Part 1 of …Knobs, Balls, and Rollers was an introduction to the wonderful world of “rolling out”– a way to help you massage the aches that come with art and other physical work. Part 2 reviewed some techniques and general guidelines to get you started. This week’s third part to the guide is primarily a poster about the basics of rolling with a little text about getting rolling equipment. Download the poster and refer to it to get started with adding rolling to your self-care routine!

In Part 1 I said, “If you have a connective tissue disorder, diabetic neuropathy, musculoskeletal injury, moderate to severe pain, swelling, or bruising, or other circulatory, muscular, skeletal, or nerve condition, don’t use a roller or ball on it without approval from a trained health care provider.”  I still, still mean it.


Here’s a jpeg poster for you! Download it and use it as reference for your rolling practice! Artwork: K. Willberg

Again, for rolling, cheap is just fine! I’m not going to endorse any specific products, but here are some ideas about purchasing rolling equipment or scavenging it from your closets. You will very likely be able to find plenty to choose from on your favorite shopping site. Your local gym, yoga studio, or fitness center may have rollers and balls that you can experiment with before you buy your own.

Toys

Tennis balls, lacrosse balls, golf balls, racket balls, pet toy balls, large super-balls, and some of the firmer kids’ foam toy balls can all work pretty well.

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Myo Rollers and Balls

You may want to by a “pack” of Styrofoam rollers and balls to experiment with. Buying pieces individually can add bucks when you want more than one. Buying them as a pack can give you a variety of sizes and shapes to use in different areas of your body, with different levels of pressure.

I bought a four piece foam roller “starter kit” on Amazon.com. The “peanut” was a waste of time (in my opinion), but the mini roller, 4” ball, and larger roller get regular use. Buying them individually would have been more expensive.

As far as larger balls go, I love my 6” myo release ball. It was a little pricey at $25, but I use it every day.

OPTP.com has a variety of rollers and balls to choose from.

Let’s get rolling!