Flexibility
- For Myofascial Back Pain Study
- Showing Improved Speed by Increasing Stride Length
- Study showing Increase in Grip Strength