mobility tools

I love my Trigger Point foam roller. LOOOOOOVE it. Voodoo floss bands? They rock. My soft tissue mobilization tools? Can’t leave home without ’em. But I have a secret. A dirty secret.

You (and I) don’t need them. Any of them.

Runners. Crossfitters. Yogis. Triathletes. POWER WALKERS. They all get caught up in products, and brands, and gadgets. But, as the immortal K-Starr says, every human should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. The human body doesn’t come with a user manual, but the tools to KEEP it functioning well shouldn’t have a paywall. In all honesty, we shouldn’t need mobility tools either. Our body is designed to function without them. But modern society dictates how and where we spend our time, and things like sitting, cell phones and lumpy beds result in some unfortunate side effects that warrant some self-release. Like the mechanic, I’m here to fix things that are broken and educate you on how to keep them fixed. It’s your job to do the maintenance. Unless you want to pay me to do it.

I can show you how to perform maintenance on yourself with 3 basic tools. You’re probably looking at an investment of $20 or less here.

Lacrosse ball

Lacrosse ball

You will come to love and despise this little guy.

Ah, the lacrosse ball. Who here in Kansas City actually plays lacrosse? Apparently a lot of kids do because the sporting goods stores are packed full of them. Nike had a huge display up front in one of them! Never in my life… anyway. The lacrosse ball should be your first line defense when it comes to self-maintenance. First, it’s a ball. You can carry it anywhere – gym bag, purse, pocket (hello, JNCOs), satchel. Secondly, you can use it anywhere. Here, let’s play a game. You pick a muscle. Go ahead, say the name of the muscle. Now say, “smash it.” You’ve officially learned how to use your lacrosse ball. Pick another muscle! Go ahead! You know what to say next. I won’t go into the science of why self-release with a lacrosse balls helps with muscle aches, just know it does. Now go buy one.

Foam roller


Okay, I’ll be real honest. Nobody looks this happy rolling out anything, ever.

If you think you need a $40 Trigger Point foam roller to get the benefits of rolling, stop reading right now and re-evaluate your spending habits. Look, I sell AND use these things. They’re fantastic. They seem borderline indestructible. However, I learned a valuable lesson a long time ago: make sure you’re going to use something before you buy a nice one. I won’t link to the seemingly infinite number of foam rollers on Amazon, but trust me when I say at its most basic, a roam roller is a foam roller (is a foam roller!) and after you’ve gotten comfortable with using one, THEN re-evaluate your need for a fancy one. Just keep your hands of mine. The foam roller user manual is very similar to the lacrosse ball one: pick a muscle, and roll it.

PVC pipe

PVC pipe

These also make horrible foam rollers.

This is an easy one. Go into Home Depot (or Lowe’s if you’re into it) and have them cut you a 6 foot piece of 1″ PVC pipe. You’ve now got the greatest shoulder mobility tool in the history of mankind. Youtube “PVC warm-up” and you’ll get a million hits with around the worlds and good mornings and people whacking each other with PVC. Please do not look up “shoulder dislocations” unless you include PVC in the search. One of these things is not like the other.

Well there you have it. 3 mobility tools that will last you months, if not years. Rogue has some great premium versions of these tools, and we stock both Trigger Point foam rollers and lacrosse balls of various densities if you’d like something a little more high-end. Leave any comments or questions at the bottom and I’ll respond when I log in again in 6 months (but seriously).

Dr. Nick